Today is the Feast day of St Mary Magdalene, and as I've been pondering her life, and the inspiration she is I find in her a wonderful mix of struggle and devotion. She is both the woman who needed a deep healing and the woman who was declared (by many) to be the first amongst the apostles. She inspires me by the way she overcame so much to become so much. When I stop to think about the folk who do inspire me they are almost always overcomer's in some way or another.
With that in mind I bring you this Friday Five; List five people who inspire you to dare to step out into becoming more: Bonus question, a song or fictional character that inspires you to move beyond boundaries
- Anglea Merici: She was a Roman Catholic woman of the 16th century and the foundress of the Ursuline movement. It began as a service institute not a community of nuns to help young women from being forced into prostitution in her naitive Brescia, Italy. She was never an educated woman but she knew her Bible in an out from hearing it read in liturgy. She counseled "Change when necessary." And she created a women's order that has educated young women all over the world. It was this community that introduced me to strong, wise women who could make decisions and witness to the Gospel without the benefit of the white, straight, male sense of privlidge. It was this community I entered and to whom I will be eternally grateful for teaching me how to pray and the importance teaching is in promoting the Gospel..
- Jonathan M. Daniels: A young seminarian in 1965 who followed Dr. M.L. King's call to Selma, Alabama to witness to the racial brutality in the South. He was from N.H. but had attended VMI and understood the racial prejudice in the South. He and Judith Upham stayed on after the march to help integrate the Episcopal Church in Selma and to assist with voter's registration. He was murdered while saving the life of two African-American women in the small town of Hainsville, AL. He now is listed on the Episcopal Church's list of Holy Women and Holy Men as a martyr for the faith. His willingness to lay down his life for the liberation of others marks what it means to be a person of faith. He was J's boyfriend and has been an intimate part of our lives in our small religous community.
- The Rev. Judith Elizabeth Upham: Judy was one of the first legally ordained women of the Episcopal Church, ordained January 6, 1977. I met her at a meeting of the Saint Louis Women in Ministry (SWIM) founded by Mary Bruggemann (Walter's wife). Judy was the first ordained woman of a catholic communion that I had met and carried her office with a sense of grace and commitment that I had not seen even among many priests in the Roman communion. We became fast friends and finally began to share digs in 1978. She taught me to preach and to be a priest more than any seminary. She has been my companion, mentor but most of all my dearest friend for over 30 years.