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01 Mar

Women’s History Month (March)

Women’s History Month 2016 Theme

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Working to Form a More Perfect Union: 
Honoring Women in Public Service and Government

The National Women’s History Month theme for 2016 honors women who have shaped America’s history and its future through their public service and government leadership. 

Women’s History Month 2016 Theme »

Worship Resources from the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women

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As we approach the Lenten season and Women's History Month, we encourage you to take a journey in the shoes of biblical women. Too often, these women's stories are silenced. We hope the liturgy, prayers and sermon ideas will help you embark on a powerful journey with your congregation during this season of Lent, or during Women's History Month, or during any of months to come throughout the year. 

Worship Resources from the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women »

Celebrating Women’s History Month #1

Article

March is designated as Women's History Month in The United Methodist Church, a month in which churches are encouraged to recognize and celebrate lives and contributions of women to their communities and The United Methodist Church.

Celebrating Women’s History Month #1 »

Celebrating Women’s History Month #2

Article

The first female hymn writer about whom we know anything of substance is Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), called "Sybil of the Rhine." An author, theologian, mystic, specialist in natural history and medicine, she was consulted by bishops, popes, and kings.

Celebrating Women’s History Month #2 »

Celebrating Women’s History Month #3

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In 1971, following a Bible study on Matthew 6:33, Karen Lafferty composed "Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God" (United Methodist Hymnal, 405), which went on to become one of the most often-sung songs of early Christian contemporary music and endures as a favorite of children and adults. It appears in most hymnals today.

Celebrating Women’s History Month #3 »

Celebrating Women’s History Month #4

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During a time of personal crisis, Darlene Zschesch was meditating on the text of Psalm 96. As she sat at her piano, mostly improvising words and melody as they flowed from her meditations, her deep faith and joy in the Lord gradually replaced her depression, resulting in the song "Shout to the Lord" (The Faith We Sing, no. 2074. She introduced the song to her congregation; and within a short time, the song was being sung in many nations around the world.

Celebrating Women’s History Month #4 »

Celebrating Women’s History Month #5

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The language, images, and metaphors we use to refer to God in our hymns and songs are more a commentary on our human experience than on God's divine nature. We define and experience God through who we are; and since we are all different, we define and experience God differently. God doesn't change; people change.

Celebrating Women’s History Month #5 »

Celebrating Women’s History Month #6

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Ruth Duck's hymn texts are the leading edge of the search for hymn and worship language that is fair and just, reverent and relevant, expressive, uplifting, and universal.

Celebrating Women’s History Month #6 »

Celebrating Women’s History Month #7

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In recent years, Mary Nelson Keithahn has enjoyed an especially fruitful collaboration with musician John D. Horman. Together they have sought to write texts and music that have a strong relationship to the present culture, but that also have qualities of integrity and relevance.

Celebrating Women’s History Month #7 »

Celebrating Women’s History Month #8

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The wide-ranging subject matter of her texts, including the sacraments, inclusiveness, the liturgical year, nonviolence, personal faith, social justice, and ecology, has resulted in Shirley Erena Murray's hymns being included in more than fifty collections from all over the world.

Celebrating Women’s History Month #8 »

Celebrating Women’s History Month #9

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What does it mean to refer to God as father, mother, he, she, "womb of life," or any other gender-specific term? Are we saying that God is male or female? Are we saying that God's characteristics include the physical presence of X and Y chromosomes? Obviously not.

Celebrating Women’s History Month #9 »

Celebrating Women’s History Month #10

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Gloria Gaither has received four Dove Awards and one Grammy and was elected into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1996.

Celebrating Women’s History Month #10 »

Celebrating Women’s History Month #11

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Many churches have used the hymns of Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. Her "In Times of Great Decision" hymn for the November 2004 election was sung by thousands of congregations and featured in a National Council of Churches' news story that was carried by Presbyterian News Service, United Methodist News Service, and the Episcopal News Service, as well as a Religion News Service story that appeared in The Christian Century magazine.

