From Vicar Amanda’s Desk – August 2014

By Amanda Highben

The Feminine Saints of our Church

This past Monday I attended the lunch and “Baskets of Life” program hosted by the Women of St. John’s. It was a full house in the fellowship hall, which really should come as no surprise, given the Women’s gifts of hospitality, service and outreach. As a young[(ish) woman and relatively new mother, I continue to admire the Women and appreciate the work they do, so often behind the scenes and, therefore, without receiving credit or attention.

About an hour before lunch was served, I stopped by the kitchen briefly to fill my Communion kit (as I was preparing to visit another faithful woman of our parish). While in the kitchen I found two of the ladies, their hands covered in flour, making crust from scratch for the quiche that would be served that afternoon. Needless to say, I was impressed, and not just because I’ve no idea how to make a homemade crust. But I was impressed with their willingness to give so much time and care to this meal for their guests, several of whom hadn’t been to St. John’s in a while or who were here for the first time. Indeed, there were faces, young and old, that I didn’t recognize. And yet because the Women had reached-out to them and planned an afternoon filled with delectable food, good conversation, humor and faith, all guests were made to feel valued and welcomed.

Certainly, this is an example of the church at its best, and we have the Women of St. John’s to thank for it.

And while we are on the subject of women who care for others-whether as mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, grandmothers, or friends-it is vital to remember that caregivers likewise need to care for themselves. Otherwise, our resources become depleted over time and we lack the strength and energy to give of ourselves.

With this in mind, all women of St. John’s (including family members, neighbors and friends) are invited to a half-day retreat at the church on Saturday, September 27 from 9:30a-2:30p. With a focus on physical and spiritual well-being, this special day will include a variety of activities that will allow participants to relax and care for themselves-from facials and deep breathing, to quiet prayer and meditation. Our hope is that this will be a retreat of true rest and renewal Also, because we recognize just how beneficial it is for younger women to spend time with older women (and vice versa), our Confirmation and high youth, college students, and young professionals are invited to join us too. Stay posted for more details, including how and when to R.S.V.P.

Finally, as a community of faith, women and men alike, let us continue to look for ways to make St. John’s a place of Christ-like hospitality and grace

God’s Peace,
Vicar Amanda