One hundred Disciples women created sacred space at Bethany Hills September 17th and 18th. Dew covered grass, rocking chairs, and crisp fall air defined our sanctuary. We worshiped together. We prayed together. We listened to one another.
The Reverend Amy Gopp, executive director of Week of Compassion, keynoted our retreat. She repeated this mantra: As Disciples women, we are: CREATED by God, CLAIMED by God, and CALLED by God…We are created, claimed and called… created… claimed… called.
She repeated these words until we finally believed this present yet ancient truth about ourselves.
Reverend Amy brought us to The Congo, where women thirst for empowerment and education and independence.
Reverend Amy re-introduced us to Hagar- a woman who fought to be named and remembered by God.
Reverend Amy painted a picture of the needs across God’s world as farmers strive for fair trading, artisans work hard for living wages, war zones thirst for peaceful resolution, and our very earth is crying out for more mission, more service, and more compassion.
Reverend Amy wove us together as a united body of Disciples through her prophetic call to action: serve the world where your great gladness meets the world’s great needs.
Marena McDonald, Linda Craig, Jennifer Netherton and I represented Lindenwood well. We started relationships with Disciples women across our region and we began to dream about our distinct call in the world. Where will Lindenwood serve God’s people? How will we bring our great joys and offerings to our brothers and sisters?
On that holy ground of dew covered grass, rocking chairs, and crisp fall air, we filled up on the gospel that we are created, claimed, and called by God, and now, it’s time to get to work.
Next year, let’s have one hundred times one hundred women at this retreat so that we can bring our great gladness to the world’s great needs.