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, October 28, 2012

The Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross

I continue to hear about ministries that women across the Diocese of the Rio Grande are involved in. During Diocesan Convention, I learned more about a ministry I had never heard of: The Society of the Companions ofthe Holy Cross.

This is a ministry that approximately seven hundred women, both lay and ordained, across the Anglican Communion live by. Each woman patterns her life under a Rule of Intercessory Prayer, Thanksgiving and Simplicity of Life. They pray with intentional concern for three themes: the Unity of all God’s People, God’s Mission in the world, and Social Justice. Members exercise their intellect with study, their spirituality with meditation and seek to live lives of simplicity. In Albuquerque Companions meet at 3PM on the second Sunday of the month in the St. Thomas of Canterbury Library. If you would like more information, contact the Rev. Carole McGowan at Canterbury.

This ministry was the vision of Emily Morgan and Harriet Hastings. It started in 1884 and was inspired by Adelyn Howard, an invalid friend of Emily who “expressed a need for spiritual companionship, and who, in her confinement, desired to intercede through prayer for a wider circle of people. Later that year seven women under the leadership of Miss Morgan organized themselves as the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross.”

Over the next decade membership grew and in 1901 the Society rented a farmhouse in Byfield, Massachusetts. Four years later the retreat center Aldelynrood was built. (see photo at left) Since 1915 “the buildings and grounds have offered a variety of silent retreats, quiet days and study programs on religious, educational and social justice topics.”

“Companions” carry on their individual ministries primarily in their local churches and communities. “Through intercessory prayer, the Society currently is bound together through some thirty-one Chapters with Companions and Probationers in England, India, South Africa, Japan, Wales and the United States.”

“Emily Morgan’s vision was a religious association focused on the centrality of the Cross and intercessory prayer in a troubled and hurting world. It continues to offer women a shared spiritual Companionship and “the sacrament of coming together” in prayer and in person through local chapters and at Adelynrood.”

If you are a member of a ministry not yet highlighted on this blog, please let me know! The goal is for women across the Diocese to learn about the abundant ways that they can live, pray, and build up the Body of Christ and share the Good News of the Kingdom. Continue to check this blog for ministries of women in the Diocese of the Rio Grande. At the Crazy Quilt Conversation retreat, we’ll be talking about some of them.

Next week I’ll highlight the Our Lady of Las Palomas ministry, which I also learned about at Convention.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Skunks and Quilts?

What do you think this conglomeration of items might have to do with Women's Ministry in the Diocese of the Rio Grande?
They are all things that will be found at the Crazy Quilt Conversations Retreat November 9-10 at the Bosque Center in Albuquerque.
Be part of the fun!
Invite a friend and come together!
Why not invite a younger woman to help vision ministry in the Diocese of the Rio Grande?
Registration forms can be found here, or contact Cindy Davis.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Road of Life

Recently I came across a poem that is one, rather fun, way of looking at what happens when we let God be in control of our life! Read it though and mediate on the idea of God being the lead rider on a tandem bike...

The Road of Life

At first, I saw God as my observer,
my judge,
keeping track of the things I did wrong,
so as to know whether I merited heaven
or hell when I die.
He was out there sort of like a president.
I recognized His picture when I saw it,
but I really didn't know Him.

But later on
when I met Christ,
it seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride,
but it was a tandem bike,
and I noticed that Christ
was in the back helping me pedal.

I don't know just when it was
that He suggested we change places,
but life has not been the same since.

When I had control,
I knew the way.
It was rather boring,
but predictable . . .
It was the shortest distance between two points.
But when He took the lead,
He knew delightful long cuts,
up mountains,
and through rocky places
at breakneck speeds,
it was all I could do to hang on!
Even though it looked like madness,
He said, "Pedal!"

I worried and was anxious
and asked,
"Where are you taking me?"
He laughed and didn't answer,
and I started to learn to trust.

I forgot my boring life
and entered into the adventure.
And when I'd say, "I'm scared,"
He'd lean back and touch my hand.

He took me to people with gifts that I needed,
gifts of healing,
and joy.
They gave me gifts to take on my journey,
my Lord's and mine.

And we were off again.
He said, "Give the gifts away;
they're extra baggage, too much weight."
So I did,
to the people we met,
and I found that in giving I received,
and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him,
at first,
in control of my life.
I thought He'd wreck it;
but He knows bike secrets,
knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners,
knows how to jump to clear high rocks,
knows how to fly to shorten scary passages.

And I am learning to shut up
and pedal
in the strangest places,
and I'm beginning to enjoy the view
and the cool breeze on my face
with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.

And when I'm sure I just can't do anymore,
He just smiles and says . . . "Pedal."

-- author unknown