Dear women of St. Luke’s,
In my time in this parish, I have been privileged to witness the strength of the women who call this place home. We are courageous, communal, generous, nurturing, and invested. We serve with a willingness that is startling to behold. I trust that you all have generations’ worth of stories to tell: stories about St. Luke’s women who have offered wisdom and insight; who have nurtured, fed, and healed you; who have listened and offered a steadying voice or hand. I already have more such stories than I can number. When I think about what our community of women is teaching our children – about grace, about relationships, about what it means to follow Christ – I am especially grateful.
But we are stretched thin. Our obligations can be demanding. We come together to be fed by the liturgy each week, but we may not always have time for other practices that nurture us or offer space for restoration.
Becky Clore and I have been working together to discern a way that we might more intentionally celebrate the sacred, multigenerational community we share in one another. We want also to address the fact that women’s own needs often go unmet. In the spirit of Christ – healer, listener, nurturer – we feel called to gather in a multigenerational sisterhood.
We are therefore thrilled to introduce a reimagine ministry: the St. Luke’s Women’s Group. As our first act, we want to offer some rest and restoration. Therefore, we invite the women of St. Luke’s to gather with us for an overnight retreat at Transformations Spirituality Center from the morning of Saturday, April 22nd through the afternoon of Sunday, April 23rd. As a community of women, we will be nurtured together, sharing as we feel called in periods of silence, leisurely fellowship, meditative walks, the breaking of bread, communal prayer, and worship.
Joan Chittister writes:
It is women’s experience of God that this world lacks. A world that does not nurture its weakest, does not know God the birthing mother. A world that does not preserve the planet, does not know God the creator. A world that does not honor the spirit of compassion, does not know God the spirit.
In celebration of the holy and vital work that falls to us as women of God, please mark your calendars for the weekend of April 22nd and 23rd. Please watch for more information on both the retreat and the women’s group in the weeks ahead. And please see me or Becky with questions, concerns, expressions of interest, creative offerings, or stories that bear witness to the work, fellowship, and history of the women of St. Luke’s.
Yours with love, in Christ,
Renee Maria Lee-Gardner