Woven: Every Woman on the Planet

"Am I allowed to come to this event? I'm not in a Woven group." The answer is always a resounding "YES!" Woven is the antithesis of female cliques. My tag line "WOVEN IS FOR EVERY WOMAN" didn't seem to be working. Women aren't used to such an open invitation for friendship, and that's exactly why Woven was birthed. To express the inclusiveness of Woven Women, I was divinely inspired recently with this tag line: WOVEN is for every woman on the planet! "Divinely" inspired because it seems that God has aligned the stars and times to expand this ministry. Woven began in 1998 in one church. Soon I was writing, professionally printing, and selling my curriculum to women who were starving for meaningful relationships. Woven took a back seat as I served in various pastor positions and planted a church. Six years ago, God resurrected this ministry when I began attending Newark Church of the Nazarene. It's been beautiful to witness His purpose being actualized: "I want you WOVEN into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God." (Col. 2:2-3) The love is contagious! This small group ministry has evolved into worship events, retreats, extensive community outreach, and now our monthly Girls' Night Out. Women have experienced depth in their spiritual journey [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:06+00:00 November 6th, 2014|, , , |0 Comments

Woven GNO: The Nook Challenge!

My Nook: An Outside Look! I just love having women in my NOOK! I've discovered that women love being invited for coffee (tea for me, please!), breakfast, brunch, or just to chat. (Read about my Nook in the sidebar to the right :). I often share photos from my Nook on Facebook, but this picture gives you an inside look from the outside and a glimpse of how cozy it truly is. At our October Girls' Night Out, Woven Leaders shared their "Nook" photos. I had challenged the leader team to find their Nook and invite women for coffee or conversation. Woven Leader Kitty Roahrig then passed the baton to all the women at our Girls' Night Out. The Nook Challenge: Never Overlook Opportunities to Konnect! As you can see in this picture, Kitty has taken this acronym seriously!! Now, we're not recommending (or implying) that your NOOK is a pigsty, but so often we think that our house has to be perfect in order to invite others in. But, NO-it's OK! Your Nook can be anyplace that you choose! Be creative! Invite someone to your favorite coffee shop, restaurant, park. ANY place can be a GREAT place for you to Konnect! (it's the [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:07+00:00 October 28th, 2014|, , |0 Comments

Slow Down

When was the last time you actually took the time? Time to simply slow down, enjoy the day Time to allow your inner child to come out and play Time to be idle; observe the cycle of nature Time to witness the miracles of our Maker God has been returning me to my roots. It began through a reconnection with my first BFF: my childhood friend and neighbor. Resurrected memories burst forth of so much life, play, simplicity, wonder. I realized how much of my life had been spent in the woods. I longed for the simple, quiet, rhythms of life. God had this in mind and paved the path for this process. It began with a stay at Sts. Peter & Paul Retreat Center. The weather could not have been more perfect. A simple walk in the woods burst forth reminders everywhere: This is where I began. This was my escape to never-never land. The woods: my childhood playhouse with endless wonder and possibilities! Oh how I had missed: The Woods! I was in awe of how God had clothed a fallen log with beautiful ruffles upon ruffles, and was reminded of Jesus' words in Matthew 6: Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:09+00:00 October 16th, 2014|, , |0 Comments

WOVEN GNO: When Life Becomes 911

Anyone who is old enough to remember September 11, 2001, will never forget: the day the towers fell in NYC.  A line was drawn in the sand dividing the past from the future. That single moment of time reminded the entire world that the future is unpredictable, unknown… just one moment, one day, one event can change everything. Words like Terrorism, Code Red, and Homeland Security became a part of our everyday language. Terrorism has two meanings. As a verb: the use of violence and threats. The other is actually our response: a state of fear and submission. FEAR captured us. It kept us glued to the TV, wondering what would happen next.  Do you remember where you were that day? Do you remember how you felt as you watched those towers fall, and listened to the stories of victims? I was with a friend, trying to figure out my future. Months earlier, God asked me to resign from the church I was pastoring. I had no idea why or what was next. God simply asked me to clear my agenda, be ready to go wherever He led. Sunday, September 9th, was my final service as pastor of the church. Two days later, on Tuesday, [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:11+00:00 September 12th, 2014|, |0 Comments

