In choosing the Sophia name, we are reclaiming a very ancient tradition about the understanding of God, developed in the Jewish Wisdom literature around the 6th century.
Sophia is the Greek word for wisdom. The Book of Proverbs refers to Wisdom as co-creator, source of life, insight and strength. (Proverbs 8) Paul declares that Christ is the Sophia of God (1Cor 1-23?????) and Jesus refers to himself as Sophia (Matt 11:19). The naming of Jesus as the child of Sophia or the incarnation of Sophia Wisdom was a common one in the early church.
The Sophia tradition continued in the early church but fragmented due to the association of Sophia with unorthodox thinking. Following the Reformation the Sophia tradition and was neglected.
This ancient understanding of God was reclaimed by feminist theologians in the late 20th C, particularly by biblical scholars and feminist theologians. We have chosen to walk in this tradition, because it speaks to the deep feminist and social justice tradition of our community of faith which has a history of focusing on the feminine and drawing on the traditions of women’s stories and rituals for reflection and liturgies as well as advocating on social justice issues.
The spring for us represents the eternal bubbling up of the Spirit in our life and worship. The spring is our source of refreshment, in fact the source of all life. It grounds in the creation and plants our roots in the earth. It links us with the eco-theology movement which seeks to restore the integrity of all creation. It also connects us with work and philosophy of CERES community.
Sophia’s Spring as a name embodies our deep commitment to our feminist, social justice and eco-theologies. It honours our past heritage ofFitzroyUnitingChurch but orients our ministry and mission to the eco-feminist movement within the secular environment at Ceres and also within the wider church community.