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)

As women of the Diocese of the Rio Grande we work to live out this promise in retreat, fellowship, study, and ministry.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Does My Life Have a Message Weekend-Great Fun

The Does My Life have a Message? Weekend at the Bosque Center (November 6-7) for women of the Diocese and their friends was attended by a total of 50 women. This was the 4th Annual Weekend Event and each time new friends are made and inspiring ideas are shared.
Katrine Stewart was the leader this year. Attendees came from Lovington and Farmington, from El Paso and Carlsbad, and from Albuquerque. Several women took advantage of the ‘Re-focus’ sessions with Katrine Stewart on Friday during the day. This was time to journal and look at the story of Mary and Martha from the Gospels, and what their story might teach us about stress, confronting God, and living as women of faith.
The weekend itself started with dinner on Friday evening, followed by a time of sharing a meaningful life ‘message’, Bible verse, or motto; along with 3 words Christ has spoken to our hearts. After breakfast on Saturday morning we shared Eucharist in the beauty of the Bosque Center. It was a lovely time of music (thanks Gay Crouch) and prayer; the perfect way to start out time together.
Katrine’s talks on Saturday led us to contemplate what a retreat is and why women on the ‘front lines’ of ministry sometimes need to ‘retreat’. A soldier on the battlefield is sometimes called to retreat in order to regroup, rest, heal, strategize, and refocus the attack. In the same way, busy women need time to step back and let God show us a bit more of the whole picture as we rest, listen, and refocus our lives and ministries. Katrine reminded us that God sees the whole tapestry, while we too often focus on just the knots staring us in the face. In community we are strengthened to let God’s light shine through the cracks of our humanity. Through the mentorship and friendship of one another, we learn to invite others to ‘come and see’ Christ.
Katrine suggested that the way culture tells us to fill the ‘God shaped hole’ is in opposition to the light-giving way of discipleship. ‘Messages’ from parents, culture, and other influences impact how we face life. As we learn to weigh the various voices and determine which are worth keeping and which are not we are more open to Christ’s invitation to ‘come and see’ God. When we are planted in the good soil of the healthy messages, we can hear the voice of God that is imprinted on our heart. Then we love without giving up, love others more than ourselves, love what we have rather than wanting what we don’t have, love without keeping score, love and be able to make mistakes without giving up, love and put up with anything, love and trust God, and love by keeping on until the end. We are a new creation, transformed by grace.
Katrine urged us to remember that emotion is neither right nor wrong. What matters is what emotion is put in the engine of the train. The messages from parents, culture, church, and even pets can derail us, until we look for Christ’s message in the voices.

There was time to journal and share insights during the day. Wonderful fellowship occurred as women met new friends and renewed acquaintances over meals, during breaks, and while sharing experiences. 
Next year’s weekend (our 5th) will be on November 18-19. Mark your calendar now so you don’t miss this Spirit-filled time of retreat and re-creation in the beauty of the Bosque Center. Also, join together in Socorro for Mysterious Lent (with the Rev. Carole McGowan) on March 5. Other opportunities are on the calendar page. See more photos from the event on the photo page, too.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Women's Council Planning Meeting

The Women's Council of the Women of the Diocese of the Rio Grande met on September 12. (Thanks Linda for your hospitality!) We had a great time of fellowship, spirited discussion, and wide-ranging planning. Our continuing mission is to empower all women of the Diocese in their diverse Christian ministries. Each time we gather as women of the diocese we are enriched.

Since 2012 we've had an annual retreat at the Bosque Center. Registration is now available for the upcoming weekend: Does my Life have a Message with Katrine Stewart, on November 6-7 via the Life Message page or on the calendar page of this blog. We have also sponsored a Lent Retreat and Summer Event for the past 3 years. This will continue in 2016. Watch for locations and registration details for these events in the coming months!
As a Council, we looked at the immense distances in the Diocese of the Rio Grande. Did you know it is nearly 800 miles corner to corner (Farmington to Lajitas, TX)? Because of this, the Council is committed to trying to find ways to help connect women in far-flung parishes with opportunities and activities. One way, is via our Facebook page. There we can exchange ideas and notes about what's happening in all areas of the Diocese. If you are on Facebook-be sure to like the page, so you can be 'in the know'. Over the next few weeks, we'll be experimenting with posting of discussion topics on Facebook to see what the response will be.  The Council had extended conversation about the definition of 'ministry', so that will be our first topic to discuss.
Stop by the Women's Ministry table at Convention this year. Let us know if you'd be interested in having a Women's Hospitality time at upcoming Conventions. Whether this would take the form of an actual event, or just a room to gather and chat is still to be considered.  While at the WDRG table, you can pick up a flyer about our ministry around the diocese and a calendar of upcoming events.
Ideas under consideration for coming years include a Mystery weekend, Spirited Spa, Puzzle Pieces, Christian Grandparents, and lots of other ideas.
If you haven't joined the weekly e-study, now is the time. Current and new subscribers (email wdrgstudy@gmail.com) are encouraged to start small in-person, or online discussions with each other about the lessons. Invite new people to subscribe and then discuss your thoughts with them. If you want to share insights or ask questions to the writer of the meditations-email wdrgstudy@gmail.com.
The work of the Women of the Diocese is for each woman in the Diocese, so let us know what you want in the way of events, speakers, action, etc. Contact Cindy Davis, or one of the other Council members. (Sue Easterday, Linda White, Pat Green, Laurie Burdick, Elaine Wilson, Ann Bagby, Bambi Sturbois).

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Beautiful Servants become Women with Wings...



What happens when nearly 20 women get together with the intention of taking time to be in the presence of God and support one another’s faith journey? Prayer happens. Laughter happens. Learning happens. Sharing happens. Visioning happens. God is present. 


That was the result of the “Beautiful Servant, Beautiful Savior Retreat” at Good Shepherd Church in Silver City on July 24-25. God was present in our worship and sharing, in our music and in our taking time to rest and refresh. God was present as we took the time to encourage and support each other on our journey, rather like birds in migration who take turns leading the flock.

During the Embodied Prayer at the retreat, led by Shirin McArthur of Good Shepherd, participants danced to A River of Birds by Libana. The words of this song are a vision for what we hope to become as women of faith…”[a Diocese] of Women with Wings”.

Part of being ‘Women with Wings’ is helping other women. Susan Hutchins, of Borderlands Ministries, shared an exciting idea with women at the Beautiful Servant, Beautiful Savior Retreat. Women of the Diocese are invited to start a Sister-to-Sister pen pal relationship with women who are part of the Coopertivas in Palomas and Anapura Mexico. Participants at the retreat filled 18 gift bags with toiletries, cards, and jewelry gifts for these women and agreed to correspond with women south of the border. If you want to join this new partnership, contact Susan Hutchins. You can view her powerful presentation on YouTube
Other events included an overview of the Saint John's Bible by the Very Rev. Mark Goodman, Dean of the Cathedral. Anyone interested in seeing this incredible 7 volume replication of the first fully hand-calligraphied and illuminated Bible since the Middle Ages, is invited to stop by the Cathedral. Four of the volumes were available for women at the retreat and the congregation of Good Shepherd. 


We started our retreat with Laughter Yoga-a great and relaxing way to get to know each other. Later on, Betsy Bayne led the group in singing favorite hymns and explaining the history of the music as the premiere presentation of her ministry "Tuneful Truth". There's nothing like music to bring a group together in worship and relaxation. Betsy is delighted to travel around the diocese to offer this to congregations and groups who want to learn more about their favorite hymns. 
Participants also had an interesting presentation of the history of Good Shepherd in Silver City. As one of the first churches in the area, it has a long history and women played a major part in keeping the parish going.over the years!


