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.”

Monday, December 30, 2013

Five Golden Rings

On the Fifth Day of Christmas...

 A ring is a circle-a symbol of completeness, eternity, infinity, and God. Most religions use circles—think of Stonehenge, the Wheel of Life, halos... The Celtic cross has a circle in the center representing the sun. We talk of being part of the ‘inner circle’ or having a ‘circle of friends’.

There is the well known poem by Edwin Markham that epitomizes the way God works:
He drew a circle that shut me out--

Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!
As we look forward to 2014, there are already 5 opportunities listed in the calendar...our 5 Golden Rings...to be part of the growing circle of Women of the DRG.  I hope you will add one or more of these upcoming events to your calendar! Each time we gather as Women of the Diocese of the Rio Grande, we make our circle larger and more complete.

Online registration info is available on the calendar page for the upcoming Lent Retreat in ABQ and for the June Christ & Chocolate & Cherishing Retreat in Taos!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday Blessings

Wishing you all Christmas Blessings

and looking forward to the New Year.

As you fill in your 2014 calendar...consider adding the Women's Retreats in the Diocese of the Rio Grande. Info about them is always available on the calendar page of this blog, as are registration forms as they become available, but here's a quick run-down so you can get the dates on your calendars:

January 18, 2PM: Who are the Daughters of the King Tea at Holy Spirit, El Paso. If you've ever wondered about this order, come and learn more.

March 1, 8:30AM: Quiet Day at Holy Faith, Santa Fe with Deborah Smith Douglas. Last year over 80 women attended and were refreshed.

March 15, 8:30AM: Lent Retreat with Bishop Vono at the Cathedral. Bishop will speak about Galatians 5.

June 13-14: Christ & Chocolate & Cherishing. The Second Annual 'pampering' retreat at San Geronimo will focus on ways to cherish ourselves as beloved of our Lord.

November 14-15: Taste & See, the 3rd Annual Retreat at the Bosque Center is a time for pausing and refreshing our souls and minds in community.

The Women's Council is also working on how to present an online study so that we can all participate no matter where we are in this far-flung diocese! Stay tuned!

Hope to see you at one or more of these events that help bring us together as a community of holy women building up the Body of Christ in the Diocese of the Rio Grande. In this way we live into our mission statement: "As women of the Diocese of the Rio Grande we work to live out this promise in retreat, fellowship, study, and ministry."

Monday, November 11, 2013

Abide in Me Retreat

The 2nd Annual Women's Retreat at the Bosque Center, "Abide in Me", was attended by 3 dozen women from across the Diocese and even a guest from California! We came from Carlsbad and Roswell, from Silver City and Farmington, from Taos and Albuquerque to gather in the lovely, peaceful setting of the Bosque Center for a time of reflection and fellowship. A case of supplies for Operation Soldier Smiles was collected through the generosity of those who came.
The event started on Friday evening with a time of introductions and sharing. The Rev. Pat Green from St. Mark's was our keynote speaker for the retreat. On Friday she asked us to consider what the word "Abide" means. We shared synonyms for the word that ranged from 'stay' and 'wait' to 'endure' and 'relationship'.
Pat noted that in modern parlance, the word translated "Abide" in the KJV could likely be written as "plugged-in", "wired", or "connected" in the sense of a power strip or other electronics. The vital connection to the vine is necessary for us to live and grow, just as a phone or i-pad will eventually quit working if not recharged regularly. Pat reminded us that we are each uniquely gifted to be our own special part of the Body so we can use our gifts for the church. However, it is essential that we stay connected to the Vine.
On Saturday, we shared our gifts and current ministries. This was an amazing experience of seeing the diversity of gifts and ministries present in those gathered. Morning Prayer was a fitting conclusion to the blessing of this heart-felt sharing.
After worship, Pat continued her keynote talk by asking us what Fruit Jesus might be talking about in John 14-15. She had us consider what exactly 'fruit' is. We realized that fruit is many things and comes in many kinds. Some fruit may produce seed that doesn't germinate immediately, too. It may lay fallow for awhile. Other fruit may never ripen because it doesn't remain attached to the Vine. Ultimately, the fruit we are called to bear is the Fruit of Love-to "love one another as I have loved you."
All our ways of Abiding in the Vine, therefore in Christ, are ways of loving one another and bearing fruit. These are things like obedience, prayer, study, service, fellowship, thanksgiving, listening, practicing our call, acceptance and by expecting God to act. The Retreat offered a time to stepping out of the day-to-day in order to be refreshed and reconnected to the Living Vine.
During the retreat we had a chance to try different Prayer Experiences as ways of Abiding. Sue Ellen Rael presented a session on Icons and how they are a prayer aid. Shirin McArthur taught a group the first steps of Embodied Prayer. Elaine Wilson offered an overview of using the Book of Common Prayer more fully. Quiet time after lunch afforded participants the chance to enjoy the Bosque Center, visit, and to pause to vision where our personal Abiding might take us in the next months and years. These thoughts became our offering for the Eucharist which ended the day and retreat.
This holy time apart with one another and Christ is an experience we'll treasure and meditate on in the days and weeks to come. Next year's Bosque Retreat is already booked at the Center for the weekend of November 14-15.  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Diocesan Report

