Women of the Diocese of the Rio Grande

"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in everyone." (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)

“The mission of the Women of the Diocese of the Rio Grande is to connect and support all women in their diverse ministries. We do this by offering opportunities to gather for studying, re-creating, and celebrating who we are as women of Faith, Hope and Love.”

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Retreat Time

"Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while," Jesus tells his disciples in last Sunday's Gospel (Mark 6:30-44). It's good advice for all of us who are busy with being and doing the work we are called to do for the Kingdom of God. Too often we get so involved in always doing, doing, doing and going, going, going, that we don't take time for refreshment and re-creation. 
Summer vacations are good for a change of pace, like we looked at last time and the change of pace from being at your 'regular' spot in church can be very refreshing. Sometimes, though, we all need to take a REAL retreat. To go away to a quiet place where we can be quiet and hear God's voice. That can be rather frightening at first-to be alone with our thoughts and God might be a bit intimidating, so start out with a short retreat. Perhaps just a day or even an afternoon.
You don't have to go to a retreat center. I've had lovely retreats in the local botanical gardens. Sitting alone in a quiet part of the gardens with a Bible or devotional book or just a journal or sketch pad can be very rewarding. Some people go to the mountains or lakes to find the same solitude.
For longer and more focused retreats, a retreat center of some kind can be very helpful. The people at the center can offer guidance and there is the advantage of having meals prepared by someone else and a quiet room to rest in.
A personal retreat can give you the chance to focus or refocus on God. You'll have the chance to become aware of things that might be keeping you from living your fullest life. The silence and solitude, perhaps intimidating at first, can become genuine companions by the end of a retreat time. At the end of retreat times you will probably have some new insights. These may not be anywhere near the topic you thought you were going to be considering on retreat, but be assured, they are exactly what God wants you to hear!
You may prefer to have a retreat with others so you can share your thoughts and insights and be inspired by the other participants and the speaker. As women of the DRG, we have opportunities for that kind of retreat on a regular basis-in our parishes or across the Diocese. (That is one purpose of this blog, to give a place to share that information with us all!) There are, in fact, three retreats planned expressly for Women of the DRG that you can find on the What's Happening page of this blog. The first one to put on your calendar is "Crazy Quilt Conversations" Nov. 9-10 at the Bosque Center. This will be a time when we come together as Women of the Diocese to brainstorm our role in the ministry of the Diocese and beyond! It should be an exciting time of listening, sharing, quiet, and fellowship. (It's not a time for quilting except in the symbolic way.)
Even if you like retreats that are active like the Crazy Quilt one this fall, I would urge you to make time for a personal retreat of an afternoon, a day, a weekend, or longer. [This is as much a mandate to myself as everyone else:) ]  
Everyplace in the country has somewhere not too far away where you can have a day or longer of retreat. Here in NM, we are blessed with a multitude of venues. Below are just a few of them, and I'll bet you have a favorite. If it's not listed, let me know what and where it is so we can all benefit. Maybe I'll even add a page to this blog as reference if we get enough listings!

Bosque Center:  Albuquerque, NM:  www.dioceserg.org
Camp Stoney:  Santa Fe, NM:  campstoney.org/
Canossian Spirituality Center:  Albuquerque, NM:  www.canossiansisters.org/
Christ in the Desert:  just north of Abiqui, NM:  www.christdesert.org/
Ghost Ranch:  Abiqui, NM:  www.ghostranch.org
Glorieta Center:  Pecos, NM:  glorietaconferencecenter.org/
Holy Cross Retreat Center:  Mesilla Park, NM:  www.holycrossretreat.org/
Immaculate Heart of Mary Retreat Center:  Santa Fe, NM ihmretreat.com/:
Mandala Center:  near Raton, NM:  www.mandalacenter.org.
Norbertine Center:  Albuquerque, NM:  www.norbertinecommunity.org/
Pecos Monastery:  Pecos, NM:  www.pecosmonastery.org/
RavenWind Retreat:  Weed, NM:  www.ravenwindretreat.net
San Geronimo Lodge:  in Taos, NM:  www.sangeronimolodge.com

