Members of the Daughters of the King met at Grace Church, Carlsbad on July 28-29 for the annual Diocesan Assembly. Redeeming Grace Chapter offered wonderful hospitality in the form of delicious food, lovely décor, and friendly hearts. The theme was Turning Sorrow into Dancing. Attendees explored how the Daughters of the King work of prayer, service, and evangelism is a way of Turning Sorrow into Dancing, and in that way bringing about the Kingdom of God.
The Rev. Canon Raymond Raney was the keynote speaker for the event. He urged the women to believe in their own individual and communal strength. Using writers like Joyce Rupp, Julian of Norwich, Debie Thomas, and others, Raney urged the women to surrender to God’s work in our lives. On Saturday morning, Raney reminded the Daughters that it was exactly 43 years earlier that the first 12 women were ordained as priest in the Episcopal Church. While noting that sometimes it takes a long time for the work of the Holy Spirit to bear fruit, Raney urged everyone to look at the women in the Bible for inspiration. In fact, he stated that in the Eastern Orthodox tradition Mary herself said ‘no’ six times before saying ‘yes’ to God’s request. Raney commented that Daughters are called to stand before the church to say Prayer Matters and that we can all be cherished, fed, loved, blessed, and our work endorsed by God.
In his final talk, Canon Raney reminded everyone that feeding is an intrinsically female activity in all cultures. By choosing the fruit in the Garden, Eve helped humanity move from infancy to adulthood, and ultimately to be redeemed. The Tree of Life in the Garden becomes the Cross and is the way through which we gain eternal life. Our responsibility is to bring everyone to Freedom by caring for those around us, even those we have yet to meet. Raney gave each woman an apple to remind attendees that women can chose who we are and who we can be. (Episcopal Café recently had a post that elaborated on what he said: https://www.episcopalcafe.com/from-the-daily-sip-eves-apple/) God is preparing each of us now for the new beginning. We can choose what kind of church we want to create as we share what we live for, who we are, and who we will be. Daughters have chosen to feed the world through their prayer and service which nurtures and cares for everyone.
A special gift for the women was an anthem written especially for this Assembly by Fr. Mike Gemigini, the Province 7 DOK Chaplain. During the business meeting, grants of $500 each were awarded to four ministries. Saranam in Albuquerque which provides housing and supplies for those who are homeless and the Cathedral Front Desk Sack Lunch ministry which gives out over 400 lunches weekly to the homeless in the downtown area at a cost of only $1.60/lunch received a gift. The Mustard Seed Babies Home in Uganda and the Carlsbad LifeHouse ministry for addicts were also provided grants. There is currently just over $12,000 in the DOK bank account, some of which is designated for Jr. Daughters, the Chaplain’s fund, and Triennial expenses for the president.
Diocesan President, Cindy Davis urged the Daughters present to remember that they are not just a group that meets for fellowship or even for Bible study and prayer. Rather, we are an international sisterhood who take vows of Prayer, Service, and Evangelism for the spread of the Kingdom. We pray for the ‘grace to work to spread your Kingdom, and gather your scattered sheep within your fold’. In doing this we become part of the work of the Holy Spirit that calls us to dance and come close to the heart of God. Because we are a community, when we gather as chapters, or in Assembly and at Triennial, we are meeting with family and sisters who are committed to the same goals.
Cindy asked each Chapter present to become prayer partners both with another chapter present, and with a chapter that was unable to attend. This will be a way to reach across the miles and share our sisterhood throughout the diocese as we share prayer needs, service ideas, and maybe even fellowship opportunities. Daughters are also encouraged to be in the forefront of prayer for the Search, Election, and Consecration of the next Bishop of the Diocese.
Chaplain, Mother Jan Hosea offered spiritual guidance throughout the weekend and invited anyone interested to attend the “Healing the Brokenhearted” series at St. Chad’s every Thursday from August 24-September 28. This is a grief group for those dealing with any grief such as loss of a family member, job, home situation, or other grief. Contact her (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested.
The Daughters collected items for the Carlsbad Back Packs for Hunger program. Carol Worley, founder, spoke to the women about the program which started six years ago with 10 children at 2 schools. These children were identified as needing food assistance. The program now provides back packs full of food for 8 meals that up to 208 children take home on Friday. Children who need help are identified by counselors, school staff, bus drivers, and other concerned persons. Last year about 7200 back packs were filled. The budget of $83,000 is totally funded by donations. The free will offering from the Eucharist was donated to the program, too.
It was a time of sharing and inspiration as the Daughters present gathered to pray, laugh, and talk together. A nominating committee was appointed to develop a slate of officers for the 2018 Assembly. That Assembly will be August 3-4, 2018 at the Bosque Center. St. Chad’s Chapter will be the host chapter. Deborah Smith Douglas, dynamic speaker and author will be the keynote speaker. Her talks will be open to all women. You are invited to contact Dona Ace at St. Chad’s (email@example.com) to get a copy of Douglas’ book The Praying Life.