Pink Pearls Magazine Issue Nr. 3
presents the European Lesbian scene
Jolanda Groot and Marianne Welten are the editing staff of the newsletter of Mirre. For 21 years, Mirre has been a network for lesbian women who are interested in religion and spirituality. Jolanda Groot thinks it’s important to, in a time of increasing intolerance, stimulate cooperation between different groups in a loving way. In the Netherlands and in Europe.
In 1990, Mirre started as Netwerk Verkeerd Verbonden. This network was founded in 1990 and the name reflects the situation of lesbian women then: they were literally regarded as ‘wrongly connected’. The love connection between two women was wrong as well as the connection between them and the church. Within the network the women felt connected by their love for each other and for religious and spiritual life. In those times, the church wasn’t so openly criticized yet.
The current network
Through the years, the network has changed into a connection between self-conscious women who combine religion and spirituality with their lesbian nature. This is why, after 15 years, the name has been changed into Mirre. Mirre is a healing herb that refers to the homecoming feeling that many women experience as an important part of the network. The bitter character of the herb refers to the pain many lesbian women experience in their life because of their sexuality. In a spiritual sense, Mirre opens the seventh chakra, which is the divine connection.
With the change in name, the vision, focus and experience of the network also changed. The religious-political aspect is not so prominent anymore. The network is now very much open to women and their spirituality and rituals.
What does Mirre do?
Three times a year Mirre publishes a newsletter made by and for members. In this newsletter, you can read contributions in the area of religion and spirituality combined with being lesbian. Within the network, women take initiatives, make contacts and undertake activities. The coordination group brings initiatives together and organizes annual weekends. During these weekends women come together in a retreat center, where getting to know each other and undertaking activities together are a central focus. Each year, the weekend has a specific theme, in 2010 this was ‘Celebrate the Light’. During the weekend a vespers service takes place and several workshops are organized.
Mirre is also interactive. It contributed to the play ‘Zuster Glimlach’ of the theatre group Juffrouw Jansen in Amsterdam and two network women organized retreat weekends in a monastery. Mirre is also involved with the European Forum of Christian LGTB groups, that comes together once a year.
What else is in this issue?
Now that fall has arrived in The Netherlands and winter is just around the corner, I look back at last summer. With a good feeling, because the summer was beautiful and lovely in many ways. » Read more
Carmen Lothmann is forty-two, and born in the catholic Bergstein, a village near the city of Düren. She grew up in a very traditional family. » Read more
Making music together, sounding impressive and full of ambition. These are all happy words for a group of musicians from London and South-East London. We met them during the 12th edition of Scala Erossos international… » Read more
In September, this year, hundreds of lesbian and bisexual women visited the International Eressos Women’s Festival on Lesbos, organised for the 12th time by the Greek organiser Sappho Women. Women from all over the world… » Read more
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