Every year ministries submit reports to diocesan convention. Here is the women's ministry report:

Diocesan Ministries

Focusing the DRG Missional Picture 2014

Women of the DRG

The mission of the Women of the Diocese of the Rio Grande is to empower all women in their diverse Christian ministries.

Implement ‘virtual’ ways to include women in far-flung parishes in discussions, perhaps including an online study and video of keynote talks at all events to be posted on blog.
Hold events at a variety of locations around the diocese to encourage and empower women to attend and to start to build friendships between women at different parishes.
Discover ways to encourage younger women to participate in women’s events, including offering child care at all events.

·       Crazy Quilt Conversations Retreat and brainstorming @ Bosque, Nov. 2012
·       Focus group meeting, Feb. 2013 to create Mission Statement and plan events
·       Bishop’s Retreat with Women @ SFOTH, El Paso, March 2013
·       Body, Mind, Spirit Retreat @ Taos, June 2013
·       E-newsletter to communicate upcoming events and items of interest to women
·       On-going blog: VarietiesofGifts.blogspot.com, now includes page of retreat leaders per requests
·       Building data base of women around the diocese


Continue to work for greater connections between women and parishes around the Diocese and to encourage women to support and encourage one another in their ministries.
Abide” Fall Retreat @ Bosque, Nov. 8-9, 2013
Lent Retreat with Bishop @ Cathedral, March 2014
Summer Leadership Workshop Event @ Roswell (or online), June/July 2014
Fall Women’s Retreat @ Bosque 2014

Monday, August 12, 2013

Registration Available-Abide in Me Retreat

The 2nd Annual Diocesan Women's Retreat (and Day Camp for Children)
at the Bosque Center is coming November 8-9. 
"Abide in Me" 
Mark it on your calendar!

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower…Abide in me as I abide in you.” John 15
The Women’s Council is certain you'll find this to be a spiritual and empowering experience. Based on John 15:1-11 the retreat will provide time to hear Jesus say “Abide in Me…Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.” This retreat will empower women to explore individual spiritual gifts and nourish our spirits through break-out groups, conversation, and sharing together how we are part of, and nourished by, the True Vine.

The retreat starts on Friday, November 8 at 5:30PM with registration and light dinner. You can stay at the Bosque Center if you wish. Everyone is encouraged to come for the entire retreat. However, the format will allow you to just come on Saturday! On Saturday, November 9 registration opens at 8AM. The retreat will end mid-afternoon Saturday.

Retreat cost is $75 if you stay at the Bosque Center (includes 3 meals and a room) or $35 for commuters (includes dinner & lunch) and/or to attend Saturday only (includes lunch). Registration forms available now!

