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Helen Reddy Redux
Abstract: Buzz about Pr. Jeff Johnson's sermon at Jen Rude's ordination.
We hear a lot of buzz about Pr. Jeff Johnson's sermon for Jen Rude's ordination service. Some expressed surprise that Pr. Johnson quoted Robert W. Jensen ("with whom I usually disagree") on ordination as setting the ordinand free for ministry. Others were enthused at the references to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, others were grateful for the remembrance of Krister Stendahl and his 1990 letter stating the case for extraordinary ordinations.
But everyone commented on the call-and-response based on Helen Reddy's song from 1972 "I Am Woman":
I am strong
I am invincible
I AM WOMAN!
The church full of Lutherans had no trouble finding its voice, and got a short lesson in asserting gender identity.
You may not be aware that Helen Reddy claims divine inspiration for "I Am Woman":
"I remember lying in bed one night and the words, 'I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman', kept going over and over in my head. That part I consider to be divinely inspired. I had been chosen to get a message across."
Pressed on who had chosen her, she replied: "The universe."