Last week a number of the RevGals discussed different ways of observing Mother's Day as they were making plans for Sunday worship. They were particularly concerned with the pain that the day causes for those who are mourning the loss of a mother, have a conflicted or estranged relationship with a mother or grieve their inability to have a child.
Yesterday at our church tables were set up in front of the chancel area with pens and medium size post-it notes. Several large easels displayed large boards to put them on. The congregation was invited to come forward and post prayers of thanksgiving, remembrance or for healing of relationship for their mothers on the boards while the choir sang an anthem. Then one of the pastors gave a closing prayer that specifically included prayers for those who struggled with fertility issues and those with troubled relationships with their mothers. The process was surprisingly efficient given the fact that there were several hundred in the congregation.
I pass this idea on in case some of the RevGals find it something they could use or adapt for their own congregations. By focusing on the the mothers OF the congregation rather than the mothers IN the congregation, the acknowledgment of Mothers Day was more inclusive. We all have mothers, but all women aren't mothers.