A simultaneous track for children (3-12) and youth helpers will be held in the conference room of the Bosque Center on Saturday to allow moms to attend without having to find child care. The young people will explore the same theme with crafts, games, and other activities.
There is no cost for the children’s camp. Children should bring a sack lunch.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Body Mind Spirit Retreat-Worth Repeating

 What happens when nearly 30 women get together at lovely San Geronimo Lodge in Taos for Pilates, ‘lotions and potions’, worship, pampering and quiet? You have a lot of laughter and a retreat that lives up to its name by refreshing Mind, Body, and Spirit.
The Taos Body, Mind, Spirit Retreat, billed as a time of ‘pampering of body, mind, and spirit’ was indeed all that and more. We started on Friday night with a get to know you game using M&M’s. This was followed by a delicious dinner, an introductory talk by Cindy that included a reading of the children’s book The Contented Little Pussy Cat. Cindy suggested we all take the advice of Abner (the contented little pussy cat) and ‘not worry about what happened yesterday, or what might happen tomorrow’ but to let the world role on without us over the weekend.
The Rev. Pam Tyler, serving in a dual role as priest and Lodge owner/hostess, invited each woman to choose an object from the tablescape to meditate on throughout the weekend. In table groups, the women shared with each other what they chose and why. The evening closed with Compline in the chapel area of the Lodge.
After breakfast, the women gathered in the so called ‘wedding pavilion’ area for Eucharist officiated at by the Rev. Pat Green and music led by Gay Crouch. Pat’s sermon brought the story of Esther to light in a new and fascinating way. Esther was wise enough to learn from the chief of the harem and willing to not be boxed in by society’s description of her as a ‘Jewish orphan girl’. Instead, she left that behind and became queen of Persia (and ultimately saved the Jews). Pat asked us to consider the boxes we allow ourselves to be put in and how we might break out of them.
Pam gave the keynote talk about our bodies as Sacred Space. She noted that as women, gathered together, we are a sacred space. We are also individually each Sacred Space. We are part of God’s creation, which he proclaimed ‘good’. We are a walking Temple of God. Being a Temple involves preparing a space for God through maintenance. This is things like food and exercise, of course, but also involves setting boundaries. We need boundaries against violence, violating, being used, etc.  When we hurt ourselves, are hurt, or allow hurt, we are in essence, hurting God.
The mandate from the Gospel reading at the Eucharist: “Love the Lord your God…love your neighbor as yourself” can too often be a lopsided triangle with loving self being left out. It should be an equilateral triangle where we love ourselves because we love and are loved by God and therefore we can love our neighbor.
Pam suggested the book Our Selves, Our Souls, and Bodies as a resource. She ended the talk by sharing a bumper sticker that could have been the theme of the weekend: “Don’t Postpone Joy”.
During the first ‘pampering session’, women had the opportunity to try out Pilates or hear Nutrition Tips for healthy eating. Some took the opportunity to walk the labyrinth or prayer walk or just sit and journal or read. The loose structure of the schedule allowed women to experience what they wanted to as they felt the need. Chair massage and pedicure stations were added to the choices, too.
After lunch, participants heard from Rachel Cox of the Taos Community Against Violence shelter. Rachel opened by saying that ‘trauma is something that happens that you don’t want.’ She shared statistics about domestic violence and rape, noting that 35% of women around the world are victims of rape. Rachel asked us to re-think our response when we hear of someone in an abusive situation. Too often we subconsciously and subtly blame the victim with our words. We say “Why does she stay?” rather than “Why doesn’t he stop hitting her?” Blaming the victim protects us so that we don’t have to see that we are, in reality, just as vulnerable as the victim.
When we realize that we, too, are vulnerable, we can be supportive. Rachel stated that the most important part of breaking the cycle is ending the ‘secrecy code’ that abusers use to keep the victim compliant. When we are willing and able to be vulnerable and supportive, we act like geese in formation. The ‘V’ formation offers lift to those in the back and the geese take turns being in the lead. Those in the back honk out encouragement to those in front. We can do the same thing when we support victims and quit blaming them, even in subtle ways.
Rachel handed out informational brochures. Retreat participants had donated a car-load of toiletries including lotions and shampoos for the CAV.
The rest of the afternoon included 2 more ‘pampering sessions’ with a presentation of DoTerra Oils and of Mary Kay products. Women could do crafts, meditate, walk, take advantage of the massages and/or swim in the pool.
Later in the afternoon, everyone gathered to discuss insights from the weekend, esp. those relating to the object chosen from the tablescape. There was then time to swim and rest before dinner. After dinner, a lively game of FAITH Bingo was played for several door prizes, the ultimate prize being a free stay at the Lodge.
Plan to attend the next DRG Women's Retreat (Nov. 8-9) and be part of the fun. Check out the What's Happening Page for other events in the planning stages!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Body, Mind, Spirit Retreat-June 21-22

