She Embodies: honouring the women in our lives
The Salvation Army Women's Ministries is here to affirm the worth of all women.
We want to create communities that make women visible - their worth, their purpose and their integral contributions to the lives of those around them.
That's why we would love you to join us in the #SheEmbodies movement in the lead up to this Mother's Day!
It is important to think of ways to interact with women where family situation, occupation and marital status will not exclude or separate them from honour. As we think on significant mothers or others - those who may or may not be connected by blood or heritage - we are recognising women who have helped shape our lives in eternal ways.
The #SheEmbodies initiative is simply printing out this template with 'She Embodies...' (either one template per person or one template laminated and reused with whiteboard marker), and spending a few seconds per person to write about a mother or significant other woman in their lives.
You then take a photo, upload it to Facebook or Instagram and tag it with #SheEmbodies, so that others can easily find all these testaments to incredible women all over The Salvation Army New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory!
What does she embody? Is it strength? Grace? Intellection? Is it her fierceness, her softness, her speed? Is it the way she leads, preaches, considers others, never gives up, or is wonderful at organising or praying? Think about not just what she 'does' but what she IS.
#SheEmbodies: Use it together!
Print: Download the template [PDF 15KB 1 page] featuring the phrase 'She embodies...' and print it on A3 or A4 card. You could either print one for each person or laminate a sheet, using whiteboard markers and wiping off after each photo.
Prepare: Ask people to think about what their mother or other significant women embodies - lives out - and then write it on the card with a marker/whiteboard marker. You can ask questions to get them started like:
- How has your mother or another significant woman had a profound influence on your life?
- What is something that this woman has lived out daily and exampled?
- How have you been profoundly affected by the way this woman just 'is'?
Pics: Snap a photo of each person holding the card (with their permission), upload it to social media, Facebook and Instagram and tag it with the hashtag #SheEmbodies!
How could I use #SheEmbodies?
How about at your Corps or Centers in the lead up to or a few weeks before Mother's Day? This could be a great way to integrate mission - ask the people who participate to recommend other places you could do it, and make sure to direct them all to your Facebook page, use the hashtag #SheEmbodies and get them excited for the Mother's Day service. You could roll the photos as part of the service.
You could also have this as part of the service on Mother's Day. It wouldn't take very long to have a few laminated sheets and a few people taking photos and uploading to Facebook. What an awesome way to get your Corps involved and children too! Take the photos, upload them to Facebook or Instagram and continue to celebrate women after Mother's Day has finished!
How about at Recovery Church, Foodbanks, Community Ministries, playgroups, lifegroups or other small groups - anywhere you have people. Our WM friend Captain Michelle Lee and her team at The Salvation Army Palmerston North found asking the Corps and Community Ministries groups was an awesome way to empower people to think about women.
Taking #SheEmbodies to the streets
Would you consider taking it to the streets and using it as a conversation starter with your community?
Get your community celebrating the various expressions of strength significant mothers and others have imparted into their lives! Why not print out a bunch of copies of the #SheEmbodies templates or laminate a few sheets and set up on a busy street in your city?
Consider involving many different people from your setting - children, youth, men, women - wherever you have people, get them on board to help! Check out our album on Facebook where we took #SheEmbodies to the streets of Wellington and asked people what they loved about the 'she' in their lives! People were so stoked to have the opportunity to think about their mum and/or influential women in another way.
Helpfult tips for engaging:
- Consider wearing hi-vis Salvation Army gear/uniform. Obi Wan Kenobi said it well - 'The force is strong with this one'. When we wear clearly identified clothing with red shields, people feel more comfortable stopping to talk.
- Come up with a snappy intro to get people's attention as they approach. Something like 'Hey, we're from The Salvation Army and want to honour women - will you join us in writing something about a woman you value in your life?'.
- Make eye contact, smile and be prepared to be gracious. Sometimes people may mistake your intentions, be dismissive or even downright rude. But be Jesus! We are the face of a new wave of Christ's love, after all!
- Be prepared to talk about why we want to honour women and why you believe this is important. Spend some time thinking about this by yourself or with your team prior.
- Help them think of an answer by asking prompting questions. What was your mother or significant other woman like? What defined her as a person? How has that brought life to you?
- Ask their permission before taking a photo. Tell them to find the #SheEmbodies on your Salvation Army Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account. This is an awesome opportunity for them to safely and comfortably cruise your site to see if your community is worth sticking around for!
And above all else, pray.
Pray, pray, pray. It is an honour to follow Christ into wherever he leads, and God wants to bring serious freedom for women - Christian or not Christian. So ask for guidance, Holy Spirit encounters and to have the heart of Jesus wherever you encounter people.
Women, we're coming! We hear you. We see you.
Arohanui to you all.