What happening for women at ECC?
Recently we completed our annual evaluations as a staff, which involves thinking back over the past year to determine what we set out to do and whether or not we accomplished it, as well as our goals for the coming year and beyond. I thought it might be helpful to share what I am thinking in terms of women’s discipleship for the near and long term, so that women of ECC can see what is happening now that they might want to get in on, and where we are headed.
Let’s start with what is happening now. We offer two women's Bible studies, one on Tuesdays, morning and evening, and another on Thursday mornings. While both studies are finishing up for this year in the next month or so, there are exciting things ahead for both studies! Keep your eyes open this summer for what each of these groups will be up to in the fall. Consider joining us as we dive into God’s Word with women who love the Word and care for one another.
For those of you who love to read, we have an ongoing Facebook Book Club. This is a closed group on Facebook (which you just have to ask to join, but allows us to have private conversations without people outside the group seeing them). Right now we are reading the book The Gospel Comes With a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield and the discussion is lively and varied! It’s not to late to join us. Sometime in June we will likely begin a new book. Do you have a suggestion for a book for us to read together? Contact Colleen and let’s chat!
A number of women have taken up the challenge to read books of Scripture together using the She Reads Truth website and/or books. This website offers daily Scripture reading plans via the website, an app or actual books that you can purchase. All of these sources have the Scripture reading for the day as well as complementary Scripture passages from elsewhere in the Bible as well as a devotion (online) matched to the day’s reading. I have found the accountability of a daily reading plan (planned by someone else!) to be really helpful, and have enjoyed discussing the passages with other women via emails to the whole group sharing in that reading. She Reads Truth readings also work really well with just one or two other women, either in person or via phone or email or whatever means you want to facilitate talking about what you are learning. So far we have done the books of Luke and 1 and 2 Peter together in groups, and I am reading through Job with a friend now. Find a friend, get on the web or order a book and start reading Scripture together! (As of the writing of this blog, some of the She Reads Truth books are on sale at Lifeway Book Store!) The plans run for 2-4 weeks mostly, so even if they are in the middle of one when you check in, another one will start soon. You can also do past reading plans that are still available on the website.
This summer, moms will gather every other Thursday around 11:00 at the church office picnic ground for playtime for the kids, prayer time for the moms and then share lunch together. Anyone is welcome to join us for these informal times of fellowship and prayer. A group of moms will be meeting regularly once a month in the fall in the evening for discussion, prayer, snacks and just a fun time of fellowship together. Watch the bulletin for more information in August!
We have a group of women who meet (almost) monthly to knit and crochet together for charity. We have recently become aware of a project called Soap Sacks, small knitted of crocheted bags for soap that can be used by homeless or others. Since toiletries cannot be purchased with food stamps, soap is a much-needed item by many who use foodbanks. We will be supplying soap sacks to the Mt. Healthy foodbank as well as to other organizations as we produce them. We also make hats and scarves for City Gospel Mission and baby and children's hats for Children's Hospital.
Do you desire someone to disciple, encourage or mentor you? There are women available and willing to come alongside you to spur you on. Are you stuck spiritually or emotionally? We also have counselors who are eager to share your burdens and to help you see the love of God and His help to move through your struggles.
We will continue to have a Women’s Brunch at least annually, and perhaps we will try a picnic together sometime early this fall. I have been blessed by the connections made at these events, and hope many of you will take advantage of this informal get-together!
In the longer term, The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference 2020 (yep, next year really is 2020!) has been announced for June 11-13 in Indianapolis. The teaching in the plenary sessions this year will be from the book of James. We will be reserving a block of rooms to accommodate ECC women who want to come to this amazing conference. It is a highlight of the year for me, and Sarah and I have been attending since these conferences began in 2012. We have never been disappointed by the teaching or the time with friends. Consider this opportunity for next year – there will be announcements in the bulletin about it when registration opens this fall.
My long term goal is for the women of ECC to care for one another through friendships, discipling, reading and studying God's Word together, and helping one another through the hard times. We are well on our way to being a loving community. But there is always room to grow. God is not through with us yet!
If you have questions or would like to get involved with anything mentioned here, contact Colleen at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be happy to get you plugged in where you can thrive!