Bishop Mark Lawrence urged the women of the Diocese to entrust their hearts to God in his talks at the annual diocesan women’s gathering held at St. Paul’s Church in Summerville, April 21, 2018.
Nearly 200 women from more than 20 different parishes across the Diocese attended the gathering at which they announced the new name of the women’s group would be “Anglican Women.” This new name reflects the Dioceses’ membership in the Anglican Church in North America.
Bishop Lawrence presented three separate talks during the day-long gathering. In the first he spoke about the woundedness of the human heart and the importance of our entrusting our hearts to God and to one another.
He shared several examples of individuals who had been wounded either as children or in early adulthood and who, as a result, were unable to trust others.
“We’re fractured,” he said. “The heart – is what directs your life. … It’s the place where God reveals himself to you …and the status of our heart affects the whole of our lives.” He urged those present to surrender the wounds they carried to God, forgive those who had harmed them, and be restored. The Bishop recommended “The Changes That Heal” by Dr. Henry Cloud.
In the second talk he spoke about how the Entrusted Heart impacts family relationships. “Dysfunction in the family is described in great clarity in the Bible,” he said mentioning, Rachel, Leah, Sarah and David among others.
The Bishop said that husbands and wives needed to entrust their hearts to one another; that parents needed to see children as gifts from God; that we all needed to forgive our parents for the ways they may have wounded us; that no matter our age – we are all to honor our fathers and our mothers. In speaking about the relationships parents have to adult children he said we are to “stick with them even when they don’t follow God. We’re not given permission to write them off.” He talked about the inevitable time – for most – when because of aging, roles are reversed and parents become children and the children must step in and parent the parents. “Make sure they have a place of refuge,” he said. “We are called to care for them in their last years.”
During a service of Holy Communion the Bishop preached on heaven and urged those present to engage their imaginations to picture what awaits us in heaven. “To imagine the glory of heaven will transform our perspective o today which will in its time transform tomorrow the blessed hope of everlasting life.”
After hearing presentations about two possible recipients of the 2018-2019 Praise and Glory Offering the gathering voted to split the offerings between the Anglican ministry of St. Alban’s at the Citadel and Dr. Gloria Kwashi’s, “Safe Haven” in Nigeria.
The Rev. Rob Sturdy, who serves as the Chaplain of St. Alban’s, told a moving story about the ministry among the Cadets, sharing how during the last few weeks several cadets had given their lives to Christ in direct response to the impact of the ministry.
Betty Schaffer, who spoke about the work of Dr. Gloria Kwashi’s “Safe Haven,” presented an equally moving description of the needs of the young girls and women served by that ministry.
The Anglican Women will hold their annual conference September 21-23 at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center. Bishop Mark Lawrence will be the speaker. All women are invited to attend.
The Bishop’s talks are available at https://www.dioceseofsc.org/ministries-and-departments/womens-ministries/womens-resources/
The Anglican Women’s Board wishes to thank the host church, St. Paul’s, Summerville and their women’s ministry leadership team, for their gracious service during the gathering, with special thanks to Toni Scott, who catered the event.
Photography We are grateful to Leif Pedersen for his photography.