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Summer Time Devotions

Is it just me or is summer a time when it seems to be more difficult to make it to church every Sunday? Maybe we're on vacation and in a strange town, or busy with family, or doing things we don't normally have on our schedule. I think we can all admit to taking a vacation from church every so often, too.
Family and vacations and times for re-creation are all good and necessary. Still...worship shouldn't fall by the wayside just because we aren't on our 'regular' schedule.
Luckily, there are ways to stay connected to God, even if we aren't near a familiar church. And, of course, there is nothing wrong with going to church in a different city. Maybe you'll be inspired by the sermon or the music or the fellowship! Perhaps you will be able to take some new ideas back to your parish! But, I know that when you are traveling, the scheduling just might not fit in. You have to be at the airport just when the service would start or the tour is leaving or you want to get to the outdoor exhibits before the heat of the day sets in. (That was my excuse on a recent trip to Carlsbad when we wanted to get to the Living Desert Zoo before it got too hot!)
Here are some ideas for ways to have some private devotion time even when you are on vacation or having a stay-cation, or even just finding the lazy, hazy days of summer are too tempting. (It's an old Nat King Cole song and I don't know why it popped into my head, but you can read the lyrics or listen to it below.)
An old standby is the Book of Common Prayer. The BCP has devotions for families and prayers for any and every occasion. If you have internet access on your vacation, you can access it at BCPonline.org. If you don't want to figure out the lessons and prayers, use the Daily Office from the Mission of St. Claire. They do all the work for you!
Maybe you have a favorite blog that inspires you. The Episcopal Church has a selection of blogs on a variety of topics that you can skim through and find inspiration and thought provoking ideas. The Forward Day by Day people have the daily meditation and other resources right there on their website, so if you forgot to bring you Forward booklet with you...there it it!  
You can subscribe to many different devotions that are delivered to your inbox. Forward is one and here's another: d365. Lots of Christian magazines also have devotional portions on their website. Guideposts is one that has been around for generations!
There are other blogs that keep us up to date on things that are happening in the Episcopal and wider world, too. The Diocesan blog: Trusting in the Holy Spirit, is one that you will find interesting to check on a regular basis to see what's happening across the Diocese. (and this one of course!)
This is by no means a complete listing of all the resources available to us. If you have a favorite, share it in a comment, or email me and I'll add it to a future listing.

(Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer by Nat King Cole)

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Those days of soda and pretzels and beer
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Dust off the sun and moon and sing a song of cheer

Just fill your basket full of sandwiches and weenies
Then lock the house up, now you're set
And on the beach you'll see the girls in their bikinis
As cute as ever but they never get em wet

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Those days of soda and pretzels and beer
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
You'll wish that summer could always be here

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Those days of soda and pretzels and beer
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Dust off the sun and moon and sing a song of cheer

Don't hafta tell a girl and fella about a drive-in
Or some romantic moon it seems
Right from the moment that those lovers start arrivin'
You'll see more kissin' in the cars than on the screen

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Those days of soda and pretzels and beer
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
You'll wish that summer could always be here

You'll wish that summer could always be here
You'll wish that summer could always be here

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cursillo and an Ultreya

Many women in the DRG have attended the 3-day renewal weekend known as Cursillo. They wuold say that the experience has enriched their ministry and life in Christ. There is much misconception about this movement from those who haven't participated. Some think it's too 'Holy Roller' or exclusive or a secret society. Really, it is not any of these things. It is yet another way to draw closer to Christ and learn how to live out your ministry.
The word 'cursillo' means little course and in a nutshell that's what Cursillo is: a short course in Christianity. According to the National Episcopal Cursillo website:
"The purpose of Cursillo is to help those in the church understand their individual callings to be Christian Leaders...all of us need to be aware that we can exert a positive influence on those around us. The goal of Cursillo is the goal of the Church: to bring all to Christ through informed, trained leaders who set out with the support of others having a similar commitment. Cursillo helps to renew and deepen Christian commitment. Cursillo is one of many renewal movements...
Cursillo is patterned on Jesus' own example. He searched out and called a small group of potential leaders (pre-Cursillo); He trained them by word and example and inspired them with a vision (Three-Day Weekend); He linked them together and sent them out into the world to bring the world to Him (Fourth Day)."
The 3-day weekend is the tool for training Christian leaders by reminding participants of their call, as baptized members of the Body of Christ, to share the Good News in all their environments (family, work, and everywhere) by living a life filled with piety (spiritual aids) and study (of all sorts), then acting with God's direction.
Just as important as the 3-day weekend is what happens after the weekend-the Fourth Day (or rest of your life). Small groups form to meet regularly and hold one another accountable in their Walk with Christ. There are also large group gatherings called "Ultreyas" where many people who have attended a Cursillo weekend or who are interested in learning about Cursillo come together for a fun couple of hours of music, a lay talk and clergy response.

