For years, religious leaders and communities around the world have turned to the Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER) for feminist liturgies for justice. Now—in celebration of the organization's thirty-fifth anniversary—Stirring Waters gathers fifty-two of these beautiful liturgies, ready-made to help your community venerate powerful women of faith, develop a richer and deeper spirituality, and take real action for justice.
Use the liturgies in this book as a resource to nourish the souls and focus the passions of the people you serve. Help them reflect on great women like the prophetess Miriam and Julian of Norwich, provoke and disturb them on occasions like Earth Day and World Water Day, energize them on International Women's Day and Black History Month, and rejuvenate drooping spirits with liturgies of healing and gratitude. Never again will you scramble or struggle to provide community prayer that is worthwhile, nourishing, and even electrifying.
Diann L. Neu is cofounder and codirector of WATER, the Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual, in Silver Spring, Maryland. A feminist liturgist and licensed psychotherapist, Diann lectures, teaches, and conducts workshops throughout the United States, Latin America, and Europe, and has published numerous articles on feminist approaches to liturgy, spirituality, and therapy as well as books of rituals.
Diann holds a Doctor of Ministry in International Feminist Theology from the San Francisco Theological Seminary; Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley; and Master of Clinical Social Work from The Catholic University of America. She is the author of many works, including Peace Liturgies; Women-Church Sourcebook; Women of Fire: A Pentecost Event; Gathered at Sophia's Table: A Feminist Peace Seder; and more.
This rich collection of liturgies for a range of religious and political occasions does a terrific job centering women's voices. There's much to learn from each chapter about ritual-making inspired by a diverse group of women representing diverse eras and cultures. Readers can adopt particular liturgies in whole, or select from the many songs, readings, invocations, litanies, and gestures to create something that meets a group's specific needs. A terrific resource for anyone interested in feminist spirituality and ritual.
Judith Plaskow, author of Standing Again at Sinai: Judaism from a Feminist Perspective
For the past 35 years Diann Neu has been teaching people world-wide how to create and celebrate feminist liturgies. Stirring Waters. Feminist Liturgies for Justice makes these liturgies available to an international audience. I highly recommend this book in the hope that many will not only read it but also celebrate its feminist liturgies in these wearisome times.
Dr. Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Krister Stendahl Professor, Harvard University Divinity School
Stirring Waters is exactly what the church needs right now: an inclusive, creative, thoughtful resource that draws deeply from the wells of women, past and present. Neu does a masterful job of bringing the feminist spirit to life through prayers, poems, and hymns. I can't wait to host these liturgies in my community.
Jessie Bazan, MDiv, editor and co-author of Dear Joan Chittister: Conversations with Women in the Church
Offering an awesome array of rituals, Stirring Waters expands our moral imaginations about justice possibilities and inflames our passion for realizing them. Neu's rituals teach us inspiring histories of justice-making women and girls from around the world. Overflowing with ideas for action, study, and communal spiritual practice, it is the grounding resource faithful people struggling against social injustice need right now.
Traci C. West, author of Solidarity and Defiant Spirituality: Africana Lessons on Racism, Religion, and Ending Gender Violence
What an amazing resource of female wisdom and lived experience. Through ritual celebration, women all around the world can unite on those issues that matter most for the well-being of all life forms and the future of our planet. Pioneering WATER pioneers again.
Miriam Therese Winter, PhD, Medical Mission Sister
In our time, traditional liturgies from Christian Churches lack new resources. Diann Neu offers us an alternative. Stirring Waters rouses static traditions, enlivening them with new energy. With deep sensibility to the cries for justice, particularly for women's lives, Diann designed creative liturgies which celebrate our women ancestors and invite their stories to speak to our daily joys and pains. Her work inspires us to foster new relations among women around the world, as well as between women and the planet.
Dr. Ivone Gebara, ecofeminist philosopher and theologian, Brazil
Stirring Waters is a spectacular resource for planning feminist liturgies. For every season, every month, every human need, this collection of liturgies provides forms, words, songs and actions. Diann Neu offers us the fruits of a lifetime of leading, imagining and embodying ways of praying, celebrating, remembering, and living justly. On every page there is just the right word, sound, movement to evoke feminist ways of naming what is true and acting upon it. Stirring Watersis a long-awaited gift.
Janet Walton, Professor of Worship at Union Theological Seminary in New York
Stirring Waters: Feminist Liturgies for Justice, Diann Neu's new contribution to the development of contemporary spirituality, does more than simply write a chain of liturgies. It brings the art of meaning to the depth of reflection. If anything affects the growth of the faith as well as the spiritual life of the faithful, it is liturgy that touches the heart, expands understanding, and stretches the soul. This book will enrich the quality of prayer for group after group, for occasion after occasion, over and over again.
Joan Chittister, OSB
This book is a gift and an inspiration for women's groups and faith communities seeking to drink from the spiritual well of women's wisdom across time, cultures, and space through liturgical action. Beautifully written by a foremost liturgist, it reclaims the power of rituals as a source of hope, bonding, and imagination for actions to change the world. I recommend it highly.
Kwok Pui-lan, William F. Cole Professor of Christian Theology and Spirituality, emerita, Episcopal Divinity School
These powerful and moving liturgies help us form tangible justice-making in community. Neu's fine sense of blending words, music, and reflection touches our souls and comforts our spirits and also provides meaningful ways to live out the call for justice each of these liturgies challenge us to undertake. Once again, Neu gives us a powerful resource for head and heart.
Emilie M. Townes, Dean and E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt University School of Theology
Stirring Waters provides a rich and lifegiving treasure of feminist liturgies that challenges us (male and female alike) to call for change, for redemption, for salvation, for love, and for justice. This is a valuable and much needed resource for those struggling to make their voices and issues heard, making it a welcome addition to anyone's ritual resource library.
Diana L. Hayes, JD, PhD, STD, Emerita Professor of Systematic Theology, Georgetown University