Feb. 29, 2012

As I entered the Episcopal Church Center, I wondered how many women would brave the cold & the rain that had drizzled down onto our conference all day to spend a couple of hours connecting with one another in a sacred circle. The chapel was set up with about 20 chairs in a circle, but I feared we’d have to take out most of them so the few women who had appeared by just 10 minutes prior to the circle’s beginning could be near enough to each other could pass the talking stick.

One of the sisters played Spirituals on the piano, prompting several of us to sing quietly as the abundance of women appeared, causing us to scoot our chairs back several times to accommodate the more than 50 Spirit-seekers who arrived. A bit more music & the elders of our group shared history of their sacred circles that had met over the years, honoring those women who had provided similar safe place for sharing of the spiritual over the years.

A wooden wind flute called us into intentionality & after silence, we checked into the circle with the principles of the circle read around the circle, followed by the snowflake story & our own sharing of Spirit’s presence within & among us. A breadth of backgrounds & stories were hinted at as each woman honored the whole of the Story with brief contributions of one’s Spirit-presence.

Hopes for a 5th World Conference of Women to be held in San Francisco in 2015, 60 years after the UN Charter was signed there, were expressed, & then, with each woman again honoring the whole by one’s own brevity, we checked out with a few words of farewell until the next time. A word, a song, a prayer—unity despite our diversity—women of Spirit & Grace.

(The Rev.) Martha Frances
Houston, TX, USA