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Midwives of an Unnamed Future: Spirituality for Women in Times of Unprecedented Change
Acta Publications / 2006 / Hardcover
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Midwives of an Unnamed Future is a book for women who are passionate about exploring their role in shaping the "unnamed future." Using the image of the midwife, spiritual directors Mary Ruth Broz and Barbara Flynn have developed a series of reflections and rituals that can be used by individuals or groups of women coming together to deepen their own spirituality and uncover new life in age-old spiritual truths. Black-and-white photographs by noted photographer Jean Clough help capture the mystery and spirit of that quest.
Although they come out of the Catholic/Christian tradition themselves, the authors promote openness to the insights and practices of many different spiritual traditions, including the labyrinth and the Cosmic Walk. They look to such traditional feminine activities as baking bread, spinning cloth, and quilting for spiritual enlightenment; and the they connect spirituality with wellness, pilgrimage, aging, and reverence for the Earth.
Dividied into five major section, the sixteen chapters in Midwives of an Unnamed Future operate as mini-retreats into sacred space to explore different aspects of women's spirituality. Each chapter includes suggestions for creating an environment helpful to contemplation, a reflection on the particular theme, questions to connect the topic with lived experience, and closing readings or songs to conclude a session and bring readers back into daily life. At the end of each chapter are ways of using the material in a group setting.
Mary Ruth Broz is a Sister of Mercy from the Regional Community of Chicago. She is a co-founder of Wellstreams, a Center of Feminine Spirituality, and brings to her writing an extensive background as a spiritual director and facilitator of workshops and retreats.
Barbara Flynn is a co-founder of Wellstreams, a Center of Feminine Spirituality. Her combined backgrounds in spirituality and art history inform her work both as a spiritual director and a retreat facilitator.
Jean Clough is a photojournalist specializing in on-location photos of people at work.
A book of rituals and reflections inviting readers to discover feminine spirituality as part of a larger circle of women who are midwifing one another through processes of change and transition in their lives?bringing forth a future that is not yet known?though word, song, symbol, reflection and journaling. It includes material for individual reflection as well as adaptations for group gatherings. Each chapter is designed as a reflective ritual that connects the reader with the themes being explored, using songs, poems and prayers, reflections, actions, symbols, and sacred space. Each theme includes questions that can be used for individual or group reflection to connect the theme to readers' personal experience and spiritual journey. The book also provides suggestions at the end of each chapter for tailoring the ritual to the specific needs of groups, as well as a guide to resources on feminine spirituality.
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