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A Message from Rev. Herb Taylor
Email Newsletter letter May 13, 2021
Hello from Herb,
As you might expect, with Mother’s Day this past Sunday, I have been thinking a lot about the importance of my mother, and other mothering figures, in my life. My hope is that you have been reflecting as well on the gift of your legacy, and no matter what your gender identity that you let God’s mothering spirit live within you. It is important to point out, as I preached on Sunday, that this mothering spirit is not just about unconditional love, it is also about unconditional commitment to peace and justice.
For Julia Ward Howe, in 1872, when she conceived of Mother’s Day, it was not at all about flowers and breakfast in bed (not that there is anything wrong with either of these things!). She was focused on Mother’s Peace Day, which was a reaction against war and violence. Howe, who had written “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” was feeling empathy for the loss that so many mothers had felt as they mourned their dead children, and believed war was against all that mothers stood for. Therefore, in 1870 she tried to establish the Women’s Peace Congress of the World, and then subsequently, Mother’s Peace Day, for women to stand up against the brutality of war.
Later, Anna Jarvis, in the early 1900s advocated for a Mother’s Day because of her mother, Anne Reeves Jarvis, who was active in her Methodist Church in West Virginia, and was a social activist and founder of Mother’s Day Work Clubs. Anna Jarvis experienced her mother and others advocating and working for the poor as they went into Appalachia to help. So, Mother’s Day actually comes from a place of peace and justice, and the lessons mothers have taught us about that. Mothers today continue this tradition, working for peace, for justice, for inclusion, and for God’s love to reign for all.
So, during this week, as you thank God for the mothering figures in your life, remember your call to continue their legacy and work for a violence-free world. Flowers are nice, but taking action in support of peace and justice brings beauty to us all and to our world forever.
Grace and peace,