"A GATHERING OF WOMEN"
August News Update by Tanya Lopez, Regional Disciples Women Staff
History is important. Our stories are important. They help shape who we are. Family history is important, world and ancient history, US history, all important. History help to define who we are. History is not only the study of past events or moments, but is also connection. It keeps us connected to what has been, so that we can grow and learn from those who have gone before us. Many people have very strong feelings associated with history and the past. All are valid and important feelings, and all help us along our journey together.
We as Disciples Women have a very rich herstory. I will be using that term for the remainder of this piece, and it will help to bring a nice close to my thoughts. We have been a community of women who have had mission and justice as it’s driving force. Women saw a need to give financially and to support mission work. Women like Caroline Neville Pearre sent letters and organized women to band together and do just that. I write her name, and have written about her before, because she is part of our herstory. Out of her passion for mission and desire to do something, the Christian Women’s Board of Mission was born, which would eventually grow and evolve into our present-day Disciples Women’s Ministry. We have done so much, and continue to do so much. We are always growing and changing the ways in which we do things and gather together. The core of who we are, however always remains the same.
We have had the opportunity to have many events and learning opportunities. We plan mission opportunities and continue to give and send people to live out their call to bring healing, justice and wholeness to the world. We do this work both nationally and regionally. We have always recognized the need to adapt to better the serve the women and be more efficient in the work that we do together. From changing venues of an event or gathering, to changing dates, or lengths of time for programs and labels of what something is called, we have adapted, changed and grown because of our gift for this.
We will be experiencing a rebirth of a part of our herstory that means a lot to many and at the same time is something exciting and new. We are going to be having the opportunity to come together as women on the west coast to connect. The interregional gathering WWOW CONNECT promises to be a time where women will connect with through the Spirit, through their Sisters, through Service, through Scriptures, and with and through their Self. This event will be a mini reimagining of what our Quadrennial Assemblies were and the opportunity for us to rebirth something new where we will have dynamic speakers, international guests and connections, time to worship and grow together, and come together to work and make mission happen.
This new opportunity allows us to bring together all women of all ages in Arizona for 3 days in which we will do amazing things together. But because we are so very excited and looking forward to this event, we want to also recognize that setting aside resources and time to go to an event out of state can be a challenge. We are working to provide scholarships and assistance so that all who want to attend, can. More information on that will be shared as it becomes available, but to help get as many women to this interregional event we have decided to reimagine our time together this fall.
Every year we have had a Spiritual Growth Retreat for the Women of our Region up at our Camp, Loch Leven. We invite a speaker, or speakers, we learn, grow, spend time renewing all of ourselves and spending one on one time with God. This retreat is usually Friday through Sunday and it has been and continues to be an important piece of our herstory and of our programming for the women of the region. We have any powerful and wonderful retreats where women have been called, healed, restored, and renewed for their continued work in the church and in the world. We are not canceling the retreat, but rather rebirthing it so that it is a time of renewal for women but also not difficult to attend and plan for an upcoming opportunity.
We will be planning a Spiritual Renewal Day this fall with details of date, registration, and location to come out in the next week. We are working on finalizing those details so that it is an event that will still provide a time for spiritual renewal and growth, connection with your sisters from across our region, and a time for you to connect with God. We know this is a valuable and important event. We invite you to please keep the last weekend in September on your calendar for this time together.
Herstory allows us to build upon our foundations to go higher, and reach farther with the knowledge of what worked, and what can be adapted and changed to make something thrive. We are excited about all we have in store in the weeks and months to come. We know that change is not the end. It is a sign of life. Disciples Women are a living, growing, moving body of the church and will continue to be so.
Historically women have done so much and we are making a conscious effort to tell our stories and to continue to learn from our sisters that have come before us. That is what Herstory is. Our voices, our stories from our great-great grandmothers to our mothers, to our sisters and our daughters, our friends and all. Women sharing what was given to them.
I invite you to connect with us at our Interregional gathering. Be a part of herstory in the making! Come to our Spiritual Renewal Day to be refreshed for your journey and to help leave a mark on our shared regional herstory as Disciple Women.
Disciples Women Staff
2401 N. Lake Ave
Altadena, California 91001