Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 5, 2000
Workshop highlights women of the Bible
Special to the WCR
"I am Eve, the mother of all living," began Edmonton's Dorothy Johansen of St. Thomas More Catholic Church.
"When my husband Adam saw me for the first time, he exclaimed with joy and delight," said Johansen, holding an apple in her hand.
So began a workshop about Women in the Bible on the opening morning of the 53rd annual convention of the Alberta-Mackenzie provincial council of the Catholic Women's League. Held in Calgary June 2-4, about 165 women attended the convention.
The half-day workshop highlighted the contributions of women to salvation. The biblical women included Eve, Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Ruth, Esther, Mary of Nazareth, Elizabeth, Mary and Martha, Lydia, Dorcas or Tabitha and Priscilla, along with homage to the many unidentified women in the Bible.
The interactive workshop, which was developed three years ago for Edmonton's CWL diocesan conference, proved a hit and set the tone for the proceedings.
"Every time we do the workshop, we're just amazed at what it has brought forward," says Becky Kallal, provincial CWL treasurer and past president of Edmonton's CWL.
The workshop, developed from a book entitled Women of the Bible Quilt, has since been put on about 20 times.
"It's always evolving," says provincial CWL president-elect Connie McBride who, along with Kallal, created the workshop. "It's been a tremendous study for us."
The workshop begins with a brief portrayal of each woman, followed by study groups examining the values portrayed and how they speak to current times.
At the end, a handmade quilt bearing symbols for each of the women is displayed.
"Although I am remembered mostly for my transgression of eating the forbidden fruit, let me hasten to point out that the Genesis story makes it clear that I was created in the image and likeness of God and as an equal partner to Adam: 'bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh,'" said Eve.
"Thus I serve as a very important symbol of the dignity of all women," she said. "As for the apple, well, you could say that the devil made me do it."