Jamestown, N.Y. – The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown (UUCJ) ushers in Women’s History Month with “The Women of the Old Testament – with Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s Commentary” on Sunday, March 13, 10:30 a.m.
In this hybrid service, where participation can be either in person at 1255 Prendergast Avenue or online, speaker Kenneth Walsh’s presentation will be based on his book, Bible Stories for All Without the Dogma: A Part of Cultural Literacy, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s commentary in her book, The Woman’s Bible.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton was an American writer and activist who was a leader of the women's rights movement in the U.S. during the mid- to late-19th century. She was the main force behind the 1848 Seneca Fall Convention, the first convention to be called for the sole purpose of discussing women's rights.
Walsh will describe how Stanton came to write The Women’s Bible and reactions to it. She offers this perspective on Bible stories: “The Bible cannot be accepted or rejected as a whole, its teachings are varied, and its lessons differ widely from each other.” Overall, she felt that, “Parts of the Bible are so true, so grand, so beautiful, that it is a pity it should have been bound in the same volume with sentiments and descriptions so gross and immoral.”
The thrust of Stanton’s vigorously made points underscore the first of the seven Principles that Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations affirm and promote: the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Despite the unfair treatment and outright discrimination women have endured, Elizabeth Cady Stanton argues simply for equity and fairness. Her writings also underscore the second UU Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations.
In discussing how women have been portrayed and not portrayed in the Old Testament, Walsh’s topics include women in activist roles (Eve, Shiphrah and Puah, Deborah, Ruth, and Esther) and the portrayal of women in traditional roles (Sarah, Rebecca, and Rachel).
For a Story For All Ages, Walsh has prepared a slide presentation about his favorite Old Testament story, Ruth.
A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in Political Science & Economics and a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction from Loyola College in Maryland, Walsh worked for 34 years at the Social Security Administration in claims rep and management positions on Long Island and at headquarters in Baltimore, Md. He served as the first chair of the Howard County (Md.) Public Transportation Board and is past president of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia and the Owen Brown Interfaith Center in Columbia, Md. The author of The Ethics Seminar Guide: Contemporary Ethical, Moral and Responsibility Issues Based on Bible Stories, he taught the Old Testament & Ancient History at a tuition-free, Jesuit, inner-city middle school for boys from low-income families of various religious and non-religious backgrounds.
An opportunity for questions follows the presentation, and a social time follows the service.
While not mandated, vaccines, masks, and appropriate distancing are encouraged for those who participate in the service in person.
Anyone who would like to participate virtually can find the link at UUJamestown.org/calendar.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown is a progressive, liberal religious community serving the southern tier of Western New York and Warren County, Pa. The UUCJ’s mission is to promote and provide a community where diverse people of all ages may explore the meaning of existence, give expression to liberal religious values, and work for a just, sustainable society.
Learn more about the UUCJ at UUJamestown.org or on their Facebook page facebook.com/JamestownUU.