Bishop Mark Lawrence urged the women of the Diocese to look to Jesus for both an example of hospitality and for the ability to be hospitable at the annual gathering of Anglican Women held at St. Paul’s Church in Summerville, May 4.
“Jesus was the embodiment of God’s hospitable nature in both his teaching and life,” he said.
He pointed out how different our world of today is from the world of Scripture.
We as a culture have become suspicious (of strangers), “but God invites them all to the party. He welcomes them!” said Bishop Lawrence.
“We protect ourselves from strangers,” he said. “Hide your money, lock your door, chain your bike.” He told how we, as a culture, have become suspicious of those who look different or speak another language… but God “invites them all to the party. He welcomes them!” he said.
Calling hospitality both a spiritual gift and a cultivated virtue the Bishop said coming into a relationship with Christ is what enables us to be hospitable. He reminded us that we cannot be people who practice hospitality until we have experienced the hospitality of God toward us – the blind, deaf, and needy. “You can’t give what you don’t have,” he said. The two talks, one on God’s hospitality toward us and the other our hospitality toward others are available here.
Those gathered thanked Yvonne Duty, of The Church of The Resurrection, North Charleston, for her service as the President of the Anglican Women for the past two years. All of the past board members were recognized for their service to the ministry to women.
Patricia Smith, of St. Paul’s, Summerville, who will serve as the new President, was recognized and, along with the other board members for 2019-2020, was installed by Bishop Lawrence.
Patricia shared that the vision for the Anglican Women mirrors that of our diocese, “Making Biblical Anglican Women for a Global Age.” The second half of the women’s vision is to follow the Titus 2:3-5 model of women mentoring women.
The Board, along with many volunteers, will offer two major opportunities for women to be strengthened in their faith. There will be the Annual Gathering each year and a Women’s Retreat.
This year’s Women’s Retreat will be October 25, 26, and 27 at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center with Bishop Lawrence as the keynote speaker. Workshops on topics particularly of interest to women will also be offered.
At the gathering May 4, Jessica Smith, of St. Paul’s, led a workshop on the Battle of the Mind, sharing the victory she’d experienced in her own life, as well as practical tools for those struggling with anxiety and uncontrolled thoughts. St. Paul’s will be offering a Bible Study based on the book The Believer’s Battle Strategy, by Christie Michaud, every Friday from 9:30 – 11:15 a.m. beginning Friday, May 31, running for eight weeks. Anyone interested can contact St. Paul’s for more information.