The Diocesan Women’s Council will be having a planning retreat on September 12. If you have ideas for activities, speakers, themes, etc., please contact Cindy so we can continue to build a women’s ministry based on what  the Women of the Rio Grande want. Make plans to come to our Fourth Annual Bosque Retreat on November 6-7, led this year by Katrine Stewart

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


I am excited that many of you have heard the whisper of our Lord to come and spend some time in fellowship and reflection, fun and relaxation. This time at Good Shepherd in Silver City will be an opportunity to be refreshed with time away from our busy lives AND draw closer to God. If you know of other ladies who might be interested in this retreat, please invite them-just let me know so we can have nametags, meals, and supplies for them!
There have been some exciting changes to the schedule since it was published in the registration.
First off: Plan to arrive at Good Shepherd on Friday evening by 5:15PM in order to get your nametag, etc., and be ready for Laughter Yoga at 5:30PM! This is followed by dinner by the Brotherhood of St. Andrew at Good Shepherd (thanks guys)! After dinner, we’ll get to know each other, learn from Harold and his Purple Crayon and Mary Magdalene. Later we'll share a “Make your own Truffle” dessert station!
On Saturday morning, we’ll start at 9AM with Eucharist, followed by a presentation on the beautiful Saint John’s Bible by the Very Rev. Mark Goodman. Members of Good Shepherd and friends in the Silver City area are welcome to come to these two parts of the retreat.
At 11AM, we’ll dive into our retreat activities. The options noted on the schedule will be offered (embodied prayer, learning about hymns, beading, making beauty products, etc.). You can join any of these even if you didn’t sign up ahead of time.
Remember, at lunch we’ll hear from Susan Hutchins about the exciting partnership with women of the Borderlands Ministry. Be sure to bring some toiletries as listed on the registration to donate to these ladies. You’ll find the list at the bottom of this link. We’ll be packaging these and sending along cards, too.
Our activities will continue in the afternoon. We’ll have a break from 4-6PM when you can visit Silver City, visit with friends, relax, or spend some quiet time at the church. At 6PM, we’ll reconvene at the church for dinner and some final fun fellowship, which may include wine and certainly more chocolate…

Those who signed up for massage and/or reflexology will find a schedule for that at check-in. (In case you are wondering the massage therapist shops are an about 10 minute walk from the church. Probably about the same if you drive, by the time you get in and out of the car and drive and park.)
Additionally, if you are interested in having a mani/pedi you can take time for that during the day. Two salons have agreed to assist with this. Appointments can be made by calling the shop(s). They are on an ‘as available’ basis. You’ll find the menu of options. If you are interested in this, you probably want to call sooner rather than later.

This will be a fun time of renewing old friendships, and making new ones!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Beautiful Servant, Beautiful Savior Retreat, July 24-26, Silver City



Come to the southern NM mountains to relax and refresh! This year we gather in Silver City for our annual ‘Pampering Retreat’. You are invited to come away, rest, and be rejuvenated by time with women from around the Diocese, and with our Lord, while acknowledging that we are Beloved and Beautiful Servants of our Living and Beautiful Savior. We’ll experience ways to honor, encounter, recognize, and share our relationship with our Lord as we take time to rest, reflect, and pamper ourselves.

  • The retreat starts at 5:30 PM on Friday, July 24 with registration, dinner, worship and fellowship at Good Shepherd Church (615 N. Texas, Silver City).
  • Saturday morning (July 25) activities will start at the church at 9AM.
  • We’ll have dinner, evening fellowship and fun Saturday evening at the hotel. (If you really HAVE to go home, we’ll bid you a fond farewell around 4:00 PM.)
  • Everyone is encouraged to stay for Sunday worship at Good Shepherd.
  • There is something for everyone, whether you like active or quiet activities to help you relax and refresh (download the registration packet to get all the info).
  • In keeping with our tradition of outreach at these retreats, we’ll collect toiletries, lotions, and other special beauty items for the women of the Borderlands Ministry in the Palomas and Anapura, Mexico areas. Over lunch we’ll hear from Susan Hutchins about the exciting plan to form Sister-to-Sister Partnerships between women of the Rio Grande and our sisters on the border.

We are staying at the recently renovated Holiday Inn Express in Silver City (1103 Superior, Silver City) They are offering a price of $94.95/night (plus tax). Make reservations at the Holiday Inn by calling 575.538.2525; ask for the Diocese of Rio Grande rate. (Price good through July 11.) The retreat registration, to cover meals and supplies, is $35, or $25 for Saturday commuters, until July 11 then the price increases by $5. (Half scholarships are available to help with room cost. Contact Cindy.)

