by Laura Fissel
The Redeemer Women’s Gathering is a monthly Saturday morning event that offers a time of contemplation and connection for women. Each meeting is centered around a one-word theme and includes a 20-30 minute presentation given by a woman from the Redeemer community who is sharing a passion through their personal story.
As a ministry, the Gathering emerged from a summer-long discussion between several women from Redeemer. All mothers of small children, they began meeting to discuss the possibility of starting a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers)-like group. But as they talked about their personal needs and desires for community, a shared passion grew to create something that would meet needs for all types of women at Redeemer. The vision that developed from those conversations was a ministry that would “facilitate connection and build supportive Christ-centered community through vulnerability and practical service.”
The planning committee for the Women’s Gathering could not be more pleased with the response to the events that followed. Each month, about 30 women—Redeemer-ites and often, invited friends—have come to fellowship with one another. They have opened their hearts to the stories and experiences of other women, and have participated openly in the conversations and discussions that have followed each presentation. They have broken bread together and enjoyed familiar relationships as well as made new friends. It has been an encouragement and joy to see the Gathering’s vision statement come to life: meaningful connection is taking place among the women at Redeemer (and beyond) through a sacrifice of time and a willingness to share and listen to each other’s stories.
These events have been very special indeed, and the hope is to continue them with a second season from September 2019-April 2020. The Planning Committee, currently seven Redeemer women, from various stages of life, will be saying goodbye to several members who are rotating out of service for a season of rest. For these events to continue, women are needed to step into these vacated roles. If you are interested in joining the team, please contact Laura Fissel by email or in person to start a conversation about how you might be involved in this ministry.
Story, Liturgy, Belonging, Beauty, and Nourishment have been given meaningful focus at the 2018-2019 events—there will be one final Gathering before taking a break for the summer. On March 16th, from 9-11am in the greenhouse at New Garden Park, Ashley Davis will close this first season with a presentation on Seeking. Women are encouraged to RSVP; however, all are welcome to attend (and bring a friend!) whether or not they have had a chance to register.
We hope to see you there to chat over a cup of coffee, share a laugh, and exchange a story or word of encouragement as we enjoy precious hours of slowing down and connecting with one another.