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Women's History

Throughout March Sweet Magnolia emphasized the outstanding contributions of brilliant+beautiful+brave Black women. 
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#WHM2024 | March is Women's History Month. We are “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories” throughout the month. This theme is adopted from the National Women’s History Alliance, which spearheaded the movement for March to be declared National Women’s History Month.

History helps us learn who we are, but our power and dreams are immediately diminished when we don't know our history.

Recognizing the achievements of women in all facets of life – domestic workers, science, community, government, literature, art, sports, and medicine – has a significant impact on the development of self-respect and new opportunities for girls and young women.

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This year we reflected upon the contributions of Amelia Isadora Platts Boynton Robinson (August 18, 1911 – August 26, 2015); Justice Leah Ward Sears; Terrica Redfield Ganzy,  Ella Josephine Baker  (1903 – 1986), and Fannie Lou Hamer as examples ofbrilliant+beauitful+brave local and global women whose life's work improved the human condition. 

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ABOUT THE COVERS | Throughout Women's History Month, the Church programs featured the work of Tamara Natalie Madden (1975 –2017). Professor Madden was a Jamaican-born mother, mixed-media artist, and professor of art and visual culture at Spelman College in Atlanta. On November 4, 2017, she died at her home in Snellville, Georgia, only two weeks after being diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer. She was 42.  Learn more.

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SERMON SERIES | Haggar, The Mother of Faith.  

Pastor Francys Johnson preached a three-part Series on Haggar, The Mother of Faith drawing lessons inspired from this often overlooked old testament character who is the second wife of Abraham and the mother of Ishmael.

 

Ultimately cast into the desert by Abraham and Sarah, but protected by God; Pastor Johnson draws parallels to the struggle of African-American women using the rich womanists' scholarship of Delores Williams; Will Gafney; and Mitzi J. Smith.

 

Each Sermon, framed from the discography of Chaka Khan including Part I: I’m Every Woman (Genesis 16:13); Part II: Tell Me Something Good (Genesis 17:20-25), and Part III: Through the Fire (Genesis 21:8-20) was preached from Haggar's perspective. We have historically misplaced Haggar. Indeed, see Hagar mercilessly beaten by Sarai and sexually abused by Abram.  She was afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed as to how she got from Egypt’s glory to this hard place - perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” In the end, Haggar makes it back to Egypt where she exercises extraordinary agency having seen God faithful keep God's promises.

We are cognizant of the longstanding and problematic stereotype: Black women must be strong. Black women must be resilient. Black women must prioritize others over themselves.  The stereotype of the “strong Black woman” creates an unrealistic idea that Black women need less support than others and has death-dealing consequences. 
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Beyond the important emphasis on Women during March, this Church is taking the following affirmative actions throughout the year:

  1. Ensure gender equity across all areas of Leadership of the Church. This Church was the first Church in the area to ordain women as ministers and deacons. Consistent with that action, this Church:

    • seeks opportunities to promote the inclusion of women in non-traditional positions across the life of the Church;

    • utilize and pay women equally to men; and

    • resist discrimination in denominational practices.

  2. Address historical and contemporary issues of sexism and misogyny through preaching, teaching, and ministry which centers the experience and perspectives of Black women. Consistent with this action, this Church:

    • utilizes Black women to preach, teach, and minister.

    • includes womanist and other liberation sources in all applicable preaching and teaching.

    • educates the congregation on womanist preachers, theologians, and other liberation scholars. ​

  3. Recognize the contributions of brilliant+beauitful+brave local and global women whose life's work improved the human condition. Consistent with this action, this Church:

    • budgets for ministry programs supporting women and children.

    • affirms the contributions of local and global women throughout the year across the life of the Church.

    • supports other community initiatives aimed at supporting women and children.

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