The Know Your Mothers Project

The Know Your Mothers Project

About Know Your Mothers:

Thousands of women, dare I say millions of women, have impacted the church and the Christian faith right from the beginning. From the earliest stories in Genesis, up until today, women have worked, lived, loved, nurtured, empowered, pastored, taught and led right alongside men. Most often, women’s stories have not been recorded, or they have been downright forgotten about. Other times, women’s stories exist right underneath our noses, however for a variety of reasons, including patriarchal cultural traditions, we have not been taught them, at least not correctly. Many stories of women have been written by men, and have been taught to us by men, with the perspective of men in a context that culturally places significance on the male experience alone. We know of many women’s stories who walked with Jesus and Paul, who led in the Early Church and women who have since planted churches around the world, started denominations and missional organizations, women who defied odds, gave up their lives, changed their identities, overcame oppression, and worked tirelessly to fulfill the callings placed on their lives by God, despite circumstances that tried to dictate otherwise.

These stories are important, and we will likely never possibly be able to know them all, however we should know many more than we do. To know women’s stories is to shine light on the human race in a way that brings us into closer awareness of God and what God is doing in the world. From deep into our past and into today, Know Your Mothers is a project that seeks to unearth these buried stories of women who have been ignored or denied attention for too long. March 1st is the official beginning of women’s history month, the month where we as a society pause to celebrate the impact and importance of women in our lives.

We are launching today in an effort to take one more step forward in the battle for equality in churches, seminaries, and society in general. My hope and prayer with this project is that the stories of women are told well, with a fresh perspective and a new hope for women today. And that these women of the past are honored and remembered for their unique leadership and that their stories are the spark that inspires and sets more leaders free.

Not Just for Women

Know Your Mothers is not a project that is for women alone, but is a project for all people who desire to learn more about the equality of women and men together that best reflects God’s image and God’s design for renewal in the world. Know Your Mothers is for women, and it is for allies of women. We all have mothers, and we all share the same mothers in the Christian faith, women who we can lean into as they exemplify bravery, faith and leadership unlike that of the men in the same stories.

Know your mothers is built on three values: to be truthful, to be bold and to be relevant.

Truthful: To faithfully tell the truth of women’s lives and stories in a way that is fresh and insightful
Bold: To make historical female leadership in the church common knowledge through advocacy and awareness
Relevant: To be culturally relevant; liberating stories of women from the past to inspire leaders today

Know Your Mothers Content

Every Monday, we will post a new article alongside a piece of art that honors a woman in the Church’s history. Beginning with the Holy Spirit as feminine, then to Eve, the mother of all life, then to Miriam the mother of prophets, etc. We will jump around in History and in the Bible to bring to life the stories of women whose lives have mostly been articulated by men and whose stories long to be liberated from the depths of patriarchy and androcentric narratives.

The Art

The art is a significant part of this project and seeks to honor these women in a visually dynamic way. Borrowing from and inspired by the icons which are venerated in Eastern Orthodox and the Catholic church traditions, these modern icons hope to aid in elevating these women to a place of honor as a part of worship. We remember their humanness, their stories, their struggles and their faithfulness as mothers of the faith as we peer into their eyes and consider their worlds and lived experiences. You are invited to immerse yourself by spending time studying their faces and the story that they tell you.

It is my hope and my prayer that you are able to soak yourselves in the stories, insights, and the beauty these women and their lives have to offer. That you would be encouraged to embrace the historical retellings of their lives in a way that gives you creative license to imagine how God has always intended to include women alongside men, as image-bearers and influencers. And that you can imagine your place in God’s plan, alongside these women, as a leader with a purpose to partner with all people, men and women, across time, in the fulfillment of God’s grand plan for the renewal of all creation.