Scene: Women’s Group Mentoring
It’s 6:55pm and you have just parked your car on the street in a neighborhood close by to the church. You grab your purse (and, let’s be honest, your umbrella as well) and walk up to the host home. You can hear the hubbub of the women-chatter as your approach the home.
Upon entry, a woman greets you and shows you where to stash your purse. You say hello to a few women you know, as well as introduce yourself to women you haven’t met before.
You put your name tag on and take note of the number “4” in the bottom right corner (telling you that you’re in group 4 for the evening).
The house is warm and inviting. Candles are lit. A few bottles of wine are open, and appetizers are on the dining room table. And chocolate. There’s always chocolate.
You pour yourself a small glass of cabernet, grab a piece of Theo’s dark and continue mingling with women.
You talk about your work, your week, as well as follow-up on a few conversations you had with women the week before:
“How did that interview go?”
“Did you end up going on a date with that guy? How’d it go?”
“Did your mom get her test results back? I was thinking about you this week.”
At 7:30pm, it’s time to break into groups. You find your group, group 4, in the living room, and notice how diverse all the groups are, ranging in ages of women anywhere from 18 to 80.
Your particular group includes yourself, a semi-retired interior designer, a middle-aged consultant, a young adult who’s a physical therapist, and a woman who’s just graduated from college.
During group time, you go over five questions together. The questions vary from light-hearted (“What’s one thing you always keep in your fridge?”) to questions with more depth (“What scary thing makes you feel brave?”). Before you know it, it’s 8:30pm and time to be done. You walk out with two other women, and end up talking by your car for a few more minutes.
You’ve gotten to know these women well over the past few weeks, and share about a situation that is weighing on you.
One of the women offers to pray with you. You realize this is just what you need, and your eyes start to well up with tears. She places a hand on your shoulder and begins to pray…right there on the street by your car.
After the prayer, you thank her. The situation weighing on you is still there, but having others “in it” with you helps. As you drive away, you think to yourself: “This feels like church to me. This. Being real. Being vulnerable. Doing life with others. Asking questions and talking about God. I’ve attended BelPres for 15 years now, but this is the first time I can attend a church service on Sunday and run into people I know. I feel known.”
It’s 9:15pm and you’re now home. You pull into the garage and your phone beeps. A text message. It’s from the women who just prayed for you. It reads: “You’re not alone. Glad we got to talk tonight.” You sigh, “Thank You, God, for this community.”
(The above scene is inspired by real events – pieced together from stories and feedback that I’ve heard over the past two years).
This fall, Women’s Group Mentoring (WGM) starts its third year as a ministry at BelPres. WGM first started in the fall of 2013 with 25 women meeting on Thursday evenings with the following goal in mind: to cultivate intergenerational relationships for young adult women through personal/professional development and spiritual support. Over the past two years the ministry has grown, and this fall we will have four different meeting times, and are anticipating 100 women to be involved.
Along with the growth, I’ve heard feedback from women desiring an opportunity to meet the other WGM women that meet on different days of the week. What a great idea! So, on September 26, we are having a kick-off event for WGM. “Inspire” will be held at the William Church Winery in Woodinville, featuring swag bags (who doesn’t love a good swag bag?), wine tasting, food from a local food truck, and a short talk from Rev. Annie Duncan. This event is open for women who have been a part of WGM in the past, women that are currently involved, as well as women that are curious about the ministry! To RSVP for this event email Annie, firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Thank You, God, for this community.”
For those of you unfamiliar with WGM, here’s a bit more information: WGM meets for 90 minutes and is offered in the morning and the evening. The first 30 minutes we mingle over wine/coffee and appetizers as a large group together (about 25 women). Then for the last hour, we break into smaller groups of about five women of all ages and go over five life-giving questions together. The questions are designed to have different points of vulnerability, and each woman decides which question that want to answer (that way, no one is forced to share anything that they don’t want to). WGM meets twice a year – once in the fall and once in the spring – and does large group activities together over the summer.
This fall, we will meet for 7 weeks in a row, and here are the dates and times: Tuesdays at 7pm, beginning Sep 29, Wednesdays at 7pm: beginning Sep 30, Thursdays at 630am or 7pm: beginning Oct 1.
If you’re interested in signing up for a group, email Annie Duncan: email@example.com.