Most of my Mother’s Day church experiences consist of handing out flowers to all the moms in attendance. Maybe offering a bonus flower to the oldest mom or the mom of the most children. The sermons were usually sentimental, pat mom on the back type stuff—all well and good.
But yesterday at church the sermon covered 1 Peter 3 (wives submit to your husbands) and talked about women’s rights and spousal abuse. Preach it. Flowers and yay mom sermons are great, but what more can churches do to show moms we care?
- St. Sabina Church in Chicago unveiled a memorial wall to remember more than 70 children lost to violence, offering refuge to women who consider Mother’s Day the “hardest day of the year.”
- Churches in Boston also stood up to violence, joining a 3.6-mile Mother’s Day Walk for Peace: “It’s become important for us to be a part of all the circles and places that are addressing peace and a solution to violence in our community,” said Rev. Kim Odom of True Vine Church.
- The 64th annual Mother’s Day Fiesta at Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church in Claremont, Calif., drew more than 20,000 people. New attractions and good weather were credited for the turnout, though I’m going to go with the expanded beer garden. Jokes aside, throwing mom a fiesta sure beats flowers.
- Central Church of Christ in Athens, Ga., continued its work handing out relief supplies to tornado victims. “The motherly instinct comes in when you see the little kids come through,” says Marcy McDonald. They certainly weren’t the only church helping out on Mother’s Day. Volunteer moms giving up their Mother’s Day to help victimized moms. Score.
- St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, Pa., held a Mother’s Day Adoption Mass that honored both birth mothers and adoptive mothers.
- Members from United Methodist Church in Fair Grove, Mo., offered purses stocked with supplies to homeless mothers: “It means a lot. It means other people are out there thinking about us while we are here trying to get our life back on track,” said Sharliene Launus.
- For 15 years members of Woodlawn Chapel Presbyterian Church have been preparing and handing out gift bags to kids at St. Louis Children’s Hospital who haven’t been able to get something for their mothers: “You feel for those mothers,” said Tina Odo. “It’s sad enough to have your child in the hospital on any day; they’re bearing such a heavy load. But it’s even sadder that they might go unnoticed on Mother’s Day.”
- Internationally, Thahekhu Baptist Church in Dimapur, India, paired their Mother’s Day flowers with a sapling to represent hope. And you know, environmentally friendly.