Mission Statement of New Wineskins
New Wineskins Community explores new ways of seeing divinity so that the spiritual gifts of everyone are equally valued and nurtured. New Wineskins Community offers rituals especially focused on the Divine Feminine, to change culture from devaluation to empowerment of the feminine. The rituals also symbolize shared power and responsibility to change culture from one up/one down and win/lose to mutual relationships. The mission of New Wineskins is to expand experience of Divine Mystery and to contribute to healing, peace, and justice in our world.
Significance of the Community's Name
The name “New Wineskins,” coming from the metaphor in Matthew 9:17, describes our search for new language and symbols to proclaim the good news of liberation and shalom. Our rituals name and image the Divine as female and male and more to support the equality and value of all. New Wineskins Community welcomes people of all faiths, races, sexual orientations, ages. We celebrate diversity and actively encourage the discovery and exercise of everyone’s gifts.
Words and Visual Symbols Matter
Because worship in most faith communities has excluded or only marginally included female names and images of Deity, New Wineskins Community seeks to provide balance by focusing especially on the Divine Feminine. Language and visual images we use for the Divine matter.
Words and visual symbols have great power in that they constitute our world and beliefs. Societies construct their views of reality in language and symbols.
The language and symbols we use for the Divine reflect and shape our deepest values.
If all our names and images for the Divine are male and white, then we are giving greatest value to white males and devaluing all others.
This devaluation lays the foundation for worldwide violence against women and girls and for racially motivated violence and violence against LGBTQ persons and others in devalued groups.
People who are not given sacred value are excluded, marginalized, and discriminated against in the workplace and in faith communities.
New Wineskins’ rituals name and image the Divine as female and male and more, providing a foundation of justice and freedom for all creation to become all we’re created to be in the divine image.
Want to Know More?
Genesis 1:27 reveals female and male in the divine image. But language and visual images in most churches, synagogues, and temples reveal worship of a white male God. Deity has been created in the image of a white masculine human being. This prevalent worship of a white male God sanctions the dominance of white males. Denying Deity a female face diminishes the sacred value of females and forms a foundation for demeaning and abuse of women. In the U.S. alone, every fifteen seconds a woman is battered. One in three women experiences some kind of abuse. Worldwide, an estimated four million women and girls each year are bought and sold into prostitution, slavery, or marriage. Seventy percent of the poor are women. Men as well as women suffer from the worship of an exclusively masculine Deity. Making the Ultimate Power of the universe male gives the strongest support imaginable to the dominance of men, stifling full emotional and spiritual development. Dehumanization results when dominance leads to violence. The earth and all creation suffer from this male-dominated theology and culture. References to the earth are feminine, but the feminine is not given sacred value.
We’re all in deep need of healing. We can never be all we’re created to be in the divine image until we expand our image of the Divine. That’s why New Wineskins Community creates rituals that name and image the Divine as female and male and more. Our words and images for the Divine carry great power to shape belief and actions for justice and peace.