The women of the Church of the Transfiguration, Pittsford, recently formed a group called "Women in the Spirit." The parish website invites women to consider participating in this new initiative by asking: "Are you interested in meeting with other women who share a common desire to learn more about our faith? Are you interested in listening to experts share their insights and answer your most pressing questions about a variety of issues and how they impact your life? Would you like to meet new friends and form lifelong bonds with other women? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, please join the ‘Women in the Spirit’ group at Transfiguration."
I had the privilege of being their guest Jan. 3 and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to share with them some thoughts on lay ministry that we explored in Forward in Hope: Saying Amen to Lay Ministry. It was good to know that the women had such high interest in lay ministry, and gratifying to learn how enthusiastic they are about further developing lay ministry to advance the mission in the church.
For me the exchange about lay ministry alone would have made for a rewarding evening. But, there were other elements to the experience that provided much about which to think and pray. First, I was fascinated by the good spirit that was evident in the room as the women gathered and greeted one another. They were obviously glad to be together. They took joy in one another’s company.
In addition to that, I noted that they were at home with one another to such a degree that they were able to ask their questions and share their concerns about some sensitive matters in a very peaceful way, confident that what they shared would be heard with respect and understanding by their sisters.
As I write, I realize that what will stay with me longest about the evening is that I spent it with sisters who are honest, generous, realistic people of faith. They love the Lord and their church. They realize that the good things the Lord has begun in us and among us have not yet come to completion. And so, they recognize the need for ongoing conversion for individuals and the community. But they are open to that call to personal growth, and are willing to support the church’s response to any similar call which, by God’s grace, may come its way.
In the five months since its first meeting, it seems to me that "Women in the Spirit" had been richly blessed. I know that to be with them was a blessing for me and I look forward to visiting them again.
Peace to all.