Meeting Structure

Mary Manifesto meetings generally follow the structure outlined below.

Agenda (minutes)

1.          Arrival and start (5)
2.          Reading of Mary Manifesto (text below) (5) 

The Mary Manifesto

A call to support 318 WOMEN to gather in 2025 to review the Christian notion of God and the Creed, 1,700 years after 318 MEN met in Nicaea to do the same. Let us be transformed!

In the year 325, a single man, the Roman Emperor Constantine I, a convert to Christianity, summoned delegates from throughout the Roman Empire to decide on the “correct” belief of the Christian Church. These men–318, according to some historians– met as a Council in Nicaea starting on June 19th. They defined the Godhead as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and created the original Nicene Creed.

We believe it will be wonderful and inspiring for 318 women to gather in 2025 and declare how they view the Godhead and the “correct” belief of the Christian Church.

Men – can we be quiet for a moment, pause, breathe and listen? For nearly 1,700 years God has been predominantly defined in the Christian context by the men of Nicaea. Can we, men, be supportive to listen to the voices of our sisters?

As men, we join in pledging not to obstruct, but to support without strings and provide funds for the Council of 318 women. We do not expect to participate, and will be bold enough to listen, support, and wait to learn what happens.

Women – so many sisters have been silenced. Before a new council, please ask women all over the world, and anyone who does not identify as male, to meet to read the gospels and reflect and comment on the power of the gospels.

As women, we will support and provide funds for the Council of 318 women; we will encourage women to read the gospels and reflect on why Jesus was so adored by the women of his time.

Dear 318 women: We do not know how you will organize yourselves, but please engage with men afterwards and help them understand how you define the Godhead and the creed we need.

We, the undersigned, look forward to learning what the 318 women discern, and will share their news widely to inform the deepening of our faith. 

3.          Spiritual Reflection by group leader or a person asked by group leader(5)
4.          Reading of the Psalm of Change – twice – in the Slow Lectio Divina form (text below) (10)

Psalm of Change

Slowly We Breathe The Change

Please read like a psalm and pause at each selah (asterisk) *

Slowly we breathe,
We support a space, singing an ode to “we,” men and women * and however we identify.

Slowly we breathe,
We support a space where we can be open, be imagined by the best in all of us * to do the most for those with the least.

Slowly we breathe,
We support a space safe of no accusation, of no oppression * where anger can arise and blossom into inspiration.

Slowly we breath,
We support a space for the feminine voice * and for voices to be heard that have not been heard, and for those who have been silenced.

Slowly we breathe,
We support a space for those who did not hear or could not listen * or would not listen.

Slowly we breathe,
We support a space for deep and loving reconciliation * for feminine and masculine voices to sing in unison again.

Slowly we breathe,
We support a space for words that will inspire a thousand years of deeds * that will make a difference.

Slowly we breathe,
We support a space for faith that enables us to change who we are * and be the loving transformation the greater “we” wants us to be. 

Slowly we breathe,
We support a space to feel the curiosity, to give our names, to add our effort * to leave a loving impression for millennia to come.

Slowly we breathe,
We are the change.

5.          Break into small groups – randomly – of no more than five people to discuss a theme sparked in you by the Psalm of Change.  (20)
6.          Collective closing, we will ask people to share in the chat what struck them as memorable and what they are motivated to do. (10)
7.          Closing Prayer, we ask a volunteer to read the Magnificat. (5)

The Magnificat

Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat

Luke 1:46-55 (English Standard Version)

46. And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47. and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48.  for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
     For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49. for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
     and holy is his name.
50.  And his mercy is for those who fear him
     from generation to generation.
51.  He has shown strength with his arm;
     he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52.  he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
     and exalted those of humble estate;
53.  he has filled the hungry with good things,
     and the rich he has sent away empty.
54.  He has helped his servant Israel,
     in remembrance of his mercy,
55.  as he spoke to our fathers,
     to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

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