I discovered (was reminded?) this year that Mother's Day didn't start out as a time to send cards, candy, and flowers to your mother. It began in the US in 1870 as a fairly radical Mother's proclamation for peace. The author of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, Julia Ward Howe, issued the first Mother's Day Proclamation urging mothers to keep their sons and husbands from fighting in war.(Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother%27s_Day_Proclamation ).
This year my church, the San Francisco Unitarian Universalist church at Franklin and Geary, is celebrating Mother's Day by gathering on the church steps at 9:30 am and talking about peace.
We'll have a Gold Star Mother whose son died in Iraq speak with us. Clergy, veterans, military families, and Assembly Mark Leno will also be at the public witnessing.
The church building itself is wrapped in a blue peace ribbon (picture at left). The 500 people in our community wrote their prayers and thoughts for peace on the ribbon before it was put up on the building.
Sunday we rekindle the original spirit of Mother's Day by standing for peace before sitting in the pews," said our minister, Rev. Gregory Stewart. "Too many mothers have experienced the loss and lies of the war in Iraq."
My mother always told me that she didn't like celebrating Mother's Day. She didn't think making mothers special one day of the year was a very good statement about honoring mothers, families, or anything other than a Hallmark trick.
On the other hand, she would have approved of tomorrow's 2007 Mother's Day events. She was big on peace and witnessing against the folly of war.
The public is invited to the 9:30 public witness on the church steps and to the 11 am service with the sermon on The Demise of Democracy: Naming Names. Come on down!