It’s Time for a Virtual Tea

Ladies, you are invited to join us for a virtual tea on Sunday, April 19th at 3 pm with a special guest speaker, Becky Wood.

Would you like to join us?

  1. Email, text message or call me, to get an invite to our brand-new private Facebook group:

DWGC Ladies Tea Society.

  • Accept that invitation, then I can invite you to our tea. Please understand that we are using two layers of privacy to protect our event.
  • Next please accept a second invitation to our private event to be held on Facebook live on Sunday, April 19th at 3 pm. If you accept the invitation, you can participate live or watch the event later at your convenience.

Recently I had an opportunity to ask our speaker, Becky Wood, a few questions, and she had some beautiful wisdom to share with us.

What is God teaching you in this season in your life? 

I’m learning that life does not necessarily get any easier with time.  Daily time in God’s Word and moment-by-moment dependency on the Holy Spirit are of course essential.  I have also found that healthy eating and consistent exercise help keep my mind, heart, and body battle-ready.

My pastor used to say, “Stay close to the spout where the glory pours out and you’ll slosh out on everybody else.”

The verse that most goes along with that, which I have passed on to others is Proverbs 4:23 “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the springs of life.”

I have also found that community is extremely important, and a soulmate is invaluable.  Friends who are trustworthy, genuine, candid, and open with their own lives is a lifeline in the Christian walk. 

What is one thing you wish you had known when you were 30? 

I wish I had been quicker to give thanks in all things.  I wish I had been more careful to express appreciation for what my husband provided for me and less quick to point out how he disappointed me or did something wrong.  I wish I had written more thank you notes and made sure my children did the same. I wish I had not been so particular about things so I would have let my children help more.

How do you see your role as a grandmother?

I have eleven grandchildren with me, one with the Lord.  They range from 2 to 20 years old.  I love seeing how uniquely God has made each one, and I try to spend time with them individually.  As a grandparent, I feel my role is to partner with my children in the parenting of their children.  

Please join for tea, coffee, or a cold beverage and a serving of encouragement

On Sunday, April 19th, Becky will share with a message about contentment. Please join us in prayer for Becky, our leadership team, and all technological aspects of this event. May God be glorified in this offering.

Joy in Creation

In the midst of a topsy turvy season, perhaps you have had a chance to spend some time outside enjoying the blue skies and sunshine? During our Joy Retreat 2020 we offered a variety of workshops to help participants access different paths to joy. One of our offerings included a booklet, Joy in Creation: A Primer for Creating Your Own Joyful Meditations in the Midst of Everyday Lives. We could add to the title, finding joy in the midst of a pandemic. If you didn’t get a chance to pick one up, please find one below as a PDF that you can download. We would love to hear which meditations you find particularly meaningful.

Cast All Anxiety

On the night that Jesus knows he will be betrayed and arrested, he begs his apostles to come with him and pray. Three times he begs them to stay awake and pray. He warns them that this is the way to avoid falling into temptation. Each time he returns to find them, they are overcome with fatigue and they fall asleep. Fear and anxiety combined as a burden too heavy for them to carry or even stay awake. Fear won.

As the night falls at my house, I tune into my local news and feel a familiar concern begin to rattle around in my head. We are dealing with a worldwide pandemic and it seems that illness, anxiety, and even death crash over our planet like a massive tidal wave. There is simply no place to hide from the destruction by an invisible foe. Hope and toilet paper are in short supply. Many people hoard the latter and have given up on the former. Fear won.

After falling asleep three times in the garden of Gethsemane, Peter follows after Jesus from a safe distance. He has already tried to intervene violently with his sword to prevent Jesus’ arrest. He’s determined not to let Jesus down, and he proclaims he is ready to suffer whatever is necessary. However, within a very short time he has repeatedly denied even knowing Jesus. Three times he has failed. Fear won.

After Jesus is resurrected from the dead, he visits his disciples on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. They share a meal and then Jesus engages Peter in a conversation by asking, “Simon (Peter) son of John, do you love me more than these?” Peter and Jesus go back and forth on these questions and finally Jesus directs Peter to “feed my sheep.” This charge becomes Peter’s directive for the rest of his ministry. Jesus engages Peter and restores him, so that Peter can teach others to endure and to thrive in adversity. He speaks from a place of authority as someone who has walked in fear and fallen victim to it, but he also experienced a miraculous restoration. Fear defeated.

How do I overcome fear? The kind that wears me down and leaves me feeling overwhelmed. “Cast all anxiety on the Lord for he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). I am taking these words to heart today because the one who penned them understands. As Jesus faced his own execution, he spent time on his knees in prayer. He directed Peter to join him because he knew what Peter needed most. Fear defeated.

Dear Jesus,

Help me to take those fearful thoughts and cast them to your feet. I will take time now to name them and confess each one by name to you. Please refill me with truth about your power and might. Help me to know that you alone are faithful and will restore me in all circumstances. It is in your precious name, I pray. Amen.  