Cursillo in the DRG has been inactive since about 2006. But-wait:
Join the Cursillo community on Saturday, July 28 at the Cathedral for a potluck lunch at noon and Ultreya at 1pm, complete with music and inspirational talks and friends! This Ultreya is the first step in what the Acting Secretariat hopes will be a renewal of Cursillo. The theme for this Ultreya will be “Here I Am, Send Me!” If you have questions, contact Colin Kelly at Trinity on the Hill (505-662-5170) or Ken and Cindy Davis at the Cathedral.
The Acting Secretariat is trying to create a list of as many Cursillistas as possible, so if you are a  Cursillistas email your contact info, so you can be contacted for other events, like the Back to the Mountain weekend being planned for this fall. Even if you cannot attend the Ultreya, please join us in prayer for the renewal of Cursillo. Feel free to use the announcement in your church bulletin. We look forward to seeing you at the Ultreya!!

Check out the other events on the What's Happening page of this blog, too-like:
Celebration of the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene
July 23, 6:30PM at San Gabriel

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Forum of Diocesan Ministries Report

Last month, Bishop Vono asked every ministry in the Diocese to present a report on their work at a Forum. I was unable to actually be at the meeting. Below is the report submitted for the meeting. All ministry reports will also be available at convention this year. Read through the report and comment or email me with ideas for implementing this vision for Women's Ministry in the DRG!

Communicate between all women's ministries across Diocese in order to empower women's ministry and encourage unity through gatherings, retreat, communication, & study opportunities.  Enable women of the DRG to live out the promise of I Cor. 12:4-6 more fully in lives and ministries.

1.      Communication and listening to one another’s stories to find common ground among and between women in the DRG.

2.      Starting with women already active and in leadership, begin to build a data base of women’s contact info in order to:

3.      Be able to contact as many DRG ladies as possible with info on study, retreat, gathering opportunities in a variety of ideas, options.

4.      Visit with women around the Diocese at their parishes and/or small and large group gatherings, in order to:

5.      Begin to identify the needs and wants of women in the DRG and how that may differ depending on age, interest, and other demographics.


·         Blog-www.VarietiesOfGifts.blogspot.com started to inform women across the DRG about ministries and to start to share stories of ministries and individuals.

·         Scheduled Nov. 2012 Retreat at Bosque Center: Crazy Quilt Conversations. Initiate conversations, hearing one another’s stories.

·         Planning Lent Retreat (El Paso/Las Cruces area) and Summer 2013 ‘Pampering Retreat’. (Taos), Fall 2013 Retreat at Bosque.

·         Brochure to send to all churches once a contact has been identified.


Greater dialog between women and parishes, including visits to various parishes/areas around the DRG.

A core leadership team of women from various ministries and areas of the DRG.

At least 2 retreats in various areas of the diocese.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Fourth of July

This being the weekend before the 4th of July many churches are remembering our nation's birth with patriotic hymns and sermons. I encourage you to contemplate how different our lives would be if the Founding Father's hadn't taken a leap of faith and bravely cut ties with England-despite the cost to them personally. (See FootprintsFromTheBible.blogspot.com) for some of my thoughts about how their actions tie to our Christian call.

The past month has been filled with activities with grandchildren, so I don't have any interesting ministry tidbit today. Next week I will be back with something about women's ministries in the Diocese! In the meantime, enjoy your summer and if you have a chance get out and see some of the marvelous natural wonders of our country. In the last month my husband and I have been to the Grand Canyon and to Carlsbad with grandchildren and it is always delightful to see their amazement at the heights and depths of God's creation.