This Parliament was buzzing with feminine energy. Kay’s recollection can almost take us there, “Sister Joan Chittister was the rock star of that Parliament as she told the truth about the lack of feminine voices in all arenas of power -- where decisions were made on behalf of all of us, with half of us missing from the table. And her stand that the oppression of women was also the oppression of men.” With resolve, she added, “Until all of us are liberated, none of us are liberated. Everywhere we went people were talking about the divine feminine, feminine principles, women’s leadership, women’s issues and Earth-based spirituality.”
It was shortly after that conference, in 2010, that she co-founded Women of Spirit and Faith
, an organization with the sole mission to strengthen and nurture the leadership capacities of women for the sake of the human community. This group also went on to become an Affiliate of URI North America. Women of Spirit and Faith discovered that there was a hunger among women to engage in this conversation at the intersection of women’s spirituality and leadership opportunities. They believe that, as humanity is poised on the cusp of a powerful cultural shift into a new future, it is imperative for women to fully take their place alongside men.
Being a woman, in Kay’s mind, has made an impact in her thoughts about life and spirituality in a unique way. One of her powerful experiences occurred when she was in nurse’s training and witnessed the breath-taking moment of a child being born.
“It was like being present to a miracle.” Having her own children added to that experience and taught her about the fierceness of loving her children. “Now all the world’s children are my children,” she said. “My heart aches and breaks when I see what is happening to children around the world, and I must continue to work for all of them.”
Kay’s vision for the future is that men and women will see themselves as equal partners which leads to balance and harmony. “We have different leadership styles and gifts and both are necessary for the good of the whole.” She believes that, as we embrace these changes, it will lead to peace and harmony in the world that all of us want.
“As women of spirit and faith,
we know something important about this moment in history.
We know it from our rich experiences in the world
and we know it from a place of deep wisdom within.
Our unique patterns of knowing
are part of a larger pattern of feminine wisdom
being called forth at this time
in service of this Earth and of humanity.” ~~ WSF
Kay currently serves on the Program Group for Ecumenical and Interreligious Life for the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. She also participates in many community projects and is on the Board of Directors for The Interfaith Observer, Women of Spirit and Faith (both URI North America Affiliates) and The Rumi Education Center. She is an Ambassador for the Parliament of the World Religions and is past Chair of the North American Interfaith Network. She is also member of the Forge Guild for Spiritual Leaders and The International Listening Association.
She is the author of three books on listening: the award-winning “The Sacred Art of Listening,” “Practicing the Sacred Art of Listening,” and “How Does God Listen.” She co-edited the award-winning book “Women, Spirituality and Transformative Leadership: Where Grace Meets Power” based on a conference hosted by Women of Spirit and Faith. (All books published by Skylight Paths Publishing.)
This piece was written by URI North America Storytelling Intern Robyn Lebron. You can read more of her work here.