We’re featuring playlists from different individuals across Mennonite Church USA reflecting on their top 10 most important songs.
This month’s playlist comes from members of The Women in Leadership Project (WLP) steering committee. The WLP is an initiative to name and transform sexism within Mennonite Church USA. The project is guided by Jenny Castro, coordinator, together with the project’s steering committee, a group of diverse women who are working in a variety of fields.
You can listen to their playlist on Spotify below.
1. From Linda Gehman Peachey, Sweet Honey in the Rock, “We Are”: I love this song because it connects us to creation, our human ancestors and to God’s spirit. I love that sense of honoring each person’s uniqueness and blessedness in such a holistic, complete way.
2. From Erica Littlewolf, Asa, “Shine Your Light”: I like this song because it references light and recognizes that we all have light in us. It is a song that acknowledges we all carry burdens, and even with those, we can still be who we are meant to be in the world.
3. From Regina Shands Stoltzfus, Sara Bareilles, “Brave”: I have played this for my students at the beginning of some classes. It’s a power anthem, maybe a little cheesy, but it gets me going and it does help me feel brave.
4. From Sandra Perez, Helen Reddy, “I Am Woman”: We sang this song around the time the Feminist Movement was catching traction. For me it’s a story of growth as we pass through life’s ups and downs. It helps us understand that the journey is not going to be easy. She encourages us to push on, because once we’re past the hurdles, we will come out stronger.
5. From Aveani Moeljono, Selah, “There is Power in the Blood”: As we prepare for our second Women Doing Theology conference, I’ve been thinking about the theme of the conference ‘I’ve got the power! Naming and reclaiming power as a force for good.’ This song undoubtedly comes to mind as I think about the source of power.
6. From Jenny Castro, Alanis Morissette, “Incomplete”: Ever since I can remember I’ve longed for sense of having arrived-to finally feel like I’ve got it together and for a sense of satisfaction in who I’ve become. That sense has always felt elusive, out of reach. So instead I’m learning to embrace myself exactly as I am–like the song says, “Ever unfolding, ever expanding, ever adventurous and torturous and never done.”
7. From Erica Littlewolf, Asa, “Maybe”: I like this song because it acknowledges the violence in the world and how things have changed and are changing. It asks questions and eventually comes to an understanding that the answer lies within you. You have the opportunity to change. And it ends by referencing being grounded in order to be yourself in an uncontrollable world.
8. From Sandra Perez, Miley Cyrus, “The Climb”: This song shows the feelings of self-doubt we experience when we have certain dreams and believe we don’t have the strength to achieve them. But we need to face whatever challenges come. We need to face them head on, because in our life’s journey there will always be challenges to overcome. We need to find the strength from within as we go, because what’s important is the journey, not the destination.
9. From Moniqua Acosta, Demi Lovato, “Confident”: This is my theme song right now. It speaks to where I am at in my journey after a time of trial and pain. I’ve let go of some things that I always believed were right and am now rediscovering what is authentically right for me and my family. I’m more confident now.
10. From Jenny Castro, Indigo Girls, “Closer To Fine”: I know too well the compulsion to keep a white-knuckled, death-hold grip on my beliefs and my values; to need to know the answers so urgently and so completely and yet never feel satisfied. This song articulates so beautifully the freedom that comes when we admit we don’t have all the answers. I love the idea of being open, continuing to search, and letting go of the need to be right.
There’s lots going on with the WLP! To get involved, contact Jenny, join our Facebook group and visit our webpage. Also make plans to attend the second Women Doing Theology Conference, Nov. 4-6, 2016 in Leesburg, Va.
Listen to the WLP’s playlist on Spotify: