Woman to Woman
January 1, 1970October 2, 2008, Issue 6
Woman to Woman
Greetings from Millersburg, Pennsylvania. Cooler temperatures tell me fall is creeping in on us, and I can’t wait for that foliage. It’s my favorite time of year, and there’s a lot going on.
Speaking has come to be an important part of my ministry, particularly as a member of Friends of the Heart. That’s what my younger friends (Kim and Janine) and I call ourselves as we share God’s love through testimony, drama and song (Kim’s the singer). As we speak at women’s retreats and various seasonal events, we find that women truly do need women as friends of the heart.
We need to connect with someone who understands what we’re going through, someone who’s survived loss and pain and the challenges of child rearing, someone who’s husband is just like ours. (smile)
I would encourage you to create a forum for women of your church and beyond. It turns out to be fun for everyone and gives women opportunities to use their spiritual gifts.
At a recent retreat one woman organized a scavenger hunt based on the 23rd Psalm. What fun it was to rest in green pastures and dip our hands in cool waters on a balmy September day. We even crawled through the valley of the shadow of death. Another woman created theme-related pictures for the walls. Still another did table decorations. It was obvious these women enjoyed working together and made everyone feel most welcome and involved.
As speakers we try hard to create a climate for women to connect with each other and with God. When we pull aside, we’re better able to hear His word. I am so blessed as I offer dramatic presentations of the book of Philippians from memory because Paul expresses exactly what I feel for these women as I get to know them. And women tell me they receive insights from the oral presentation that they hadn’t noticed while reading scripture.
You don’t need an “official” women’s ministry to plan such an event. You just need whatever approval your church might require, and then reserve a retreat center, hotel or even a bed and breakfast to provide accommodations. With the Internet, it’s easy to find speakers. Friends of the Heart is listed along with probably 700 others at http://www.womenspeakers.com. And we’re listed by state and town, so you can easily find someone in your region.
One element that Kim, Janine and I add to our retreats is humor. “Serving: The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love” includes skits as Mary and Martha and their psychologist. “At Any Age, At Any Stage, Celebrating the Christian Life” features Dora the Explorer, Wonder Woman and Hyacinth Bucket (pronounce that Bou-kay’, please). Guess who plays Hyacinth. It’s amazing the insight you can offer through humor.
Several women I’ve written about in Sisterhood of Faith: 365 Life-Changing Stories About Women Who Made a Difference have devoted their lives to helping women connect. I think of Marsha Kallander who founded the Heavenly Hearts Prayer Partner Ministry. She suggests two women meet weekly for one hour to exchange two items of praises, two prayer requests and two areas in which they want to be held accountable. Marsha would love to give you more information if you’ll just e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell her where you learned of her ministry.
Vickie Kraft and her husband founded Titus 2:4 Ministries, which encourages older women to teach and model God’s word to a younger generation (http://www.titus2-4.org). Dee Brestin writes books, such as The Friendships of Women, that show us the power and beauty of women’s friendships.
So my prayer for you is that you’re able to connect with another woman or two who may support you on this journey called life and, if God leads, to help the women of your church find support in one another.
May I close on a personal note. Last month I shared that my husband Bill had been diagnosed with lymphoma. We were about to take a trip West but were waiting on the go-ahead from his doctors. Well, we took that trip, and it will remain a cherished memory. But the best news is that Bill’s lymphoma was discovered in a very early stage, so he will need a minimum of chemotherapy and radiation. We thank God for that.
Have a blessed October and don’t forget to enjoy the beautiful scenery God has given us.
A Friend of Your Heart
October 5, 2 p.m. - Presenting book of Philippians from memory at Fil-Am Church, Alexandria, Virginia.
October 18, 2 p.m. – Friends of the Heart presenting “Tea With Mary and Martha and Their Psychologist” at Calvary Independent Church, Lykens, PA.
October 31-Nov. 1 - Book Table at 70th Anniversary Teacher Training Conference for CEF of Eastern Pennsylvania, Sheraton Hotel, Harrisburg.
November 3, 7 p.m. – Friends of the Heart presenting “An Evening With Mary and Martha and Their Psychologist” at Himmel’s Church, Rebuck.
November 9, 9 a.m. - Speaking at Thank Offering Services: St. Michael's Lutheran Church, Klingerstown; 10:30 a.m. - Zion Lutheran Church, Erdman.
December 6, 2 p.m. - Friends of the Heart presenting "Mary: Ordinary or Extraordinary" at First United Methodist Church of Hershey.
February 13-15, 2009 - Friends of the Heart leading women's retreat for Bethesda Evangelical Congregational Church at Kenbrook Bible Camp, Lebanon.
March 8, 2009, 3 p.m. - Part of authors' panel at Elizabethville Branch Library.
March 27-28 – Friends of the Heart leading women’s retreat for Paxton United Methodist Church, Harrisburg, at Middlecreek Manor.