Come away to the mountains to be refreshed by the quiet of San Geronimo Lodge in Taos, by meditations on Philippians 2:5-11, by friends, and by pampering of our personal ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’.

Friday evening is a time to unwind, get to know each other, get out of the hurry, hurry of our day-to-day with a short meditation and discussion of the Body of Christ. Saturday, after a relaxing breakfast at the Lodge, the Rev. Pam Tyler will lead a teaching on having a “spa of the soul to honor the holy temple we share with God.”  There will be time throughout the retreat to explore the on-site Prayer Walk and/or Labyrinth.  We will have time to enjoy pampering options, beauty demos, relaxing in the pool, crafts, watching a movie, etc. If there is enough interest, we’ll arrange a tour of Taos and/or the galleries of Taos.
Following dinner, we’ll relax together and review the day, play some games and maybe sing a few songs. Please make plans to stay both Friday and Saturday, so you can attend church at St. James, Taos. This is a lovely church and a beautiful way to end the weekend.
Space is limited at San Geronimo (15 rooms, 26 beds), register early (deadline May 20).
Day visitors can stay elsewhere & come for the retreat activities on Friday and Saturday. 
Registration form here and on the calendar page of Women of the DRG Blog.
Post this on your church bulletin board, too!

There will be time for 2 or 3 of these Pampering opportunities throughout the retreat. Pick your favorites when you register.

Massage ($75/hr.) 
Skin Care Demo*    
Pilates ($8/person)
Nutrition Demo*  
Essential Oils Demo* 
Bible Beauty * 
Crafting Time  
Reading or Chatting  
Movie Mania
Pool Party 
Tour of Taos or Taos Galleries ($50) (Tours will be planned, based on responses)

*Products available for purchase, if desired, after demo

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Holy Saturday leads to Happy Easter

From an ancient homily for Holy Saturday

The Lord's descent into the underworld

Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.

See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.

I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.

Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.

(copied from Facebook/John Michael Talbot page)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Fertile Ideas from the Retreat

At the end of the retreat, everyone agreed that the time together had been productive and a blessing. It was good to have a variety of activities, including the prayer tree in the patio area. Attendees shared ideas for future retreats and how to make them even better. The Council of the Women of the DRG will take these under advisement as we move forward.

