Inspiration for this Workshop Series and What You will Receive by Participating
I invite you to join me in exploring who Mary Magdalene was and who she has become. Several years ago, in the course of leading day-long retreats on biblical women, I found that no matter the topic, the discussion would invariably turn to Mary Magdalene. People wanted to understand who she really was and talk about their own ruminations. To better facilitate these discussions, I began to research and contemplate Mary Magdalene with the intention of writing a one-woman play. The more I read, the more confused I became.
There are very few facts we have about her, and only a handful of references in scripture, yet there are more interpretations and beliefs surrounding her character, story and role within early Christianity than I have encountered with any other person throughout history. She is arguably the most renowned and influential woman in Western culture. I have found that how each individual or group defines Mary Magdalene is reflective of their experience of the sacred feminine.
It was when I went to the town of Magdala on the shores of the Galilee that I found how Mary Magdalene speaks and lives through me and I became inspired to write. What I thought would become a one-woman play involved into a trilogy of plays, and then as I continued writing, I realized I was writing an entire book.
In each of the afternoons I will read from the script, 'Becoming Magdalene' that I have been writing that portrays the story of Mary’s life that began after the Resurrection. I will share select theological works and excerpts from the New Testament Gospels and from Early Christian writings including the Gnostic Gospels. Discussion will feature questions that invite exploration of who Mary Magdalene was and how she speaks to us today.
I do not propose to provide a definitive picture of Mary Magdalene, but to inspire a process where participants can discover the character, role and meaning Mary Magdalene has in our lives today.
I hope you will join me one or more afternoons
January 18 - Mary Magdalene Through the Years
Slide show of artwork from the 3rd century until now
Description of how her story has been shaped and retold over time
Scriptural references to Mary Magdalene will be shared
Discussion of the meaning her life and spirit have for us now
Reading from a soliloquy portraying Mary’s experience of the Resurrected Jesus
February 8 - The Galilee: The Cradle of Jesus’ Ministry
Slide Show of Galilee and Magdala
Description of daily life along the shores of the Galilee
Discussion of the role and significance of water within Jesus' ministry.
Key scriptural references will be read.
Reading of a soliloquy that brings the Galilee to life
February 15 - Beginning a New Life: Life After the Resurrection
Description and Discussion of the early Christian movement.
Key scriptural and early Christian writings will be shared.
Reading from a soliloquy that focuses on what Mary Magdalene may have experienced in the first weeks following Jesus’ Resurrection
February 22 - Community: Relationships between Disciples
Discussion of the apostles and disciples that were part of Jesus’ inner circle?
Was their a hierarchy among them? Did they know each other before?
Traveling together month in and month out, how would relationships have taken shape between them?
Reading from a soliloquy that depicts how Mary interacted with disciples.
March 1 - Roles of Men and Women in the Early Christian Movement
Slide show of the Divine Feminine in Jerusalem and Nazareth
Description of the roles men and women played as early Christian leaders
Discussion about the nature of spiritual /religious leadership?
Reading from a soliloquy that portrays Mary’s relationship with the male disciples, male family members and how she began to navigate the cultural norms to assume leadership in the early Christian movement
March 9 - Mary and Female Sexuality
Description of sexual customs in 1st century Israel
Discussion on how Mary’s sexuality has been integral to the way we have known and understood her. Questions we will explore are:
Was she celibate? Had she been married before Jesus? Were she and Jesus lovers or married? Did she have children?
Reading from a soliloquy that portrays how Mary may have handled conversations regarding this topic.
Bible Women Speak
Performances, Retreats, CDs
Winter Series 2017
Thursdays 3 - 5 pm
UCC Blaine, 885 4th Street, Blaine
January 18 (Introductory Afternoon)
February 8, 15, and 22
March 1 and 8
The workshop series is free with a Love Offering collected.
You can attend one or all afternoons. There is a separate focus for each workshop session, and it is not necessary to have attended the previous session to participate and enjoy the session(s) you want to attend.
Theme and Focus of Each Thursday