Okay, I decided to transform my personal blog into this Friday Soup blog... The name Friday Soup comes from a monthly lunch hosted in my home gathering some like-minded gal pals and neighbors to engage in lunch and empowering conversations centered around loving outreach to others. The lunch happens the 3rd Friday of each month and spans a short time frame, 11:30 - 1:30. We all come together in the dining room over a great little bowl of warm food comfort and conversation filled with stories. And that's what I am also hoping this blog to be... warm, encouraging, sometimes challenging, community-building encouragement through the telling of real life stories.
I have been back in Chicago for a year and a half and if I wait any longer to perfect my technology skills or writing, this blog will never happen. So, please come along for the journey if you wish! Each post will be 3 short paragraphs about community life in some way, shape, or form. And, I so hope this topic will be an encouragement especially to my female friends, both single & married, who are some of the greatest community builders I know. Today is the day I'm jumping into this endeavor because it is International Women's Day - hoorah!
In embracing this day of celebration, I want to honor the writers of the pivotal book "Half the Sky"1. They claim that empowering women around the world is the next great global cause... and for many reasons, I agree. People and organizations are becoming more aware of justice issues and I further believe that women in healthy community environments, exercising their strengths in building relationships, will help to reconcile many of the systemic injustice issues that oppress people groups the world over. And, I end with a tidbit provided by one of my passionate, justice-loving friends, Arloa Sutter...
A secular sociologist named Rodney Stark wrote a book entitled, The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries. Stark’s thesis was that Christianity grew because it improved the quality of life in the community and cared for the poor. 2
May we celebrate this day for women and may we all move forward in truly living, caring and knowing how to love all people in God's wonderful creation of community, experiencing all the joy that He intended it to be!
1 Half The Sky... Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristoff & Sheryl WuDunn (Borzoi Book, Alfred A. Knopf, 2009)
2 The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western Word in a Few Centuries by Rodney Stark(Princeton Univ. Press, 1996)