March 22, 2016

You Are Invited to an Ice Cream Social

All Women of the Diocese of the Rio Grande (ages 7 and up) are invited to come to St. James Church, Taos  on May 14 at 1:30 PM for a time of fellowship, delicious ice cream, informal worship together, and a brief introduction to the Order of the Daughters of the King (DoK) by Cindy Davis, diocesan president of the DoK.
Even if you think you have no interest in the Daughters, come up and meet other women of the Diocese in Taos while enjoying a bit of fun and fellowship. There will be door prizes, plenty of ice cream (lactose-free and sugar-free options will be available), other snacks, and some surprises.
Contact Cindy Davis, diocesan president; or the St. James Office to RSVP so we’ll have enough goodies!

To Get to St. James (208 Camino de Santiago, Taos)St. James is located at the corner of Gusdorf Road and Camino de Santiago (Santiago Street), one block north of Paseo del CaƱon East (Highway 585) and one block east of Paseo del Pueblo Sur. (Map at:

The Order of the Daughters of the King is a vibrant, international and ecumenical Sisterhood of women and girls who seek to live out their Baptismal vows in relationship with Christ and each other, through the shared disciplines of Prayer and Service and Evangelism to women and girls. Daughters can be members of the Episcopal, Lutheran, Anglican, or Roman Catholic Church.
Jr. Daughters are girls (churched or not) age 7 to 21. At 21 they transition to a Sr. Chapter.
(Download a poster)

March 3, 2016

Jane Torrance Sargent Chapter hosts a retreat on Julian of Norwich

About 50 women (and a few men) from around the diocese gathered for a quiet day focusing on the words of Julian of Norwich at St. Alban's, El Paso on February 27. The Rev. Jeanne Lutz opened with a thank you to the Jane Torrance Sargent Daughters of the King chapter for hosting the retreat. 

Jeanne noted that Julian of Norwich’s book is composed of her revelations (‘showings’) of Divine Love. The real name of the author is unknown and she is named for the church at which she was an anchoress. She was the first to write in English and was a literary ground-breaker, esp. as a woman. Julian was born in 1342 or 43. She received her ‘showings’ at age 30. There is a short version and long version of the revelations, which are 16 visions of the Passion of Christ.
From the time she was a child, Julian desired to be more at one with Christ’s sufferings and to have the mind of his Passion. She also requested three wounds: contrition, compassion, and the knowledge of God. These she received at 30.
Dame Julian may have been a widow and probably was a mother, given her emphasis on the ‘motherhood’ of God. Certainly she was an educated person, living in Norwich which was a commercial hub and the second largest city in England at the time.
Tradition usually shows her with a cat. The date of her death is unknown, but the last known bequest for the ‘anchoress at Julian’ is from 1423. In her lifetime she saw much tragedy including the black death, peasant revolt, 100 year war, and collapse of the papacy. In all her writings, Dame Julian, never criticized ‘Mother Church’. She refused even to judge her own revelations, writing them down without comment. They show God’s all-embracing love and the supreme example of this is found in the Passion.
For Dame Julian, the father creator was not complete without the motherhood of God. She felt that the feminine imagery helps us understand the totality of God who has the properties of Fatherhood, Motherhood, and Lordship. Our soul is God’s beloved wife, and we are Christ’s sibling.
Julian was not the only mystic to use the feminine/mother images and it is found in the Gospels (hen, woman searching for coin, etc.)
Julian noted that "God is everything that is good..." Seen through eyes of creator everything is little and “We are crowning glory of creation.” To Julian, the soul is God's dwelling, a ‘fine city where Christ lives’. Our response to being God’s dwelling should be love for one another. We find love shown fully in the Passion, because it is "God's will that we have true delight in our salvation..."

In Session 2, Jeanne shared more about how Dame Julian felt about sin and Christ’s Passion. In one of her showings, God asked Julian, "Are you satisfied that I suffered for you?"
Julian also was very aware of the ‘Motherhood’ of God found in the Incarnation and the Passion. Even though sin caused the Passion, God assured Julian that "Sin is necessary...all will be well."
The word Julian uses for sin is ‘scourge’ and she sees us as harassed by sin because we fall into sin from ignorance, foolishness, and not having enough of God. Sin is like a disease to be healed and it violates the Christ in us. Julian says that “Passion is overcoming of the fiend" who God permits to work, because even Satan is in God’s hand.
Julian felt that the contemplation of other's sins creates a mist, and we cannot see clearly, unless compassion is involved. We must first learn to forgive self. This is through confession to love which makes power and wisdom available to us. Then we can overcome doubtful fears and accept God's forgiveness and turn back to him.
Julian noted that it is not what you are [now], but what you desire to be that God sees. Jeanne related one of Julian’s showings that involved a parable of a servant, who falls into a pit on his way to serving God. God does not blame the servant for falling, but rather says, ‘See what injuries my servant has had-should I not reward my servant?’ For Julian the servant is us and is Christ and is Adam.

In Session 3, Jeanne explored Julian’s words on prayer, the Holy Spirit, and the centrality of the Passion. Julian saw the Holy Spirit as a kind nurse who kindles understanding, prepares the way, comforts souls, lifts and strengthens. The Holy Spirit is like a mother at work in the church. We part of the 'mother who works' through prayer in which our soul is united to God through grace.
Prayer is not something we have to work on, we just do it because prayer is inspired by God and will be conformed to God by God. Prayer should be like a child to a parent and prayer is eternal. Julian says, "The Lord is first receiver of prayer...[He] sets in a storehouse."

Julian also insisted that we don't need to worry about figuring out God, but be satisfied with what is revealed. And the finality of that revelation is “Love was his meaning."

The day closed with Eucharist in the chapel at St. Alban's. Thanks to the Jane Torrance Sargent Chapter and to all who participated.