Tuesday, February 1, 2011
BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME
It started off as just a good idea -- a retreat for the women of St. Michael and All Angels in Corona del Mar. Then the seed of a good idea grew.
"How about a retreat for the women of deanery X?"
And it grew again --
"How about inviting the women of deanery IX as well?"
The planning team putting this event together checked with my calendar and the date was set. Then the real planning happened: "What if we look at ways in which we can express our spirituality?" An iconographer was invited to talk about how icons are made. A person versed in journalling was invited. Then there was the person who brought beads and taught the women gathered how to make Anglican Rosaries. For those who needed to stretch their legs there was a walk planned. There was a room set aside and a person invited to lead the women in a yoga practice. There was a labyrinth drawn onto the patio surface. A wonderful, peace-filled chapel built in the sacristy. Lastly, there was quiet room for reading or resting. I don't think I left anything out -- there were plenty of opportunities, in two sessions, for the women gathered to express themselves spiritually.
And it grew yet again --
"Well, if women from other deaneries want to come,they are welcome!"
It was built, and they came -- 180 women attended this event.
I had the privilege of giving a talk (half an hour) on expressive spirituality, and then I spent another half an hour fielding questions. The Eucharist was celebrated at noon, and lunch was served at 1:00. The organizers had the blessing of having to run to Costco to purchase additional food! There were 130 who were expected to attend, 180 showed up!
It showed that there is a deep hunger for days of respite, especially for women. Those gathered wanted to make sure we would do this again next year -- we will, at Trinity in Orange sometime in January.
There were also women there from Deanery I -- a date has been set for them in June (June 4th) at Prince of Peace in Woodland Hills. A Deanery VIII attendee has taken on the task of planning something there as well.
How the Spirit moved this past Saturday -- I wonder, as we "roll this out" around the diocese, how the Spirit will move in the different groups? As I wander around attending these opportunities to express ourselves spiritually, I'll let you know.