Save the date for the 2018 Churchwide Gathering!
The 2018 Churchwide Gathering will be held August 2–5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky! Planning is underway, so stay tuned for the Gathering scripture, theme, logo, speakers, program highlights, opportunities for connection and renewal, and so much more!
And while those details are being worked out, follow along with Gathering emails (one a month!) with reflections, free downloads, fun ideas and more! (If you're not receiving PW emails, contact Patricia Longfellow to be added to the email list.)
Reflecting on light
In honor of Women’s History Month, this month’s reflection on light takes inspiration from Dolores Huerta. This bold civil rights activist said, “We as women should shine light on our accomplishments and not feel egotistical when we do. It’s a way to let the world know that we as women can accomplish great things!”
At great sacrifice to her own comfort (and the comfort of her family), Dolores Huerta has worked tirelessly on behalf of farmworkers (women and men) who struggle to survive, often working long days in deplorable conditions for little pay. Dolores may have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights—the best and most noble of recognitions—but even so, she has found herself on the receiving end of brutality. In 1988, during a peaceful protest during the UFW (United Farm Worker) grape boycott, she was severely beaten by a police officer, resulting in broken ribs and the loss of her spleen.
Shining a light on our accomplishments (to paraphrase Ms. Huerta) may be a bit uncomfortable for any woman of faith who abides by scripture to “clothe yourself with humility in dealing with one another” (1 Pet. 5:5). But scripture is also quite clear that standing on the sidelines is not an option. And Presbyterian women do not stand on the sidelines. Together—humble and steadfast—we accomplish great things. Some of these great things include standing with and advocating for those who labor in our fields, bringing food to our tables.
Although Ms. Huerta is not Presbyterian, her commitment to advancing justice is in keeping with PW’s commitment “to work for justice and peace.” As women of faith, called “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with” our God (Mic. 6:8), we are emboldened to do great things on behalf of the One who is the Light, bringing warmth, comfort and clarity to the darkest of places.
Cheryl Queen, in her article, “I Dream of Immokalee,” (March/April 2010 Horizons, page 13–14), shared: “A favorite quotation of mine says, ‘When eating the fruit, remember the one who planted the tree.’ I now add, ‘and those who harvest it.’ Once you visit Immokalee, you’ll never again regard the food on your plate the same way. I bless every morsel with newfound conviction and reverence. I treasure the friends I have made because of my visit to Immokalee. They have taught me lessons in perseverance, faith and humility. I believe God put me on a path for justice that started in Immokalee, Florida—I have no idea of the destination, but I have every confidence that, through faith, I’ll be lead.”
Let us shine our light on the good work before us so we can invite others to these endeavors.
Presbyterian Women and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have a long history of standing up against injustice on behalf of those who labor for our food. This month, J. Herbert Nelson sent a letter to Todd Penegor, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Wendy’s Company. He wrote, in part, “Our concern, in this instance, is the failure of Wendy’s to provide adequate protection and justice for the workers who labor in the fields to provide tomatoes for Wendy’s products. Rather than join your primary competitors by signing on to the Fair Food Program in partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Wendy’s chose to move your sourcing to Mexico, where human rights violations are manifold and workers have little security or protection.” Read the letter in its entirety.
A little Gathering fun
Free downloads will be made available to publicize and raise excitement for the Gathering. Copy and share these PW-themed puzzles as widely as you wish!
Happy New Year, PW!
Gratitude word scramble
Explore "One Body, One Spirit"
More than 1,700 women (from around the United States and the world!) went to Minneapolis June 18–21, 2015. Plenary speakers and workshop leaders interpreted the theme "One Body, One Spirit," and Gathering attendees welcomed God's powerful spirit to unite them into one body, empowered to embody Christ's love in the world.
Enjoy some of the stories and images from the Gathering. Then be sure to check in with your PW sisters when they return.
If you've never attended a Gathering, learn more about Gatherings (including history!). And mark your calendars for the 2018 Gathering: August 2–5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky!
Leaders and Legacies, Budgets and Bylaws
By Yvonne Hileman
Presbyterian Women in the PC(USA), Inc. has a new slate of moderators and representatives, elected on the second day of the Business Meeting—a day of jubilation and sadness.
In the evening of Wednesday, June 17, the 2015 Business Meeting began with a prayer: “May the God of freedom, hope, compassion and strength fill us, and may we stand on a foundation of hope, made possible by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.” Read more.
Bringing Together “One Body, One Spirit”
By Yvonne Hileman
“What a beautiful sea of faces!” Shelda Wills, Gathering chair, exclaimed as she looked out over rows and rows of women in the opening plenary session to the 2015 Churchwide Gathering of Presbyterian Women. And a beautifully diverse sea of faces it was. Dozens of international guests, from 15 countries, and more than 1,700 Presbyterian women from all over the United States filled the plenary hall for the opening celebration on Thursday, June 18, 2015. Read more.
Update to Daily Horizons, Issue 1
Use this summary of the latest Churchwide Gathering news as a supplement to Daily Horizons 1. Print and slip it inside DH1 so you are prepared with the latest information.
Daily Horizons, issue 1
Learn everything you need to know about your first day(s) at the Gathering. This first issue of the almost-daily Gathering newspaper has information on what you should bring, leave at home and put on your schedule while you're in Minneapolis for the 2015 Churchwide Gathering.
Gathering registration booklet
Are you ready to start planning your Gathering experience? The Gathering registration booklet mailed with the November/December 2014 issue of Horizons, and is also available for download!
Use this resource to plan your arrival, worship, shopping, education, relaxation and inspiration during the 2015 Gathering. Plenary speakers will inspire you to live out your faith in new ways. Educational opportunities (workshops, forums and mission tours) will stretch your understanding and engagement with the world. Time with your Presbyterian sisters will remind you of the power of women committed to creating a more just world for everyone. In short, it's an incredible event that should not be missed!
Make Your own logo pin
Download instructions for making your own Gathering logo pin.
Step out for justice and peace!
Participate in the PW March for Justice and Peace at the Churchwide Gathering, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Minneapolis. The march will be held from 5 to 6 pm. If you are attending the Gathering, gather in the courtyard at Westminster Presbyterian Church, just one block from the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis (where the Gathering is being held). If you won't be at the Gathering, sponsor someone who will be. Pledges will benefit CARE and Presbyterian Ministry at the UN. Download the pledge form here. Download a promotional flier here. Download ideas for signs here.
Get a taste of the Gathering
Watch this four-minute video that offers a look at the fun, worship and fellowship that you can have at the 2015 Churchwide Gathering of Presbyterian Women!
(Gathering images from the 2012 Gathering in Orlando, Florida.)