Feedback: There was a suggestion to end by 3PM so that travelers can get on the road. Everyone felt that having different topics throughout the day made it more interesting than having just one speaker. There was interest in having a presentation of a ministry in the diocese (like Las Palomas) at every retreat. Participants could be encouraged, as at the Lent retreat to bring donations and also a collection should be taken at the Eucharist which would go to the spotlighted ministry.
Attendance: In order to encourage younger women such as moms and working women, it is important to have something for children. It was felt that the multi-faceted presentation idea could also encourage greater attendance as some might only be able to come for the workshop that interested them.
Speakers: We started a list of speakers which is posted on the blog. This is a resource for all women’s groups to use when they are considering having a retreat and/or need a speaker for some occasion.
Retreats: Ideas for future retreats included a Labyrinth Workshop (perhaps in Glenwood, NM-White Water Mesa), Liturgy and the Liturgical Year, Anglican Rosary-making & using, Life of an Episcopal Nun, and exploring music of various kinds: Taize, Contemporary, and others. Connecting: Participants also shared interest in connecting across the Diocese. Visits to other churches, and sister parish partnerships were suggested. In this technological age, we can also connect via the web through groups, the blog, and even web casting. It was suggested that the keynote speakers of retreats be recorded and the talk posted for others to share in.
The next event for Women of the Diocese will be the visit of Bishop Barbara Harris on Pentecost weekend! Watch the Together and this blog for more info as it is available. 
Registration will soon be available for the Body, Mind, Spirit Retreat at San Geronimo in Taos, June 21-22. This will be a lovely time to relax in the beauty of the mountains, enjoy some pampering, and refresh our souls.
Anyone with other ideas is encouraged to share them! If you have thoughts about retreat topics, speakers, and/or ways to share respond to this post or email Cindy.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

More Retreat News

The Bishop wasn't the only speaker at the Lively Lent retreat. In the afternoon, we had 3 workshops providing insight into ways to live more fully into Lent and into our baptismal vows and ultimately be more fully aware on the Road to Jerusalem and Emmaus.

Susan Hutchins shared her work in Columbus and Palomas with a slide show. She works with the poorest of the poor in these sister communities. The simplest items are warmly welcomed-blankets, gloves, etc. Women are empowered to begin cottage industry making baskets and other items from donated supplies.

Part of the ministry is the Shoebox ministry at Christmas gives the Palomas children (1000 last year) a chance to have something special. Recently she asked diocesan churches for blankets because families in Palomas did not have any. Her living room was filled with donations from across the diocese which she delivered to many families. One touching story was of the way a family handed the blanket down the line to the youngest child because he was the one who did not have anything to sleep under.
The Rev. Susan Collis, of St. Francis on the Hill, shared a series of hands-on ways to pray in untraditional ways.
1.      Write a card to someone you’ve been meaning to contact.
2.      Braid together 3 ribbons: you, God, issue while praying about the issue.
3.      Use play dough to form an image of your issue and manipulate it to see what happens. Or just play with the dough and see what emerges.
4.      Use bubbles as a medium to send your prayers heavenward.
5.      Create a prayer plaque or scriptural reminder to place on your desk or in your prayer area.
6.     (This last one is a little hard to describe) Take a rock. Hold and pray into it an issue while walking, kneeling, or standing. Offer it to God. We placed ours in a water basin on the altar.
Participants found these prayers very inspirational and shared some of their insights and experiences.

Finally, Cindy Davis shared some ideas for using journaling as a conversation with God and offered ideas for places where inspiration for jounaling can be found, including pictures, quotes, the Bible, music, nature, etc.

To close the day we had a time of brainstorming the future of women of the DRG. This conversation continued in Roswell with the ladies there. Check back for some of those thoughts.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Delightful Retreat

Thanks to the ladies of St. Francis on the Hill, El Paso, 40 women from the Diocese of the Rio Grande had a delightful time of retreat, learning and fellowship, as well as delicious food. (You can't have a retreat without good food-right?)

