This blog is much more than a description of the women’s retreat at Trinity Lutheran Church in Jefferson, Iowa on October 28, 2023. This blog is the story of a mustard seed that grew into a ministry partnership from which beautiful friendships bloomed!
This story begins in the Spring of 2022 with one of Visual Faith Ministry’s monthly online gatherings called Around the Word. As the Zoom screen began to populate that evening, one of the Zoom cells was filled with the faces of several women gathered in their parish fellowship hall, eager to join in group Bible study. This was our very first interaction with the women of Trinity, and thankfully, they’ve faithfully attended monthly Around the Word sessions ever since.
A year later, as VFM was preparing to participate as a vendor at the 2023 National LWML Convention in Milwaukee, the women of Trinity generously gifted our ministry with a Thrivent grant; these funds helped defray the cost of printing consumable materials for the make-and-take table. Two women from Trinity attended the LWML convention and visited the VFM booth for some hugs and photo ops!
As a thank you, Visual Faith Ministry offered to facilitate an onsite workshop for the faithful and faith-filled women of Trinity Lutheran. The theme for the retreat was “Chosen: For such a Time as This.”
Participants studied the lives of Esther, the Woman at the Well, and Mary of Magdala – each of whom was chosen by God to accomplish Kingdom purposes. Woven into the Bible studies were VFM devotional and prayer practices, such as contemplative readings, prayer cards, prayer spaces, and secret code prayers.
A bonus session at the end of the day provided participants with the opportunity to create Gifts of Joy journals in which to record daily gratitudes and intercessory prayers.
It was an action-packed day with fellowship, study, delicious food, and faith projects. Best of all, we ended the day with a “see you later,” knowing we would be “together” at the next Around the Word session. Thanks be to God for these dear Sisters in Christ!
- Jenny Long
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