jenny launched the sophia network and has put a ton of hours into it over the last eighteen months. the network exists to connect women in youth work and ministry, to access training, develop skills and share wisdom.
it had it's own web site running under a content management system but following the redesign of my blog at the start of the year jenny asked if i thought it would work to run the sophia site in a similar way. that conversation got me helping. jenny created the structure conceptually then i have designed the site. the animated walking woman took the most time - i shot a video of a julian opie installation in new york and grabbed and cropped some stills from that and turned it into an animated gif.
i think the site is a pretty good example of how powerful a tool typepad can be for not just running a blog but creating a web site with it's ability to create pages and so on. it's the first time i've tried creating a bar of buttons along the top and i had to mess around a little with the style sheet but it was all easy enough and i really am not a web designer.
the TWO PIECES OF BIG NEWS are
- 1. that when sophia launched it cost you money to join but now thanks to fund raising efforts and wanting to be generous it's FREE to join. so if you are a woman involved in youth ministry go and join! the events are all in the uk but it's open to anyone. the membership section is still running under the old site but i think the plan is to shift that at some point to a social network like ning.
- 2. the articles used to be available to members only but are now available to anyone including us men :-) so add the feed or follow along however you do. it's worth taking a bit of time to scroll back through. i loved this article by jen bouncing back on some of the nonsense that's around in the church on gender in certain circles (nonsense in my view that is ;-) ) rediscovering heart . also by jen is a fantastic piece on women and men in ministry if you need to do a bit of thinking about some of the passages in the bible that trip people up. it's a long piece so get a coffee/wine and take your time. there is a lot of stuff there. one i hadn't come across is this piece by sally nash - reading the bible as a woman - wow! you've got to read it. it includes this piece by nicola slee
Speaking of silence: a reproach
The sounds of women’s silence run deep
Let us attune our ears to the sounds of women’s silence,
to attend and listen to what is not said,
what has never been said,
what is only now beginning to be said.
Let this silence cry aloud in our ears,
let it resound and reverberate inside our heads,
let it deafen our whole being with a colossal roar.
This silence is eloquent, articulate of women’s pain and women’s lives.
It is compelling, hypnotic, fearful, overwhelming.
It speaks louder than words.
It utters volumes of speech.
It drowns out all other language.
Where are the women in our history, in our heritage?
Where are the stories of our women heroes, mystics, leaders and teachers?
Who will guide the footsteps of our daughters?
born today into a deafening silence about their ancestors, about themselves?
So many women’s voices have been lost in the pages of history,
erased and blotted out and passed over in silence
by the rulers of patriarchy, the makers of culture.
So few have survived in the pages,
and their stories have so often been ignored,
trivialized, marginalized, distorted.
We want to listen to our grandmothers’ tales.
We want to speak the name of our sisters who came before us.
We need to hear their stories,
we need to hear their voices,
to hear and know who we are.
jen had done an amazing job with sophia - it's exciting to see it develop