What we want for Mother’s Day: Peace

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(The picture is of a helium balloon a child wrote a message of peace on a few weeks ago at church.  It’s a lesson from the curriculum In Our Hands by Barry Andrews and Patricia Hoertdoerfer).

Mother’s Day is coming up this week, and I’ve sent a card off to my Mom to thank her for all she has done and been for me over the years.  That’s what we do on Mother’s Day now, right?  Honor these women who have mothered us?

Many people are surprised to find out that the original Mother’s Day in America was about peace (before it was moved to May based on the campaign for a holiday by Anna Jarvis, who chose May because it was the birthday of her own mother).  Although it never really took off as a huge holiday, Unitarian Julia Ward Howe had tried to establish a Mother’s Day for Peace in 1870 and wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation.

And so, as Unitarian Universalists, we can lay claim to a tradition of seeing Mother’s Day as a day to call for peace.  Yes, we still honor our own mothers, but if we expand that expression of love and caring to our global human family …. if we recognize this as a day for honoring human relatedness and recognizing that peace is the only way to live if we are honoring that relatedness …. then we have a holiday that is much more transformative and challenging.  It is a truly religious holiday in this sense, calling us to reflect on that which binds us all together and seek to create a Beloved Community on earth.

Julia’s Voice is a website devoted to this vision of Mother’s Day.  In addition, the Standing on the Side of Love folks have another vision for making Mother’s Day a call for honoring All Families.

It is my sincere wish for Mother’s Day that this message spreads and that we can all celebrate Mother’s Day in the spirit of Julia Ward Howe, rather than Hallmark.  Happy Mother’s Day to you all.

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