The Bishop was our Keynote speaker. He stated, 'Lent is a serious time, not a somber time'. He told us Lent is a spiritual time to draw nearer to redemptive life in Christ. Our Journey toward humility is our ROAD to JERUSALEM. The Road to Jerusalem is life.
We must head for Jerusalem. The journey is not easy and it is not one we choose for ourselves-we are placed on the road. It is important to understand that we journey not as tourists but as pilgrims. Pilgrims intentionally look for something through which to interpret life. We discover our personal story in the scriptures. As pilgrims we are on a journey to wake up, but we won’t be fully awake until death. We are not alone on our journey, because we are part of a larger community. The Road to Jerusalem is common to all people. None of us will escape pain, rejection, etc. Baptism is the start of our journey.
The second part of the Bishop’s talk centered on how our journey beyond Jerusalem is toward conquering. It is our ROAD to EMMAUS. On the Emmaus Road (Luke 24:13-32) we find that emptiness is conquered because “Christ emptied himself…[to be] filled with the fullness of grace.” When Jesus met the disciples on the Road to Emmaus, he “opened their minds” to salvation.
The Bishop noted that 'emerging' and 'conservative' church leaders agree that the Church needs to reflect the story of Scripture in everyday practice. “Non-believers don’t want a religious version of what they get at the mall.” They are “searching for the mystery of the ancient Gospel” found in scriptural living.
We need to bring in the Mystery and ask unanswerable questions, because these are the ultimate questions. The Bible is Life Story not a Fairy Tale. True evangelism is Truth-centered, individually person-centered and culturally, actively, life-centered. The Gospel is not relevant if not in context.
Interestingly 85% of Americans say they believe Jesus was raised, but they don’t want to be involved in established religion. Ravi Zacharias was asked by a Hindu: “If the transformation is truly supernatural, why is it not evident in Christians?”
The Road to Jerusalem is full of barrenness, pain, brokenness, dying. The Road to Emmaus is new life and awakening to the truth. It is becoming awakened to the Truth that God is in the midst of all and despite controversies-we are One in Christ. Teresa of Avila said, “The feeling remains that God is on a journey with us.”
There are 4 facets on the Road:
1.      We enter when we bottom out
Only when we release our preoccupation with ‘life’ can we discover life in the devastation. We then become conscious of the Truth and can center in Christ, free from matters of the world.

2.      We recognize and trust the inner way of journey
We have to trust that we are made in the image of God and in so doing we re-member ourselves into community. To do this we have to ‘get out of the way’ and let go. This is alms, prayers, etc.

3.      We face and embrace our shadow self
We must accept the ‘dark’, shadow self and know brokenness. Then we can face the dis-function and repent and let it go.

4.      We reenter the past and release its hold on us.
When we forgive the past and unfinished business, it loses its hold. We learn that forgiveness is ‘divine forgetting’ and move forward on the road to Emmaus.

We have to take the risk of a leap of faith to become more real, more in tune with the Truth. To work toward this goal, across the Diocese, small groups will be encouraged to share their Road to Emmaus stories with the aid of cards that will provide questions for discussion and focus.
Over the next couple weeks, there will be more information about the retreat and follow up discussions here on this blog. We also heard from Susan Hutchins about her ministry of Las Palomas and the Rev. Shannon Collis gave us some inspirational ways to 'pray outside the box'.

In the works is a Google group for the women of the DRG where we can share thoughts and study across the distances. Watch for how to sign onto that soon.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Lively Lent!

This week is the deadline to register for a retreat that promises to be fun and educational and inspirational! "Lively Lent" at St. Francis on the Hill, El Paso will start on Friday, March 1 with dinner (thanks to the ladies of St. Francis!), conversations with Bishop Vono, and some sharing of Lent ideas with Pastor Pat Green of St. Mark's on the Mesa. You can download the registration form or email Cindy if you want to attend!

Throughout the retreat we'll experience ways to live Lent in thought, word, and deed. Come see how Lent is really a time to examine and live more deeply into our Baptismal covenant. Lent is a wonderful opportunity to renew our commitment, made at baptism, to “continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers.”
To “persevere in resisting evil, repent and return to the Lord.”
To “proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ.”
To “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself.”
And to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.”

