Celebrate Wonder from: Fragments of Your Ancient Name by Joyce Rupp
Creator of wintry ice and snow,
The untamed winds of frosted winter cough their way into penetrating coldness.
Heavy snowflakes swirl wildly everywhere. You invite us to witness this fresh beauty,
To lessen complaint about its inconvenience. You speak to grumbling hearts in this season:
“Celebrate the wonder of what is before you. Abandon your schedule and organized plans.
Settle into the long wintry evenings of quiet and sip the good red wine of my contentment.”
I was on the Synod Moderators conference call this week and there is SO much going on with Presbyterian Women that it’s hard for what I choose to lift up to you. Then one woman brought up the discouraging issues of aging women, lessening numbers and no one seems to be interested like “they used to”. I was thinking yes PWSNE has six with no Presbytery Moderator, just adding a seventh to that and one with an “acting Moderator”. We plan Gatherings and just don’t get the attendance. UGH that could be discouraging.
BUT the theme I came up with for our (annual meeting) Fall Gathering is: “Women Move Mountains” Matthew 17:20 “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed (or a small PW group) you can say to this mountain ‘move from here to there’ and it will be done.” So plan to come to Stony Point Conference Center October 18-19. It’s for ALL women not just leaders.
Although I’ve found it difficult to delegate without having the energy flowing from having someone sitting next to me at a meeting, somehow God just places pieces of the program in my lap. Rosemary Mitchell PCUSA Senior Director of Mission Engagement and Support has agreed to be our keynote speaker for Friday evening. I’m working on a liturgical dance troupe. You’ll hear about the USA Mission Experience which will be in our “back yard”, so I think that will open many doors for ministry we could all share in. We’ll do something hands on the TOGETHER IN SERVICE (pillow cases for Puerto Rico), we can walk the labyrinth, watch a movie and we can share ideas on how to move those mountains. LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU’D LIKE FOR WORKSHOPS or volunteer to lead one!
We’ve been discussing new ways of being Presbyterian Women. If you want you can to come to the “starter kit” Sisters Stand and Walk Together whose first meeting will be April 6 in Valley Stream, Long Island NY. I know there are some Ghanaian women interested but it’s open to all women who need help getting going. See the flyer and application!
Some of you may have heard this before (I heard it at the 2018 Church wide Gathering Workshop) we must find our WHY and what we will do is the easy part. The WHY for me is the same as when I was thirty following the PW purpose but the HOW needs adjusting! At a minimum when you get women together please don’t forget the Mission Pledge. The Thank and Birthday Offerings goes for missions, yes projects you’ll find listed in Horizons and the promotional packs that are mailed to EVERY CHURCH. Easy enough to interpret. TO KEEP OUR RESOURCES glued together we need staff help, so could you please try to donate at least $50 from each congregation?
Let’s not be discouraged but look for the wonder and celebrate it! When you’re done “abandoning your schedule and organized plans” as Joyce Rupp suggests become refreshed and face a new PW a new way!
Peace, Lisa Gray PWSNE Moderator
What Does the Mission Pledge Do?
- Staff support and participation in events for OUR PW groups.
- programming, publishing
- USA Mission Experience & Global Exchange
- Partnerships such as Knitting4Peace
- Peace and Justice Advocacy
- Solidarity with ecumenical movements: World Day of Prayer, Fellowship of the Least Coin, and Church Women United.
- Presence at General Assembly, the Big Tent & other churchwide events
- Meetings to discern the goals and works towards true diversity.
- Publishes Horizons magazine, including an annual Bible Study.
- Management of this national nonprofit with worldwide mission and ministry reach.
Operating expenses: rent, utilities, insurance, staffing, and office supplies.
- Support of PCUSA mission and partnerships
If this reads like Greek to you, come join us in learning and sharing at your Presbytery Level Gatherings or the Synod level workshops. Call National Staff or CALL US, invite us we can come and educate and support you! Use the PW web-site and resources.