Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, Blogger, Speaker

All-female Crew Flies 777 to Lagos

All-female Crew Flies to Nigeria

Ethiopian Airlines Fly with All-female Crew from Addis to Lagos

I love it! Not only an all-female crew, but all-African!

Lessons and Carols in Westport

The church was beautiful for the Lessons and Carols service.

The church was beautiful for the Lessons and Carols service.

On Sunday evening Clem and I enjoyed “Lessons and Carols” at the Episcopal Church, Christ and Holy Trinity, in Westport. Clem grew up with this service in his Anglican church in Nigeria.

I became well acquainted with it during my years attending St. Saviour’s Church in Lagos. The service is composed of nine lessons from the Bible, starting with Adam and Eve, and ending with the birth of Jesus.

I love the tradition, and I love singing the familiar carols. Clem gives himself over completely to singing the tenor parts he learned at secondary school.  A favorite is “Once in Royal David’s City,” which I first learned in Nigeria.

I miss our children when we’re at the service, since I attended so often with them.

I sent them all a text message to say where we were!

The Unitarian Church in Westport Honors #MeToo

I’m not sure if “honors” is the right word, maybe it should be recognizes. Our Sunday morning service was devoted to #MeToo. Several women participated and Rev. John preached powerfully on the topic.

At the end of the service Cheryl led a “reconciliation,” time, inviting women to come forward, drop a lump of salt into a bowl of water and watch it dissolve, as a symbol of letting go of the hurt of their experience.

Shanonda Nelson spoke to me about the Black community response to #MeToo.

Shanonda Nelson spoke to me about the Black community response to #MeToo.

Shanonda, a member of our congregation who reads my blog, is Black. I wrote about her when she was the worship associate for a service in September.

After the service yesterday I said to her that though it was wonderful, and clearly healing for many women, I probably wouldn’t blog about it, since my social justice focus is on race.

She said, “This is very much about race. You have no idea how important it is for you to talk about it! In the Black community, women are not being encouraged, even allowed, to come forward with their stories.”

I was surprised. When she explained, it seemed like the obvious response of a community where everyone gets threatened. Still, it shouldn’t happen. “Other women shut them down. It’s very different,” she said.

So I’m taking her advice and writing. I do believe it is important for all of us, women and men, Black and white, to listen to other women, to hear them when they share their experiences, and to offer comfort.

After the service there was a meeting of 41 women to talk about next steps.

Tonight at our church board meeting, I learned that the steering committee is planning training sessions in January. I will mention this special concern for Black women to them.

Our Mount Holyoke Book Club shared gift books with each other last night!

Our Mount Holyoke Book Club shared gift books with each other last night!

Happy Holidays, and a Break

I wish you and yours happy holidays, however you celebrate.

I am taking a holiday from blogging, though I may post if there is something special to share.

Otherwise I’ll be back in January!

Author: Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, blogger, speaker. Born in New York, grew up in mid west United States, lived in Nigeria for 24 years, back in U.S. since 1986. Advocate for racial justice.

6 Comments

  1. I’d thought that maybe this was the D.C.- Addis-Enugu route which I’m yearning to try.

    Nice story, blighted by the usual recividists in the This Day comment section that insist they need a government funded airline again; so they can employ “friends and family”, and board flights on which they don’t have tickets because they’re “big-big people”, lol!

  2. I hope this will be a new year for women to take flight in more ways than one. Hope you enjoy your Xmas break.

  3. Yay for the Ethiopian air crew! So special and wish it were not so extraordinary!!