Celebrating Women’s History Month #11 »

Celebrating Women’s History Month #12

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It is a simple matter to find and sing hymns BY women. Hymn texts, tunes, and complete hymns written and composed by women abound. It is more difficult to find and sing hymns that are ABOUT women, or FOR women, or that especially relate to women's ministries and contributions to the history and life of the church -- I call them WOMAN HYMNS.

Celebrating Women’s History Month #12 »

Celebrating Women’s History Month #13

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Mary Louise (Mel) Bringle is the author of the hymn text, "Cast Out, O Christ," 3072, Worship & Song.

Celebrating Women’s History Month #13 »

Celebrating Women’s History Month #14

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Penny Rodriguez iis a musician, composer, performer, and hymn writer. She composed a new setting of Charles Wesley's hymn, "Depth of Mercy," no. 3097 in Worship & Song. The new tune is titled GOTTES ZEIT.

Celebrating Women’s History Month #14 »

Celebrating Women’s History Month #15

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Fanny Jane Crosby (1820-1915), born in New York and died in Connecticut, wrote over 8,500 gospel hymns. In 1972, Hope Publishing Co. found over 1,000 unpublished manuscripts. Her work defined what it meant to be a successful writer of gospel hymns.

Celebrating Women’s History Month #15 »

Worship Service Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Full Clergy Rights For Women

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The theme for this worship expands our understanding of the granting of full rights for women.  It celebrates and recognizes that the former Methodist Church, currently The United Methodist Church, acted with courage at a particular time in history (1956). 

Worship Service Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Full Clergy Rights For Women »

Three Women Hymn Writers

Article

March is designated as Women's History Month in The United Methodist Church, a month in which churches are encouraged to recognize and celebrate lives and contributions of women to their communities and The UMC. Women have always written hymns for the church, and Women's History Month is an opportunity to celebrate some of their work. 

Three Women Hymn Writers »

Sing Praise For Faithful Women From Scripture And Throughout History

Music Download

A collection of forty-two hymn texts and recommended tunes by hymn writer Edith Sinclair Downing. The texts recall not only the women of the Bible, but also important women who have struggled for equality and justice throughout history — Joan of Arc, Perpetua, Harriet Tubman, Dorothy Day, Maggie Kuhn, and Corretta Scott King.

Sing Praise For Faithful Women From Scripture And Throughout History »

Women’s History Month 2015

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The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of women whose commitment to nature and the planet have proved invaluable to society.

Women’s History Month 2015 »

Hymns By Women

Article

Here are listings of hymns and songs in The United Methodist Hymnal (1989), The Faith We Sing (2001), and Worship and Song (2011) with texts or tunes composed by women.

Hymns By Women »

Here In Joy We Offer Praises (Lewis Folk Melody)

Music Download

British Methodist pastor and hymn writer Andrew Pratt has composed this hymn for use in the 2006 50th anniversary celebration of clergy women's ordination in the United Methodist Church.

Here In Joy We Offer Praises (Lewis Folk Melody) »

God Of The Women

Music Download

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has generously made this text available for use in worship, particularly appropriate for the 50th anniversary year of the ordination of women in The United Methodist Church (2006).

God Of The Women »

Called To The Kingdom For A Time Like This

Music Download

Gareth Hill, British Methodist pastor and hymn writer, has written this text in celebration of the 50th anniversary of full clergy rights for women in The United Methodist Church.

Called To The Kingdom For A Time Like This »

Sing Praise For Susan Anthony

Music Download

Sing praise for Susan Anthony who countered wrongful laws.
She pressed for women's right to vote — equality her cause.
Words: Edith Sinclair Downing.

