Is it too early to talk about Mother’s Day brunches? Probably not. If you are a planner, like me, your fall calendar is running according to plan & your eyes are set on planning for spring.
If you would have talked to me about Mother’s Day brunches 15+ years ago, I would have told you that I love them and think they are a wonderful idea for a Women’s Ministry to host. Over the years, my opinions on this have changed.
Not Everyone Is A Mother
As I have become friends with women who have either chosen to not have children, who are still waiting to have that first child, or whom have lost a child… Mother’s Day can be a difficult occasion to celebrate. Not having a child, they often feel left out of the celebration. They may not realize their role as a Spiritual Mother in the community of believers is more than enough to qualify them for an invite. At the same time, when the speaker focuses on the joys of biological motherhood, it can be a hard event to sit through. For those who have lost a child, it can be down right painful.
Not Everyone Has a Mother
Some women are still grieving over the death of their mother. Mother’s Day is a reminder of who is not here to celebrate with. There are other women who may have had a biological mother, but her presence was either physically or mentally absent. It is hard to celebrate a relationship that didn’t exist. Also, there are women who have trauma related to their mothers and celebrating Mother’s Day is salt in the wound of the pain as they watch other mothers and daughters experiencing a joy they didn’t know.
Not Everyone Has a Daughter
Quite often Mother’s Day brunches are “Mother & Daughter” events. If your mother lives out of town or out of state, attending an event like this with our mom may not be an option. If you are also a mother of only sons, then you attend the event alone versus celebrating with your sons.
If we are not careful, Mother’s Day brunches can become a very exclusive event that leaves some of the women in our church feeling left out of not only celebrating with a particular holiday, but also fellowshipping with their sisters in faith.
Here are some practical ideas or ways to relook at Mother’s Day events to create a more inclusive event that welcomes all women from your church and community.
Be Intentional with your Speaker
When hiring or tasking a Speaker for your event, ask her to speak on a topic that is not necessarily applicable to only biological motherhood. Spiritual mothering, discipling, relationships, etc.
Consider Mother & Child Events
Instead of hosting a mother & daughter event, consider offering it as a mother and child event. Or, plan two events one for mothers & daughters and one for mothers & sons. Planning two events in one year may be too much, but a possible solution is alternating years between the two.
Change the Name of the Event
You may choose to hold the event near or on Mother’s Day but consider calling it by another name. A sisterhood event, women’s event, becomes a very inclusive event. For those who choose to celebrate by inviting their mother or daughter to attend with them as part of their Mother’s Day weekend, it’s a great opportunity to do something fun together. But, for those who struggle with Mother’s Day it becomes a fun event that doesn’t focus on motherhood but instead being a woman in Christ.
Quite often, I share with ministry leaders the importance of making sure their leadership represents the body of the church. We should also keep this in mind as we plan our events. If we focus our events on ONE particular group or type of women in the body, at the exclusion of the others, then our ministry is missing the mark.