Julie Perrin watched the AFL Women’s match at Princes Park along with other Uniting Church ministers. She offers the following prayer to commemorate the start of the historic league. You can read more of her reflections in this blog post on her website.
Loving God, Holy One,
We praise you for redemptive moments
when that which could not be
comes into being,
old longings find expression
past impediments dissolve.
In the midst of our distress, alarm and anger
At so much of the politics of this new age
We praise you for women’s footy;
for the fresh winds of change blowing through us
as young women stream onto the football field.
We delight in their strength and determination,
Their fitness and fearlessness.
We raise our voices with the crowds
marveling at the leaping and grabbing and kicking,
the artful dodging and ducking, the thwack of tackling.
We are glad of young women’s claim on a place in the field.
Great God we thank you,
that the place of green grass, long running and tall white goal posts;
a place that has become holy for many,
where so often our community has gathered,
is now a holy place that can be shared more widely
with women and men both joining the teams.
We pray for people who feel on the outside of life
Unable, unwanted, ignored,
Give us ears to hear our own and others’ pain and possibility
Give us all grace to rejoice in this new horizon for new generations.
And as we witness and experience that call to courage
Help us to know more deeply
How to hold the gifts and graces in our own lives
That they too may become a joy and strength to others.