The theme of the Triennium in Province 7 has been Micah 6:8 “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” This year’s focus was “Love mercy”. As always, Assembly was a time of fellowship and joyous worship, as well as learning about what is going on in the Order and hearing about new ministry opportunities. Nearly 120 Daughters from around the Province assembled at Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, including 4 from the Diocese of the Rio Grande. (Deborah Tischler, Elaine Brink, Marta Gallegos, Cindy Davis-from L to R in front of the Welcome Center entrance)
The Prov. 7 Board (all Diocesan Presidents, plus the Provincial Board) met before Assembly started. Denise Rox, Provincial Prayer Chair offered an opening devotion about how the 7 ways of Corporal Mercy and the 7 forms of Spiritual Mercy are the ways Daughters live their lives of Prayer and Service.
The Board reviewed the necessary By-Laws change that will bring Provincial By-Laws into compliance with National By-Laws regarding DAL. These were approved during the Assembly Business Meeting. A committee to review the entire Provincial By-Laws was formed as well to review and as necessary revise the By-Laws.
Diocesan Presidents were reminded to encourage Chapter Presidents to notify the National Office of the death of any Daughter. It is the only way the National Office can keep up with this data. Another important item is DUES. Diocesan Presidents were urged to help their chapter presidents collect dues, as the transition to online payment seems to be a problem for some women. One suggestion was to have a computer available at a chapter meeting to help Daughters pay online.
Provincial Jr. DOK funds are available for JDOK chapters to use for growth and for sending directresses, and potential directresses to JDOK camps and events, like directress retreats. A grant application will be available on the Provincial website (dokprov7.org). A Jr. Directress retreat is not just for current directresses, but for any woman who might want to start JDOK in their parish. The next one is July 13-16 in Belton, TX. Info on the Provincial website (http://dokprov7.org/calendar.html).
The Business meeting was called to order on Saturday morning in the lovely, newly completed Ascension Chapel of the Church of the Incarnation in Dallas. The ladies were warmly welcomed the Incarnation chapter and Jr. Daughters.
Because of Triennial in June of 2018, it was decided to NOT have a Provincial Assembly in 2018. Provincial Officers were elected at the business meeting to take office at Triennial 2018. Provincial President Pat Hind asked that we get a Province 7 Banner in time for Triennial in 2018 so we can be represented in that way. If anyone knows of a fabric artist, please be in touch.
It was noted that there are resources available for Chapter Enhancement. Fr. Mike Gemangani has a program that can be presented as a workshop (download from the Prov. 7 website). There are some funds available from the Province to help fund a workshop. There are also resources from the National Office, and more are being created.
Grants were awarded in the amount of $400 to a ministry in each diocese. The Backpacks for Hunger program in Carlsbad was the Diocese of the Rio Grande recipient. (Carol Waller of this program will be one of the speakers at Assembly in Carlsbad this year.) The Eucharist offering was divided between the 3 Dallas ministries who were the guest speakers.
Two representatives from the National Council were present at the Assembly: Lori Geres (Media chair) and Susan Keith (By-Laws chair). Lori shared some of the data gathered from the DOK survey last year, and how that is being used to formulate strategic plans for the future of the Order. This involves talking about prayer, spiritual direction, formulating plans for the women who come after us, recommitting to the work of DOK, and continuing (or beginning) to talk about DOK.
Susan Keith spoke about the process for ‘cleaning up’ the current by-laws. Over the years, sections have been added that should more logically go in a different location…i.e. membership under members and chapter info under chapters. This will all be presented at Triennial next year. It is not a revision of the by-laws as much as necessary adjustments for coherence and clarity. All the changes will be publicized well in advance of Triennial.
Fr. Mike Gemangani, Provincial Chaplain and keynote speaker compared God’s mercy to the love of a spouse to spouse. We do not come pleading for mercy to our spouse. In the same way, God loves us as a Bride in transforming union. Fr. Mike noted that God shows greater compassion to us than we do to ourselves. God’s mercy is chesed or loving-kindness and God gives each of us nothing less than all of God. We need to have mercy toward ourselves and accept the gift of the Incarnation. Our return to God is to give ourselves, which draws all Creation to God. God renews God’s love to us and we renew our love to God. Through this, all Creation is renewed.
After lunch, we heard from three local outreach ministries. Bonton Farms is a ministry that helps inner-city children and families find employment, grows food, and offers opportunities both on the farm and in the community to improve the quality of life.
Incarnation House is an outreach of the Church of the Incarnation. It is an after-school program for the low income, at risk students of Dallas High School, which is across the street from the church. The youth must commit to the program and participate. Meals, tutoring, and other assistance is offered, including help with getting into college.
The final ministry reaches out to men who have just been released from prison. Called One Man’s Treasure it helps with 5 shirts, 2 pants, a tie, underwear, shoes, and coat so that these men can go on interviews. Each set is delivered by a male volunteer ‘shepherd’ who offers a listening ear along with the dignity and hope of the fresh clothing. Of the 104 shepherds, 30% are former clients.
Church of the Incarnation was a lovely location for Assembly, and we enjoyed the hospitality of everyone there. Remember to start saving and planning now to attend Triennial on June 20-24 at the Renaissance at the Arboretum in Austin, TX. Watch the Royal Cross for more details.
Mark your calendars for Diocesan Assembly 2017 is July 28-29 at Grace Church, Carlsbad with the theme of Sorrow into Dancing. Bishop Vono is the keynote speaker.
In 2018, we will meet at the Bosque Center in Albuquerque the first weekend in August for officer elections and other business. Deborah Smith Douglas will be our speaker.