"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.
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
The Bishop’s retreat focus was living
and sharing our faith in Lent and beyond. He used the Beatle’s song Long and Winding Roadas 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.