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, December 16, 2012


Our thoughts and prayers join with all who grieve for the lives lost in Newtown, CT. May each family find peace and comfort through hands reached out in love and hearts joined in prayer.

Campus Ministry

For many of the women of the Diocese of the Rio Grande, college is a long way back. However, for others, college is much more current. For generations, the Episcopal church, has operated "Canterbury Centers" on university campuses around the country. Sometimes they are very active and at other locations they are nearly empty buildings.
In Albuquerque, the Canterbury Campus Ministry is a busy place with a variety of activities for students to participate in. Leaders know that busy schedules mean that it is not necessarily the same group that gathers each time, so activities are catered to a drop-in crowd.

Things like Yoga for Night Owls and Theology Pub encourage students to come to a church and to discuss theological topics in a less structured environment. Cooking 101 serves a dual purpose by giving cooking skills to students and providing meals to perennially hungry young men and women, plus, through fund raisers like the fall Pie Baking and Tamale Making events, raising money for Campus Ministry and outreach to Episcopal Relief and Development.

It's all about planting seeds of faith and nurturing the sprouts. Because young women (and men) in college now get their information via the internet and social media, leaders of Canterbury Campus Ministry use these avenues to get the information to students. As women in the DRG, we might consider taking a page out of that book to reach the younger women in our parishes and cities... something to think about.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Where we are going

The final session of the weekend involved concrete planning of steps to get to the envisioned results.

               Three things were identified as the first steps.

Organization Structure of Women of the DRG

A definition of role of the Women of the DRG and a mission/vision statement is needed. We will meet in February (in conjunction with the Feb. 9 retreat) to develop this, based on email and other conversations between now and then.

The statement might incorporate such things as:

[We] Encourage, recognize, support, and empower women (lay and ordained) in the DRG to see that each activity is a ministry whether in a church or in a family or community.

[We] Support and include diverse opportunities for spiritual formation by leadership training, retreat opportunities, and fellowship among all women in the DRG.

[We] Acknowledge and embrace the multiplicity of demographics present in women of the DRG and encourage them to participate fully.

Inclusivity of all Women of the DRG

Sub-committees and/or focus groups will be formed to gather input (younger, Hispanic, Native American, etc.) Women from these demographics will be identified and invited to participate in the groups.The Rev. Jennifer Phillips from Rio Rancho was suggested as a person to include re: Native American contacts.

Communication to all Women of the DRG

The key to successful ministry will be communication across the Diocese. Some ways to accomplish this include:                

Personal invitation (Members of the SE Deanery covenanted to bring 10 women to the Feb. event)

                              Blog (www.VarietiesofGifts.blogspot.com)

                              Link on Diocesan website to blog

                              Facebook page link to and from Diocesan FB page

                              Together articles and In the Loop notification

                              Contact person in each Deanery to assure that info is shared at Deanery meetings.

Already we have the opportunity to hear important women leaders like Bishop Barbara Harris and Dr. Ruth Anna Hooke.
Already many women represent the diocese in leadership roles including as CATO. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Crazy Quilt Conversations Part 2

Why we are

Small groups put together random pieces of paper into a square as way of demonstrating that seemingly unconnected things can form a design and create something.
Starting with this idea of unconnected things, the groups brainstormed ‘outside the box’ to vision who Women of the DRG are in 5 years.
Then the ideas were shared in the large group, captured as if the 5 year dream was a present reality:

Demographics of Women of DRG:

We have a ministry to the ‘differently abled’.
We have churches full of children (and by extensions families, which can mean single parents).
We realize we have many roles/ministries that are not church related and we honor those roles.
We have women lay leaders, training lay leaders and more clergy women.
We have articulate, grounded women (lay and ordained) who can respond to seekers and to fundamentalists.
We have women as active lay preachers, and who can give inspiring testimonials.
We have shared leadership between lay and ordained.
We, as women, are leaders in taking the diocese ‘out of the box’.

Spiritual Life of Women of DRG

We promote spiritual development education for all ages, esp. for women.
We have a fully understood baptismal ministry.
We have joyful, gender inclusive liturgies.
We draw inspiration from our historical past.
We focus on wholeness in women: spiritual, safety, mental, physical, emotional, health, intellect.
Women are free to express their creativity in artistic, intellectual, relationship, leadership ways that are not necessarily ‘traditional’.

Activities of Women of DRG

We hold events where all (ages, demographics, economics, ethnicity, etc.) can come together.
Events are planned with input from all target audiences.
We have childcare (including activities) in conjunction with women’s events.
We always have scholarships for events.
Half of the attendees at women’s events are under 50.
We hold periodic meetings with women’s groups in various places in the DRG (ECW, DOK, MOPS, etc.) for input.
We facilitate varieties of ministries in our parishes.
We have reciprocal ministries, i.e. cross border, cross age, cross economic lines where we not only minister to them, but also learn from our sisters in ‘different’ circumstances.
We encourage eco-friendly homes and churches.


We get news about women’s events in a timely fashion via many media (diocesan website, email, blog, Facebook, etc.)
We are connected via social media.
We have virtual study and/or book groups and online forums so women around the diocese can participate without having to travel.
Next week, we'll conclude this report with the action steps ahead! See how you can be part of this ministry!!