The greatest gift
I can conceive of having
to be seen by them,
heard by them,
to be understood
touched by them.
The greatest gift
I can give
to see, hear, understand
and to touch
When this is done
contact has been made.
In the western world, many have experienced diminishing connection. God speaks into the questions…how does this happen…what is it like when connecting is abundant…what can be expected if we encourage movement toward each other rather than perpetuate distance?
What about the growing pains?
Global Women Connecting has been about building a global Christian community – a sisterhood – since 1952 when Jessie M. Trout voiced her dream “An Enlarging Fellowship of Women”. GWC has been involved in the ebb and flow of opening the lines of communication, providing space where voices can be heard, encouraging study of God’s word and common mission, fostering a prayerful, spiritual life, and supporting the ideals of Christian family and community. There is hope in the model of a global community where spirits are fed, needs can be addressed, encouragement is offered and barriers are crossed.
Formally, we are an expression of Christian women with a Stone-Campbell heritage found in over 194 countries and territories. In practice, we are women of faith with competing responsibilities in a world fraught with inequities. Methods of organizing, communicating and sharing the wisdom of our stories are challenged regularly in a wildly-varied spectrum of technology. Our representatives no longer share the commonality of a national organization. Many who might read these articles express interest in Global Women Connecting independent of their church or wider fellowship.
How then, do we move to shape this community of Christian ideals? What do we believe is essential? In “Shaping Our Faith” edited by Dorothy C. Bass, author Larry Rasmussen offers insight in his opening to the chapter on Shaping Communities.
“The perennial Christian strategy, someone has said, is to gather the folks, break the bread, and tell the stories.”
This is precisely what we do in planning and coming together at Global Gatherings. Building on Jesus’ leadership and foundation of unity, we offer ourselves to this global community. Relationships are prayed for and kinship strengthened as we move toward times when we can be in each others’ presence. Our spirits are renewed. God’s kingdom grows.
The World Convention board members initiated new energy in April, 2014 with potential to increase communication, provide avenues of understanding, fuel missions and ministries. As co-laborers, Global Women Connecting will reap of the fruits. As partners, we will need to be active participants.
Yes, God is truly at work and we have been called in to help.
How? Your prayers, your presence, your skills, your stories, your resources are the bread we share as offerings to the building of God’s community. Growing means planning, diligence, attention. Community means commitment, communication, contact.
Painful growing? Sometimes. Compassionate going? Always!