The choric reading

Lynette composed a choric reading based on what came out of the Among Women retreats. Here is the text, as presented at conference:

(Opening Scripture, brief intro)

Ephesians 3:20, 21

Lynette — Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine; according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

The Among Women panelists present a choric reading composed by Lynette, based on the retreats.

Mim — A year long conversation among women

Carla — Three intense and nurturing retreats

Sabrina — A blog to reach out and connect with other women

Naomy — A day long gathering to share our hearts with others

Lynette and Naomy.

(The same Scripture, from the Message)

Lynette — God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around, but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Mim and Louella — Glory to God in the church!

Louella and Mim.

Dot and Naomi — Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!

Martha and Sabrina — Glory down all the generations!

Carla and Elnora — Glory through all millennia!

Carla and Elnora.

Naomy — Oh yes!

(Psalm of Praise, Thankfulness)

Psalm 9:1, 2

 I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart;

Dot — You gave vision

Dot: "You gave vision."

Naomy — You helped women dream dreams.

I will tell of all your wonders.

Naomi — You helped Phyllis with a logistical nightmare – getting 3 dates that worked for all of us!

Martha — We arrived safely from Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio and Kenya.

I will be glad and rejoice in you;

Elnora — I came to the retreats tired and left energized.

Louella — I was pampered with food, warmth, and beauty.

Sabrina — I was blessed with connections with women.

I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Mim — Each retreat, we got noisier. The greetings were more exuberant, the goodbyes longer.

Carla – The first retreat it was a group of strangers. Now it’s a group of friends.

All – I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you. I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

(Bringing our Fears to God)

Isaiah 43:1 – 3

Lynette — But now, this is what the Lord says – he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel:

Martha — “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

Lynette — To that first retreat, we all brought our fears, hesitations, misgivings.

 Naomy — Like Paul, we had conflicts on the outside, fears within . . .

Naomy: "Like Paul, we had conflicts on the outside, fears within..."

 Dot – I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to remember that part of my journey.

 Mim — I didn’t want to dig it all up again.

 Louella — I thought I was over the worst of my grief – and then the floodgates opened.

 Sabrina — I felt inferior and wished I’d have more education. An assistant principal who is also a young mother?

 Carla — Oh, great, another young mom . . . it’s going to be in my face.

 Elnora — I have a life history of comparing myself with everybody.

 Naomi — I fight with communicating.

 Martha — More busy work for already busy women.

Sabrina, Martha and Naomi.

(Fears turning to Joy)

Lynette – Burst!

Lynette and Dot – Burst into songs!

Lynette, Dot and Mim – Burst into songs of joy!

All — Burst into songs of joy together!

Louella — For the Lord has comforted his people.

Isaiah 52:9

Lynette — Our fears quickly turned to joy.

Sabrina – My joy? Children 24/7.

Dot — The joy of hearing “you’re our favorite aunt and uncle.”

Louella – My dear friends who amaze me with their caring.

Naomy, Carla and Elnora.

Elnora — The biggest joy is God’s healing.

Naomy — We landed in Rosedale, a community with much emphasis on family.

Louella — My grandchildren – they talk about him all the time.

Sabrina — I’ve always wanted to be a wife and mother. God gave me the desire of my heart.

Sabrina.

Martha — There’s actually no joy in widowhood. But there is joy in obedience and accepting that life as God gives it.

Mim — The joy of knowing a God who can handle ‘the kicking and screaming and hollering.”

Dot – The joy of having a special friendship with my mother without children to take my focus.

Naomi — There are days I feel like I’m going crazy, but I love what I’m doing.

". . . I love what I'm doing."

Martha –The joy of learning how to be a person myself, a person in my own right.

Carla — The joy of living with the sense of calling and purpose.

Mim — It’s easy to fit one more plate on the table.

Elnora — A tight-knit group of friends that began as a support group for divorced women.

Naomy — Godly influence for our growing children – that is a big blessing

Carla — The joy of a supportive husband.

Naomi – My most important joy is to teach my children to worship, no matter what.

Naomy — The joy of being surrounded by beautiful sisters. They have spoiled me with love and warmth!

(Expanding fears passage; going through the water, rivers, and fire)

Isaiah 43:1 – 3

Lynette — But now, this is what the Lord says – he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel:

Naomy — “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

Lynette — When you pass through the water,

Elnora — People didn’t know what to do with a divorced woman.

Lynette – When you pass through the water, I will be with you.

Louella – When LeRoy died, I just wanted to sit in his rocking chair.

Naomy — I was a stranger in a strange land.

Lynette – I will be with you.

Sabrina – Oh, so you’re just a homemaker?

Mim — Why isn’t a nice person like you married?

Dot — So when are you going to start your family?

Lynette – When you pass through the water, I will be with you.

Naomi – I just felt odd.

Martha – Wesley won’t be back. Ever. Never.

Carla — I’m on a lonely island. I often felt misunderstood.

All — When you pass through the water, I will be with you;

Lynette — and when you pass through the rivers,

Elnora — I believed for years that he would come back to me someday.

Lynette – and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.

Naomi — So many children have made you too busy.