On Saturday morning, we will hear a Keynote talk by Bishop Vono, followed by Eucharist and lunch. After lunch we will learn about the Las Palomas Ministry from Susan Hutchins as a way to "strive for justice and peace...and respect the dignity of every human". Then there will be time for a couple of workshops focusing on hands on and hearts on ways to live a Lively Lent. A prayer workshop will be led by the Rev. Shannon Collis, new rector at St. Francis on the Hill (ways to "persevere, repent, and return to the Lord"). Cindy Davis will lead an introduction to using journals as a study and meditation aid as well as how to use non-traditional books as guides to "proclaim by word and example the Good News". We will end with dinner and closing worship, but hopefully many will return for the Sunday service at St. Francis on the Hill so we can be a lively and visible presence of the Women of the Diocese in action, living out the newly created Mission Statement: "to empower all women in their diverse Christian ministries." 

All who are attending are encouraged to bring canned goods, fabric, or a monetary donation to support the La Coopertiva border ministry at Las Palomas. Women in the program use fabric, recycled bags and other items to make lovely crafts which are sold. Proceeds return to the women to help them break the cycle of poverty.

You can come for just Saturday, if that fits your schedule better. Already women from Albuquerque, Silver City, Las Cruces, Roswell, and of course El Paso will be attending. What a wonderful way to make new friends and learn how to make Lent a time to really live the vows made when you were baptized!

If you cannot come to the retreat, you will find that the Footprints From the Bible blog (by Cynthia Davis) is looking at these same topics during Lent. Watch this blog for a summary of the retreat, too. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

We Are the Branches

Women of the Diocese met for the Crazy Quilt Conversations Retreat in November of 2012. At that time, it was determined that a mission statement and plan for going forward to empower, support, and grow women’s ministry in the Diocese was important. To further that goal, a focus group of interested women from across the Diocese met at the Cathedral on February 10 for discussion. We started by sharing whether we were a grape leaf, tendril, fruit, or branch based on John 15.

The most important item of the meeting was formulating a mission statement. This was distilled to read: “The mission of the Women of the Diocese of the Rio Grande is to empower all women in their diverse Christian ministries.” Implementing this mission will include communication of opportunities and ways to welcome women from all demographics. Several ideas for future retreats were considered, including online (watch for something after Easter) and leadership workshops. Bishop Barbara Harris will be here on Pentecost weekend (more info to follow). Mark your calendars for the Mind, Body, Spirit Retreat on June 21-22 in Taos and Abide, the second annual retreat at the Bosque Center on November 9-10. Plans for events in 2014 are already starting, too. Check the blog calendar and watch for info in e-newsletters. If you aren't receiving the info, it's because we don't have your email. Send that to Cindy to be added.
Already women across the diocese are coming together for exciting events like the many Lenten retreats offered around the diocese this year. One of these was organized by Dean Peggy Patterson at Holy Faith in Santa Fe. Over 80 Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic ladies gathered on February 9 to hear Deborah Smith Douglas and soak in a day of absolute quiet in the Lord during the Deep Peace and High Anxiety: Pray, Love, Remember day.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Retreats for Women in 2013

There are so many retreats around the Diocese this Lent, a new and updated list is in order! This is wonderful news that there are so many opportunities for Spiritual Growth in Lent and beyond! I hope that you will have a chance to take advantage of one or more of these retreats! Some of the retreats are in the northern part of the Diocese and some in the south. The Feb. 9 retreat at Holy Faith is anticipating over 80 ladies! Looking forward to seeing some of you there! Watch for photos here!
February 16: Centering Prayer Retreat at the Cathedral, Albuquerque with Susan Rush of the Contemplative Center, sponsored by the Daughters of the King. (Free, donations accepted for food & supplies) Contact Martha Ernest, or Cindy Davis
February 22-23: Stations of the Cross with the Rev. Rhonda McIntire (overnight) at the Bosque Center, Albuquerque. RSVP to the Rev. Rhonda McIntire of San Gabriel, Corrales. ($75, includes room and 3 meals.)
February 23: A Study of the Book of Ruth led by Canon Scott Ruthven at St. Andrew's, Las Cruces, sponsored by the Santa Rosa Chapter, Daughters of the King. R.S.V.P. 575-522-2622 or bcb88005@yahoo.com (9-1, with lunch to follow)