Anthea Kotlan serves at the women’s ministry coordinator for the Diocese of the Western Gulf Coast. She attends St. Timothy’s Anglican church with her husband Fr. Bill Kotlan. Anthea would like to thank local artist, Rachel Schwandt for sharing her inspirational work with us.

Surrendering Anxieties

I know a lot of us may find ourselves a bit more anxious lately. I wanted to share a practice I’ve been trying that I learned at the Diocesan Ladies’ Retreat this year. I attended a workshop on prayer lead by Patty Bordwell and Mary Grace Kunefke.

For this meditative practice gather something like stones, beads, or any small item you can hold and a bowl or jar. I light a candle to remind myself that the Holy Spirit is present. Read 1 Peter 5:7 (ESV).

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Then enter into a meditative prayer space. As the Lord brings up a specific anxiety that you are struggling with pick up a stone and pray over that anxiety. As you surrender it to him place it in the jar. Continue as you process each anxiety individually. When you are finished make a list of things you are thankful for. I add a glass bead to my jar to represent each thing I am thankful for.

Finally read Psalm 33:20-22 (ESV)

Our soul waits for the Lord;

    he is our help and our shield.

For our heart is glad in him,

    because we trust in his holy name.

Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,

    even as we hope in you.

Erin Kotlan attends Apostles Houston and attends South Texas College of Law.

Surprised by Joy

Thank you Frank Boyd for this lovely photo.

I love it when God reshapes and expands my feeble efforts to glorify Him. I had been hoping to have a good time at the DWGC JOY 2020 ladies retreat. This was my first women’s retreat since moving to Texas last May and I was ready!

The first workshop I attended was Joy in Scripture. The gracious women who led us, did a wonderful job showing us different ways to dig deeper and make scripture personally meaningful. The most rewarding part of these exercises for me, was the beautiful drawings that an artist named Wilma had made. These line drawings had space for us to copy scripture verses directly within each drawing.  I am an analytical thinker, and this was a fresh way for me to imprint God’s word on my heart. The theme of leaning into the Lord through visual creativity stirred my soul in an unexpected way.

My next adventure was the Joy in Prayer workshop. I was anticipating something special from this teaching after talking with some of the women who had been in the class ahead of me and I was not disappointed. Two more lovely ladies led our group through four different kinds of prayers. All of the methods were insightful, but one stood out to me.  Casting Prayer, an ancient practice that was slightly modified to work better for the present day. Each woman was given a small glass jar, in its lid rested several small colored beads and one tiny cross-shaped bead made of wood. As we prayed, we took a bead and held it, silently confessing whatever was burdening us, then physically giving that burden to the Lord by dropping the bead into the jar. The last bead we placed in the jar was the little wooden cross. The action of dropping the bead in the jar helped me to engage God in a physical way. But it was the sharp clink of the bead hitting the bottom of the jar that gave my spirit a sense of release from the burdens I’d been pouring out to Him in confession.  It was quite profound; I left the workshop feeling like I had closure and my heart and mind were at peace.

I felt genuine joy at the end of the retreat, and I am so thankful that God is faithful to meet me where I need Him most in unexpected ways.

Kathy Summers draws from a unique set of life experiences. As a writer and speaker, her faith, family and friends have provided many topics to be shared.  She is a recent transplant to Katy and is a part of the Grace Anglican Community.

Our Grief Turned to Joy

John 16:20 (ESV) “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.”

Jesus was encouraging His disciples because He knew how they would feel when He was crucified and subsequently no longer with them. He reassured them that their sorrow will turn to joy (when he rose from the dead).

In our own humanity, we often wonder whether we should feel or show sadness or express grief or even despair!  After all, we believe that Jesus was raised from the dead and we have been saved.  Does showing grief therefore mean that we do not have enough faith? On the contrary, we are taught that Jesus does not exclude times of sorrow or sadness; and we do not have to be exuberant at all times.  The psalmists often expressed their tears and depression in the various chapters of the Psalms. They struggled with problems and cried out from the depths of their despair, as they begged God to deliver them.  Job also cried out to God in deep grief during his tribulations. Our Lord understands and offers us comfort that whatever our sorrows are – by His grace they will be turned into permanent fullness of joy everlasting as we look to Him in faith.

Prayer:

Our Father and our God, as we enter into this final week of prayers before the retreat, we give thanks to you for sustaining us until now and for keeping us alive and well. We put everything concerning the retreat into your hands Lord and ask you to take total control, because we know that anything placed in your hands does not fail. We ask that you direct the weekend and enable attendees grow closer to you and seek you as they never have before. We pray for safety as we journey to the event, during the event, and as we go back to our homes. We pray for total coverage over everyone. We ask that at the end of the retreat we will give you the glory. Your name be praised Father.

