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, November 25, 2012

Crazy Quilt Conversations-

Last week's post was an over view of the entire women's retreat. This week and next will give more details about what we did and discussed as we visioned an exciting future for all women in the Diocese! Those who gathered are enthusiastic about the potential for all women-young, older, working, single, moms, and career, and all ethnic demographics that are represented in the DRG. Read on to learn some of what we did.

How we are

Crazy Quilt Conversations was a time for women of the DRG to come together and vision where our ministry as women of faith could go. The retreat included some fun games, laughter, and some deep planning. After a game of “Me too” to demonstrate how we are linked in a web, we talked about how we like the warp and weft of fabric
               Warp: the backbone of weaving
                              For Women in the DRG, this is such things as Christ, faith, ministry, God, demographics
               Weft: the things that build the design
Based on ‘Varieties of Gifts’ scripture (I Corinthians 12 we discussed the positives in the life, ministry, church, and DRG that make up the weft of us as individuals and as women of the DRG
Ministry is not just in the church, but rather is everything we do in our lives. This truth needs to be shared and acknowledged because what women do M-F is just as much ministry as Altar Guild or DOK or food pantry, etc.
               We need to have focus groups with young, Hispanic, African-American to hear what they want

Who we are-Patchwork

Each woman chose a bracelet from the basket and told why we chose “ASAP-Always Say a Prayer” or “Jesus Loves Me” or other saying on bracelet was important to her. Like Patchwork we come from many different places, with assorted needs and wants. Just as the same saying means different things to different women, so too our lives are formed in different ways, but we can all come together as one ‘quilt’.
               Over the weekend notes were jotted about things we didn’t want to forget. These are some of the things that make us a patchwork because they are important to different women.
               Same gender demographic
               Spiritual Growth Retreats
               Remember ‘the least of these’
               Child care at events with a purpose, not just watching movies
Affirm the wide definition of what ministry is, esp. for young women/mothers
Look at new territories, i.e. autism, ADA, other-abled needs
Be models/mentors for younger women
Events in the ‘south’ and other far reaches of the Diocese
Network of women in, throughout, across the diocese.
Field trips to visit other churches around the diocese and meet the women there
Hat retreat, to look at all the ‘hats’ we all wear and how to take off some of them, maybe
We talked about How can we come together so God can be glorified in all [that we do] based on 1 Peter 4:10-12.
               We need spiritual growth retreats, time to be still and know God, so there needs to be provision for ways to get/have spiritual growth opportunities.
Spiritual growth helps us learn that we are showing God to others through our actions. We also gain understanding that we don’t necessarily have to go far afield to find ministry opportunities to ‘the least of these’, esp. because NM is 2nd poorest state in the nation. (Ruby Payne was suggested as a speaker)              

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Crazy Quilt Conversations

Women of the DRG met at the Bosque Center for Crazy Quilt Conversations on November 9 and 10. We were the inaugural group to use the Center and found it to be a delightful venue. Two dozen women from across the Diocese gathered the evening of November 9 for a time of fellowship and conversation with Bishop Vono. Saturday was spent in creating a vision for Women in the DRG. With broad strokes, the women painted a dream of active, diverse lay and ordained women involved in ministries both inside and outside of church walls. Participants created a vision of women as leaders empowered with retreats, mission, and education through communication and fellowship.
The final session of the 'Crazy Quilt Conversations' involved planning concrete steps. The steering committee will meet in February to create a mission statement for the Women and set up focus groups to build communication with various demographics to help identify needs and desires of all women.  If you are interested in being part of one of a focus groups, are curious about an event, or have ideas for Women in the DRG, email Cynthia.
Several women's events are already planned:
February 9 Retreat for Women
March 2 Lenten Retreat with Bishop Vono at St. Francis on the Hill, El Paso (co-hosted by St. Christopher's)
March 23 Lent Retreat with Canon Kathleen McNellis at St. Andrew's, Roswell
May 17-18, 2014: A Day for Women with The Rt. Rev. Barbara Taylor Brown
Summer 2013: Body, Mind, Spirit Retreat in Taos
Fall 2013: Women of the DRG Retreat at the Bosque Center
Watch the What's Happening page of this blog for more information about each of these events as it becomes available. 
Over the next few weeks, more of the work from this retreat will be posted here-so check back! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Our Lady of Las Palomas

Last time I introduced you to a ministry that I learned about at Diocesan Convention. Today, I've got another ministry by and for women. It is the Our Lady of Las Palomas  ministry in Columbus, NM and Palomas, Mexico.
Funded only by grants (including a couple from the SE Deanery of the DRG) and donations, this ministry works at "empowering women and their families to be financially sustainable." They do this by teaching skills and providing resources to help women in a variety of ways.
There are four facets to this ministry: the Cooperative, the Micro-Loan Program, the Hunger Project, and Retreats for Youth and Adults. The Cooperative is the basic ministry that teaches women skills like using recycled cloth, plastic, and yarn to make sturdy and attractive bags and bowls.
The Micro-Loan program is funding for equipment like a sewing machine or loom that will help a woman become more self-sufficient.
The Hunger Project feeds families on both sides of the border through donations. Finally retreats can be held at the facilities.

What can women in the Diocese do to help this ministry? Donations, of course are always welcome. They do not have to be just monetary donations, either. Fabric yardage and non-perishable food items are always needed.
Women's groups or churches can purchase a 'crate' of the hand-crafted items to sell during a special event or retreat. Each item has the name of the woman who made the bowl or shawl or bag, so you have a special link to another woman.
The work produced by these women is exquisite and sturdy. Many of them are widowed because the men of their family have been killed by drug cartels or other violence. The love that executive director the Rev. Susan Hutchins has for this ministry and more importantly, for these women, is a reflection of the love of God to each of us.