Lively LentMarch 2 (8-6): A Lively Lent in Thought, Word, and Deed a retreat for women at St. Francis on the Hill, El Paso with Bishop Vono as keynote speaker. $40 (There will also be workshops with ideas for an active, lively Lent and a presentation by Susan Hutchins of the Our Lady of Las Palomas border ministry. Attendees are encouraged to stay and attend St. Francis on Sunday. Donations for Las Palomas are being requested.) More info and registration form here.
March 23: A Lent Retreat for Women with Canon Kathleen McNellis sponsored and hosted by the Julian of Norwich Daughters of the King in Roswell. (Contact Kathleen Pittman at St. Andrews, Roswell for more info.)Bishop Barbara Harris
May 18: A Day with Bishop Barbara Harris, first woman Bishop of the Episcopal Church, in Albuquerque. (Watch for more information about this exciting opportunity to meet and learn from the first woman bishop of the Episcopal Church)
June 21-23: Body, Mind, Spirit: A Time of Pampering and Renewal at the San Geronimo Center in Taos. (Plans are in process to make this a time of refreshing both physically and spiritually in the cooler summer beauty of Taos.)
November 8-9: Second Annual Women’s Retreat at the Bosque Center, Albuquerque.
November 14-17: Cursillo Weekend at the Bosque Center, Albuquerque.

If you know of other Retreat opportunities, please email Cindy Davis so they can be posted on the blog and highlighted in the newsletter.
More info about all these retreats can be found on the Varieties of Gifts blog for Women of the Diocese of the Rio Grande.

Retreat at the Bosque Center, Albuquerque. (Dates and

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

"Pray, Love, Remember" Retreat in Santa Fe

Take advantage of this opportunity to meet other women of the Diocese, pray together, and hear an acclaimed speaker and writer, Deborah Smith Douglas-all for FREE! 

Deep Peace and High Anxiety: “Pray, Love, Remember”
Women’s Spirituality  Retreat
February 9, 2013
 9:00-4:00 p.m.  Church of the Holy Faith
led by Deborah Smith Douglas

We all live in what the poet W. H. Auden called the “age of anxiety.”  But we are also invited into the peace of God, a peace so radical that it “passes all understanding.” 
How can we get from here to there?  Without denying the power of what we fear, how can we learn to live in trust and hope? 

This retreat will use Scripture and poetry, as well as insights from psychology and art and the lives of the saints, to explore ways we might loosen the grip of worry on our lives, and enlarge our faith that we might hold our anxieties both more lightly and from a deeper place. 

Deborah Smith Douglas has degrees in literature and law, and is a writer, spiritual director and retreat leader.  She is the author of The Praying Life: Seeking God in All Things and, with her husband David Douglas, of Pilgrims in the Kingdom: Travels in Christian Britain.  Her essays have been published in Weavings, Commonweal, Desert Call, Spiritual Life, Christian Century, and The American Benedictine Review.  She is a laywoman in the Episcopal Church, and a Camaldolese Benedictine oblate.

Saturday, February 9, 2012
Deep Peace and High Anxiety: “Pray, Love, Remember”

Where: Palen Hall at the Church of the Holy Faith - 311 E. Palace Avenue Santa Fe
Information: The Very Reverend Peggy Patterson @ 982 4447 Ext. 119
When: Saturday, Feb. 9 8:30 a.m. – Continental Breakfast; 9:00-4:45 p.m. Retreat (included closing Eucharist at 4:00 p.m.)
What: Bring a Brown Bag Lunch. Drinks will be provided
Cost: This Retreat is a Gift from Deborah Smith Douglas and Holy Faith
Who: All Women in the community are invited to come.
How: Please register by February 1 so adequate space can be provided. You may also call 982 4447, Ext. 119, and leave name and email and phone number.