From the Archives: A Feminist Retelling of Noah’s Ark

This was originally posted on May 4, 2018

My daughters came to me after Sunday School one day, concerned about a story they had heard in which God drowned almost everyone on Earth. So I sat down and thought about why a community might want to tell that story, and what valuable wisdom might be lifted from it for my children. Here is what I told them:

God/ess  has  many  faces,  which  help  us  understand  different  things we  need  to  know  at different  times. Sometimes we think of God/ess as Crone, an old, old  woman  crowned with silver hair as  an  emblem of her wisdom, who helps us  learn to let go of anything that is holding back the wellness of our community and ourselves. 

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A Feminist Retelling of Cain and Abel by Trelawney Grenfell-Muir

Eve and Adam had many children. Two of them, the sisters Cain and Abel, were best friends. When they grew up, Cain became a farmer, and Abel became a shepherd. In their community, people shared what they had with each other. They shared this way in order to help the community be strong, and to practice gratitude. They shared with each other in sacred, holy ceremonies, in which they put their communal offerings onto an altar for Sister God/ess, to be blessed. One day, both Cain and Abel brought an offering to their community. Cain brought some food she had grown, and Abel brought a sheep. The community gathered for the ceremony. They prayed prayers of gratitude and blessing, and thanked the Earth for its abundance. They each laid hands on the sheep and thanked her for her life, blessed her spirit that it might journey peacefully and joyfully to reunite with Sister God/ess, and praised her for giving her body to feed the community.  Then they killed the sheep, as quickly and carefully as they could, and set the meat in the sacred fire to cook. Abel was glad that she could help her community be fed and healthy with the sheep she had given.

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