Carla – I live in a man’s world. Where are my mentors?

Lynette – the rivers will not sweep over you.

Martha – Where are we going to put her?

Mim – The tables are set for 2 or 4.

Naomy – I wake up in the morning and I want to do this and this and this, and I don’t quite know how.

Lynette – the rivers will not sweep over you.

Mim – There’s something wrong with my car; I guess I do need men after all.

Dot — Oh, I guess you can put a baby to sleep.

Sabrina – There are mornings when I feel totally overwhelmed.

Louella – We’re not over it, are we, Martha. When it’s the love of your life, you’re just so entwined.”

All — and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.

Lynette — When you walk through the fire,

Elnora –If you would have just been a better wife . . .

Naomi – If you didn’t have so many kids, then that one might not be struggling.

Lynette – When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned.

Naomy — I miss my mom back in Kenya.

Mim — Who’s going to take care of me?

Lynette – The flames will not set you ablaze.

Dot – I’ll never be a grandma.

Naomy – Can you even speak English?

Carla – Do you really want someone else raising your kids?

Lynette – You will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Sabrina — I wonder if I’ll make it through the day.

Martha — The whole month of April is hard. That is when Wesley died . . . and my birthday is in April. I would rather skip April.

Louella — And I would rather skip December. The funeral was the day before Christmas.

All — When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Isaiah 43:1 – 3

Lynette — But now, this is what the Lord says – he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel:

Mim — “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

Lynette — When you pass through the water,

All — I will be with you;

Lynette — and when you pass through the rivers,

All — they will not sweep over you.

Lynette — When you walk through the fire,

All — you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Lynette — For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

(Recognition of the things we’ve learned from listening to God and our sisters)

Lynette — We give praise for the things we’ve learned from listening to God and to each other.

Psalm 49:3 (combination of NIV and The Message)

Lynette — My mouth will speak words of wisdom;

Naomy — the utterance from my heart will give understanding.

Louella — I set plainspoken wisdom before you,

Mim — My heart-seasoned experience or understandings of life,

Carla — Speaking honestly to give understanding.

Sabrina — I fine-tuned my ear to the sayings of the wise.

The Message – Isaiah 50:4

Lynette — The Master, God, has given me a well-taught tongue,

Elnora — So I know how to encourage tired people.

Dot — He wakes me up in the morning.

Naomi — Wakes me up, opens my ears

Martha — To listen as one ready to take orders,

Carla — to listen like one being taught.

Lynette — We listened to God, as one ready to take orders. And we learned. These are some of the things we heard.

Carla – If He’s called me, then He’ll be with me on the journey.

Elnora – Death is seen as a clean break, but rejection is such a jagged cut.

Naomi – God says, Just do what I tell you and I’ll fill in.

Dot – If I can’t have a baby, life is over. I didn’t want to be that kind of person. That wasn’t beautiful to me.

Louella – Widowhood is not something you get over. It’s something you learn to live with.

Mim – Having a husband doesn’t guarantee you’ll have someone to care for you when you’re dying.

Martha – If widowhood is my cup, I will drink it.

Elnora – It’s all about forgiveness . . . You have to give up the right to revenge, and also the right to know why.

Martha – People say time heals. It’s not the time so much that heals, but what you do with the time.

Carla – If He’s called us, then He’ll be with us on the journey.

(Examples of learning from each other)

Lynette — And we listened to each other, like one being taught.

Sabrina – Naomi said when you have time for your husband, take time.

Dot – Martha, I loved the way you wrote about your love for Wesley.

Sabrina — Mim, you said we as women are always looking to the next phase. I didn’t marry till I was 26, and I remembered your advice to enjoy the moment and not always be looking to what’s next.

Louella about Carla – I admire Carla, that she can handle a career and a family. I told her, Go for it! I think she has it all.

(Connections/Identification/Unity)

Romans 15:5-7

Lynette — May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

Mim – Perhaps we are more alike than different. Our circumstances are different, but our emotions aren’t that far apart.

Sabrina — Do we all at times go crazy doing the things we feel called to do?

Louella — We are all in the same “boat,” yet come from many different perspectives. We have bonded as a group.

Elnora — What? You too? I thought I was the only one.

Mim – The lies are the same for all of us. Satan is not very creative in his lies. We all think we’re the loneliest, that we have it the hardest, that no one understands.

Carla — We all have different callings.

Naomi – We all do dumb things.

Naomy — Women from different spheres, different seasons, but all on level ground at the foot of the cross.

Martha — Count it all joy,

Dot — in every sphere,

Martha — in every phase.

(Ending)

Lynette — I like to think that we will go to the painful places and we will do the uncomfortable things for all our sisters out there, so that you will know that you’re not alone.

Elnora — I did that. I spoke up.

Carla – It was difficult, but I did that, too.

All – WE ALL DID THAT!

(All — with much volume and much enthusiasm)

PRAISE BE TO GOD!

Mim and Carla present flowers from the group to Lynette and Phyllis.

Carla and Lynette hug each other.

Phyllis and Lynette, Among Women masterminds!

About these ads
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s