Recently, while at work, I was thinking about the Apostles’ Creed, and how I cannot say the words in it anymore and actually mean them. So, when I got home from work, I sat down and rewrote it. I decided to share my rewritten creed on Facebook. I’d already rewritten and shared a few Bible verses in a similar manner, and my friend Rod asked when I was going to turn these into blog posts. Well, there’s no time like the present.
Here’s what I wrote:
I believe in God, our Mother Bear,
source of all being.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s wisdom made flesh,
along with Sophia, the church, and all that live in wisdom.
Born of the bad-ass womanist liberation theologian, Mary,
suffered under the systems of oppression of this world,
was crucified, died, and was buried,
forever joining in solidarity with those murdered by Empire.
On the third day, the women declared him risen;
signifying God’s “No” to oppression.
He points to God our Mother Bear,
who works in this world, calling for justice for the poor and oppressed.
I believe in Sophia Spirit,
Christ’s body, the church,
the communion of saints,
the grace to reject this world’s systems,
hope for justice in the future,
and renewed life everlasting. Amen.
I was just going to share this, call it the Feminist Apostles’ Creed. Then I realized that wouldn’t be accurate. This isn’t the Feminist Apostles’ Creed, because feminism is a diverse movement, and we have diverse faiths, religions, denominations, and theologies. We also all come from different economic backgrounds, or different ethnic/racial groups. We have different gender identities and sexualities. Different physical and mental abilities/disabilities.
We are diverse, made in the image of God who is Diverse Community.
This is a Feminist Apostles’ Creed. This is my Feminist Apostles’ Creed.
I rewrote the original Apostles’ Creed because I found I could not say it and mean it.
Maybe you read my creed, and felt you could honestly say along with me, “I believe…”
But maybe you didn’t.
I want to fill the world with more liberating liturgy, songs, prayers, etc. This is too big of a task for me to accomplish alone—not only because I am only one person with limited time, but also because I can’t possibly represent the diversity that exists among Christians who long for a more just world.
But thankfully I don’t have to.
Artists, poets, songwriters, and theologians have been writing and rewriting liturgies that empower them from the margins for a long time.
I think of the hymnal “Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians,” by Jan Aldredge-Clanton, which takes familiar hymn tunes and sets them to new words:
Or these feminists who rewrote popular worship songs to fit the needs of their community.
If this is something you enjoy doing, or think you might enjoy doing, this is a call to you.
If you’ve found yourself in churches/faith communities where you can’t sing the songs, say the creeds, or even read the scriptures anymore, this is a call to you.
I want to hear your Liberating Liturgies.
In the weeks to come, I will be sharing more of my own writings and rewritings on this blog. I’ll also be including commentary about why I’ve changed what I’ve changed, and why I’ve chosen the new imagery I’ve chosen.
And I will be opening my blog to guest posts, so you can share your liturgies.
It can be as simple as sharing a scripture passage that you find empowering, or changing a few words in an old hymn. Or it can be as involved as writing your own prayers, poetry, or songs. You may include commentary about the changes you’ve made, or you may choose not to. It can be as long or as short as you want.
I write from a Christian perspective, but all faith backgrounds are welcome!
If you’ve already written your own liturgies, or if you would rather share them on your own blog, but still want to join in, that’s great too! Send me a link if you’d like, and I will share them here at Sarah Over The Moon.
There is no deadline—this will be an ongoing project.
Write whenever inspiration strikes. You can send me your posts tomorrow, or you can wait around to see some more examples.
To submit a guest post or share a link to your own post, email me a firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’d love to hear from you.