You can see all the info by clicking on the Beautiful Servant page in this blog. 
You can pay online, just please send page 3 of the registration packet (or email the info to Cindy) so we can get a good count for meals and for some of the activities. 
Or simply download the packet and mail in the registration page.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Long and Winding Road



On March 21 over 40 women gathered at St. Andrew’s in Roswell for the annual Lent Retreat with Bishop Vono. Attendees came from Farmington and Alpine, Alamogordo and Albuquerque, as well as Roswell, Ruidoso, and Carlsbad. Many participants gathered at the Pittman’s the lovely home on Friday evening for informal fellowship with one another and Bishop Vono. It was a beautiful way to set the stage for the retreat on Saturday.

The Bishop’s retreat focus was living and sharing our faith in Lent and beyond. He used the Beatle’s song Long and Winding Road as a starting point. Via a form of Judaic Midrash Bishop Vono introduced the familiar stories of Moses and Paul and Jesus’ Baptism. Participants shared where they found Christ-like Grounding in Holy Ground such as Moses experienced. Bishop Vono encouraged conversation about hearing the Christ-Like Voice that calls us Beloved and into communion with one another. He guided the group to consider how being ‘knocked off our horse’, like St. Paul, can actually be part of the ‘long and winding’ journey to wholeness. The conversation was lively during the discussion time as the women discovered similarities, and differences, in story and experience. 

Bishop Vono asked us to remember that scripture points us to the Divine-human relationship. There are many times when we find ourselves standing on Holy Ground, like Moses at the burning bush. We can then chose to hide our face or to say ‘yes’ to God. Our baptism is the start of the journey during which we make or become a home for God through ever deepening hospitality. God’s hospitality is in us and we must imitate that hospitality and be living water to one another. Baptism is the doorway to God because there is no veil or barrier any longer between us and God. In fact, God de-lights in us and animates us with the light of Christ. God calls us ‘Beloved’. Sometimes we are knocked off our horse, like Paul. In those times, we can discover that the experience and through the Cross we are not really broken, but actually made whole.  


During a delicious salad luncheon, Shelly Currier shared how listening to and obeying the call of God has led her to a ministry very different from her training in nursing. She is the director of WINGS for LIFE in Roswell. These programs include work with children and families, esp. those who are at risk. The ministry is done in schools, through after-school programs, and even in the jail. WINGS for LIFE is a part of the international WINGS Ministry organization (wingsministry.org), which started in New Mexico 20 years ago. Women attending the retreat contributed craft supplies to WINGS for LIFE. 


It was a time of deep sharing, great fellowship, good food (thanks Julian of Norwich Chapter of the Daughters of the King), and  deep learning. 

You can view the videos of the Bishop’s talks on the Women's Ministry YouTube Channel.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sharing Lent-A Retreat with Bishop Vono in Roswell



All women (lay & ordained) are invited to 
Sharing Lent, a Retreat in Roswell with Bishop Vono, 
March 21 from 8:30 AM-3:00 PM
On Saturday we will hear from Bishop Vono about how to Share our Faith in Lent and Beyond based on Romans 10: 8-9 “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Start the weekend on Friday, March 20 at 7PM with a fellowship gathering at the home of Kathleen Pittman (2 Park Rd., Roswell). We’ll have wine, cheese, and lively conversation.

Hotels are available near the church for those who are traveling. There is not a block of rooms, please make your own reservations by phone or online. Hotels offering a special rate for us are:
Best Western Sally Port, 2000 N Main, Roswell (575-622-6430) 2 Queen beds $79+tax (mention Amy Morales)
La Quinta Inn & Suites, 200 E 19th, Roswell (575-622-8000) 2 Queen beds $84+tax
Holiday Inn Express, 2306 N Main (575-623-2306) $77+tax (mention St. Andrew’s Retreat)

Registration fee of $20/person covers lunch and supplies. You can register for the retreat online or download and mail the form as indicated. After March 1, prices increase by $5. (Some half scholarships are available. Contact Cindy Davis.)

Shelly Currier from Roswell will speak about the WINGS Ministry at lunch. Please bring some of these items to support this important ministry to families: glue sticks, fancy (not yellow) pencils, fun stickers, craft ‘pipe’ cleaners. 

Carpools from Albuquerque may be available depending on interest. Contact Cindy to sign up.