Greetings from the President of the Diocesan Women’s Ministries
Download a printable version of this letter.
Dear Women of God,
Reflecting on our new logo which depicts prayer, the scriptures, the fire of the Holy Spirit and the pelican, some thoughts come to mind for our spiritual life in Christ….
In the Sermon on the Mount, our Lord opens the discourse giving us a clear picture of what it looks like to be a citizen of the kingdom of God. The first fundamental attitude is “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” This lays the foundation of God’s description of our true “heart” identity as Christian women. The word “poor” here speaks to the image of a beggar, totally helpless, dependent on others for everything. Some have said that Christianity is merely one beggar telling another beggar where to get food.
This image is in stark contrast to some domineering voices of culture that try to dictate and at times scream at us to be “empowered” by our own self-worth. These voices can violate God’s divine design for womanhood. As women of God, we are to have our dependence on God, God’s Word being our plumb line, not popular opinion. We faithfully align our lives with the truth of God’s Word, listening only to the voice of our Shepherd.
John 10:27-30, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
A beggar’s most pressing need is food. “Daily bread,” received through prayer, scripture, and with the guiding fire of the Holy Spirit, strengthens us to KNOW him. (3 of the 4 images in our logo) As we practice these daily disciplines and confessed sins are forgiven, our fellowship with Him and others becomes richer and deeper. Our souls are cleansed of the lies of the enemy. We more clearly recognize His voice and receive grace to follow Him. As our Bishop’s wife has encouraged us before, the Daily Individual Prayers (page 136) and the Daily Office Lectionary (page 934) in the Book of Common Prayer, even the mobile app BCP, are unifying resources for making us Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age.
The bottom right quadrant of the logo features “the pelican in her piety.” The pelican symbolizes self-sacrifice, love and generosity. Legends from antiquity state, “she pierces her breast to feed her children with her own blood” – an image of the atonement. The cross which runs through the center of the logo dominates our entire lifestyle as Christian women. His ultimate sacrifice atoned for our sins and paid for us to be truly free indeed. We have a mission to make Him known. We are to be guided by the voice of our Shepherd and equipped with the truth of the gospel. Through acts of piety, self-sacrifice, and love, we can lift up and direct other beggars to come to Jesus Christ, The Bread of Life.
He has no hands but our hands with which to give them bread,
No feet but our feet to walk among the almost dead.
We say that we are His and He is ours, deeds are the proof, not words and These are the proving hours.
(Abridged and adapted from poems by Theresa of Avila and Annie Johnston Flint)
We pray our new logo will be a visible reminder to us of who God is, our true identity in Christ and what we are called to do as disciples of Christ. We are “women empowered,” totally dependent on God’s power, knowing Him, His voice, and freely living into God’s divine design for our womanhood.
God’s richest blessings,
The purpose of this organization is to help make Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age by offering Annual Gatherings, Retreats and other events which will deepen and strengthen the spiritual lives of women, encouraging them to mentor, and be mentored.
Anglican Women’s Gathering, May 4, 2019
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.
New Leaders Installed
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.