Thank you, Lord!! We love you, we wordship you, we praise your Holy name – In Jesus name – Amen!

Solape Delano

Prayer Coordinator for JOY 2020

Filled with Joy even in Tribulations

Ladies,

It’s our final week! We will see you all on Friday.

Please find the address for our venue:

St. Timothy’s Anglican Church

6819 Louetta Road

Spring, Texas 77379

Our theme verse:

John 16:22 English Standard Version (ESV)

” So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you…”

Let us be filled with joy always – even in our tribulations!

Romans 5:3 (ESV) “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance…”

James 1:2-3 (ESV) “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”

In our humanity we often wonder whether because we are required to heed these words of encouragement from Paul and James, we should always be joyful, even during times of sadness or despair when we are facing difficulties? However, this passage goes deeper than that because even though believing our salvation by Jesus’ sacrifice and our eternal life, does not end our personal trials, sufferings and intermittent hardships here on earth. When we have the faith and inner strength to trust in the Lord, to keep going, to keep praying, to keep trusting that God hears us and will answer us, our endurance increases no matter the outcome. It is about our ability to trust in God through these difficulties so that, our joy is in being drawn into a deeper relationship with Him and enables us to rejoice in the knowledge that  He sees our endurance and gives us His grace so that we can be with Him, in His kingdom at the end of time.

Prayer:

Our Dear Lord, we thank you so much for these six weeks of reflection, devotion and prayer to you leading up to the women’s retreat. We know that you have heard our prayers, which we have lifted up in one accord in the name of your son, Jesus and that you will answer us according to your will.

We place the venue for the retreat, St. Timothy’s Anglican Church, before you Lord and ask that you sanctify the church and guard and protect it from now on through the duration of the retreat and beyond. We ask that the presence of the Holy Spirit be in attendance throughout the event. We pray that you consecrate all the spaces and rooms we will be using, both inside and outside and in all the environs of the venue. We ask that you prevent any and all evil from entering the premises and that all who will be on the premises either helping with or attending the retreat will be blessed. Thank you, Lord

Solape Delano

Prayer Coordinator for JOY 2020

Joy in the Fellowship of Prayer

Philippians 1:4-5 (ESV)… “always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”

Paul believed in the power of prayer without ceasing. He did so constantly and willingly, as a joyful duty because of his compassion and concern for others, for the church and for all believers.

Mathew 18:19  (ESV) says …“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven…”

When we come together to pray in one accord, lifting-up our burdens and supplications to God in Jesus name, there is a strength in that act of belief, faith and vulnerability.

First, because we are obeying God and secondly, because we know that He hears us and will answer our prayers. There is joy in sharing our hearts burdens with praying people as well as in the fellowship of prayer.

Prayer:

Our Heavenly Father, we thank you again for these teachings from Paul in your Word. We ask discernment for the prayer teams that you have commissioned to specifically pray for others during the retreat; that they will do so, as a joyful duty to their fellow believers.  We pray that all attendees will be able to bring their thanksgivings and supplications to you according to your will.

In Jesus name – Amen

Solape Delano

Prayer Coordinator for JOY 2020

Finding Joy in Inconvenient Service

Most often the calls for my service have not been on my calendar. Someone I love, or someone I can empathize with, was in need of my presence, hands, feet immediately, or as soon as I could get there. These powerful calls were inconvenient. Clothes, toothbrush, medications were grabbed and pushed into the book bag found at the side of my bed. I hastily drove to the corner store and studied Google Maps while the gas was pumping. Headed out into the dusk on highways punctuated with speeding lane-changers. Service, the action of helping or doing work for someone, replaced comfortable familial routines.

The recipients of my service sometimes criticized my efforts. Questioned my motives. Their body language and actions did not convey appreciation. Sometimes the service was exhausting, physically challenging, unpleasant. So, where was the joy in this service?

For me, the joy was in knowing God, my Father, had called me to the service, Jesus knew my struggles and was by my side, and the Holy Spirit was enabling me to serve with supernatural energy. When I stilled the inner dialogue that followed the unanticipated call and replaced it with prayer, I immediately felt God’s Presence. A grin replaced the anxiousness. Sometimes I giggled at the realization that the Holy Trinity was riding shotgun with me.

“Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:5-7, NKJV)

Janna Wright, “5 Lessons Women Can Learn from Mary and Martha,” www.crosswalk.com

Joel Stucki, “The Gospel for Mary and Martha, Dec. 13, 2016,” www.unlockingthebible

Kathryn Lamb attends St. Timothy’s Anglican Church in Spring.

I was educated in un-airconditioned southeast Texas public schools, but summered on the then rural Bolivar Peninsula in Gulf breezes. Stood next to my future husband (43 years!) in my 5th grade class photo (He wasn’t tall then.) I loved being a mama, love being a grandmother, was proud to have been a Texas public school teacher, and I am thankful that my grandmothers shared their faith in God with me.