Every week, I attend a lecture with about 30 women. One of the women will share her personal story regarding her journey of faith.
We call it the 'Women of Faith Lecture Series'. I actually started this a couple of years ago when I got assigned to be the Activities Director for this group of women. It turns out I really didn't want to be the Activities Director. I envisioned myself schlepping pots of chili for a cook-off. Or gathering women together to make something crafty. And well, you may have gathered by now that I just don't do crafts. I seldom cook anymore, either.
And so, I thought and thought about changing up the way these activities were always done. I wanted to do something MEANINGFUL - even life changing! I knew it was possible.
And so, with the support of the President of this women's organization, we decided to launch the Lecture Series. We wanted to give women the floor to share the ups and downs of her journey of faith. We didn't want them to feel they had to edit. We wanted to hear what has brought her to the place she is now, whatever place that is. You know, some of these stories are never told in detail in formal settings (for example, in a church.) Sometimes they aren't told even among friends. And so we wanted to see what would happen if we provided the space to really share. Well, the first event was PACKED!! I had NEVER seen so many women show up to one of these events. And that room has remained packed ever since. It has been one of the most amazing experiences any of us have ever had.
We've heard from:
-A woman who had twins born at 20 something weeks and lived in the hospital for months while they fought for their lives.
-A lesbian who navigated many religions until she came to a place of peace, with God.
-A woman who had two siblings die within a short time from suicide and a possible suicide/overdose.
-A woman who was sexually abused her entire childhood by her grandfather.
-A mom with young kids who was currently in the midst of chemo treatments for breast cancer.
(There are many more.)
These women have all learned so much about life, faith, and healing because of these experiences. And I can't tell you how powerful it has been to hear their stories in detail. At the end of the lectures, we have a Q&A with the speaker and a very open discussion about the topic. We've all learned so, so much.
And so - for anyone out there who may want to start up something like this of their own, I say go for it! I can't recommend it enough. I am guessing the women of your church or community would be THRILLED to be a part of this.
And - if you're in New York and would like to attend our little lectures in Brooklyn, PLEASE let me know and I'll send you a note about dates. We meet at a church in Carroll Gardens. Of course, women of all faiths are welcome. I'm confident you would love the experience. You see, we all come to these lectures full of love for the speaker. And she comes full of love for us, or she wouldn't be interested in sharing. And so, the feeling there is something else. It's vulnerability at it's best...the kind that leads to greater connection and love.
Wishing you all a Happy Monday. Let's make it good.
P.S. I just heard this weekend that two people made a connection and went out on a date because of our blog!!! :) :) We are kind of dying over that. SO great. I've actually been wanting to start a little chat forum where people could discuss all kind of topics related to LOVE. (What do you think of the idea?) And who knows, maybe that could even lead to more connections.