Sing Praise For Susan Anthony »

Praise Rebecca, Our Foremother

Music Download

Words: Edith Sinclair Downing (2004), based on Genesis 24:1-66; 25:20-34; 26:1-10, 34, 27:46; 28:1-16; Recommended Tune: Rustington by Hubert Parry (1897); Meter: 87 87 D

Praise Rebecca, Our Foremother »

Praise God For Joan Of Arc

Music Download

Words: Edith Sinclair Downing (2004); Recommended Tune: Leoni, a Hebrew melody transcribed by Meyer Leoni (ca. 1770); Meter: 66 84D

Praise God For Joan Of Arc »

Perpetua, The Martyr

Music Download

Words: Edith Sinclair Downing (2004); Recommended Tune: Passion Chorale by Hans Hassler (1601); Harmony: Johann Sebastian Bach (1729); Meter: 76.76 D

Perpetua, The Martyr »

Julia Ward Howe, You Helped Our World’s Great Need

Music Download

Words: Edith Sinclair Downing (2006)
Recommended Tune: Sursum Corda, by Alfred Morton Smith (1941)
Meter: 10 10 10 10

Julia Ward Howe, You Helped Our World’s Great Need »

Let Us Remember Hagar

Music Download

Words: Edith Sinclair Downing, based on Genesis 16:1-15; 21:1-3, 9-19; Recommended Tune: Munich, by Nuevermehrtes Meiningishches Gesanbuch; Adapted by Felix Mendelssohn; Meter: 76 76 D

Let Us Remember Hagar »

Mysterious Mary Magdalene

Music Download

Words: Edith Sinclair Downing (2004), based on Luke 8:1-3, John 20:1-2, 11-18; Recommended Tune: Shepherd'S Pipes CMD by Annabelle McClelland Gay (1952)

Mysterious Mary Magdalene »

Lament For Jephthah’s Daughter

Music Download

Words: Edith Sinclair Downing (2005) based on Judges 11:29-40
Recommended Tune: Little Baddow, by Cecil Armstrong Gibbs (1929)
Meter: 76.76 D 

Lament For Jephthah’s Daughter »

Hail Hannah, Full Of Patience

Music Download

Words: Edith Sinclair Downing (2004),  1 Samuel 1:1-28; 2:1-11, 18-21
Recommended Tune: Nyland 76.76 D, Finnish folk melody

Hail Hannah, Full Of Patience »

For Rosa Parks, Sing Praises

Music Download

Words: Edith Sinclair Downing, 2004; Recommended Tune: Munich 76 76D;
Adapted by: Felix Mendelssohn (1847); Nuevermehrtes Meiningishches Gesanbuch (1693)

For Rosa Parks, Sing Praises »

For This Young Woman’s Selfless Gift

Music Download

Dedicated to the memory of Etty Hillesum (1914-1943) who died in the Holocaust. Words: Edith Sinclair Downing (2005); Recommended Tune: Distress LM (The Sacred Harp, 1844); Alternate tune: Deo Gracia

For This Young Woman’s Selfless Gift »

Three Women Hymn Writers

Article

March is designated as Women's History Month in The United Methodist Church, a month in which churches are encouraged to recognize and celebrate lives and contributions of women to their communities and The UMC. Women have always written hymns for the church, and Women's History Month is an opportunity to celebrate some of their work. 

Three Women Hymn Writers »

Women Hymn Writers—The Big Three

Article

The greatness of a hymn writer can be measured by taking a number of factors into consideration: quantity of hymns written, number of hymns accepted for publication, number of hymnals and songbooks containing the writer's hymns, frequency the writer's texts are sung in worship, diversity of denominational publications, influence of the writer on the work and style of other writers, and more. Other factors of language, poetry, beauty, expressiveness, and the like are also important, but more subjective. In any one or combination of these factors, there are three women living today who are the most important — the big three — female hymn writers at the beginning of the twenty-first century, and among the most important of all living hymn writers. 

Women Hymn Writers—The Big Three »

Litany in Honor of Women Here and Around the World

Liturgy

With holy reverence, we remember irreplaceable women, O God.
We honor those who nurtured us and taught us to honor and love you, O God. 

Litany in Honor of Women Here and Around the World »

Service in Celebration of Women in Ministry

Article

This worship service was used during the final week of Women's History Month at the weekly chapel service in The Upper Room Chapel at Discipleship Ministries in Nashville in March 2006. It was approximately 30 minutes in length. It could be amplified with Scripture, offering, sermon, and so on and could serve as a Sunday morning worship service or as a hymn festival. The service may be adapted and reproduced for your own local setting and may be reproduced without permission required.  

Service in Celebration of Women in Ministry »