The Gift of Innocence

My daughter Nicole and I will be speaking this Wednesday, Sept. 3rd, at Licking Memorial Hospital to Break the Silence of Childhood Sexual Abuse. This article addresses the reason we are committed to sharing our story: to protect the innocence of children and to aid in the healing of those who have been robbed of their innocence.   by Dr. Morven Baker (Reposted from Jan. 2013) For several wonderful days this past week, I was blessed to hear “Nana” when a wee one woke in the middle of the night, knowing my name was safe in her mouth. Her grandpa and I just grinned at each other in the dark when she and her big sister found their way to our bed at the beach cottage, and snuggled in for giggles and whispers before the sun got up. Both of us were recipients of spontaneous hugs from fat little arms being wrapped around our necks, and we just drank in all the sweet little kisses and “I love you’s” …. our little ones felt safe and we treasured their innocence. It would be so pleasant to live in a bubble, believing that all little ones felt safe with their family members, that their [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:12+00:00 August 31st, 2014|, |0 Comments

LIFE LESSONS: Courage to Begin

I'm an artist, writer, speaker. An initiator, leader, dreamer, visionary. All of these require Courage. Courage to begin. But sometimes I get stuck. Lack of vision, opportunity? Occasionally. More often than not, I'm overwhelmed with all the possibilities. When I find myself in that place, indecision grips me. Indecision promotes procrastination. Procrastination opens the door to fear and failure. I am frozen in space and time. I feel frustrated. I've allowed fear to steal my faith. Paintings wait to be painted. Words long to be placed on paper, to be shaped into sentences. Sentences expect to form paragraphs, destined to build a story. Such is life. Not just the life of a creator, but of being obedient to The Creator. He is shaping a story through each of us. Our story is just waiting to be lived, to be shared, to take form and shape, to bring beauty to the world and glory to God. But fear can get in the way of His work. We lag behind, afraid to take the next step. We lack faith. It's like taking an exam you haven't studied for...and all the questions are essays. The white space on the page is so blinding that any potential recall is irretrievable. The fear of taking [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:14+00:00 August 21st, 2014|, |0 Comments

Woven GNO: Self-Image

Our August Girls' Night Out rocked! 62 women from 6+ churches came together for worship and the word. Here's a sample from my notes: Can you remember when you were first aware of your weight? I was in 2nd grade. My mother would send me out the door, but just as the bus was reaching the stop, I was suddenly ill and ran down the hill-- into my mother's arms. A few days of behaving this way demanded a confession: I refused to go to school because the boys chased me at recess. I was tired of running and afraid of what would happen if I didn’t! The grand finale? My Mother loaded me into the car and marched into the classroom to talk to my teacher. From that day on, a boy in my class began taunting me: “Your mom’s fat!” That had never occurred to me. I should have known that if MY MOM was fat, then HIS MOM must be fat too! They were practically the same size. I realize this was his way of flirting, but from that day on, I was embarrassed of my mom. Along with that embarrassment, I felt ashamed of who I was. It attacked my self esteem. It changed my body image. To add to that, my mother was in a constant search for the right diet [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:16+00:00 August 18th, 2014||0 Comments

Life Lessons: The Nitty Gritty

My grandsons Jude and Isaac playing in the sand   The nitty gritty truth? I love the beach. Hate the sand. An oxymoron? I suppose so. After all, the beach is sand and sand is the beach: a beautiful host to the immense ocean. It provides a homecoming for the tide. It harbors hidden treasures, empty shells, a foreground for unending horizon and glorious sunsets. But, the sand...does it have to be so messy, so sticky, so sandy? In the midst of this beautiful scene, the sand is such a distraction. It's easy to talk myself out of going to the beach because I don't want to mess with the sand. And yet, I LOVE the beach! How crazy is that? What I don't like? I don't like how the sand sticks to my skin, to my lotion. I don't like to feel dirty, gritty, sweaty. I don't like getting sand in my mouth, on my clothes, on my towel. I don't like dragging it into my room and having to clean it up. I don't like messes, I guess. I want to enjoy life without all the grit. I'm thinking that if an oyster could talk, she would say the same thing. Sand is the irritant [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:18+00:00 August 12th, 2014||0 Comments

Woven Girls’ Night Out 1-2-3!

WE ARE LOVING OUR GIRLS' NIGHT OUT!! Yes, there is a double meaning intended in this statement because LOVING OUR GALS and LOVING GOD is what we're all about!! AND...When we have an entire evening devoted to exactly that? Well, it's pretty amazing!! Yes, it is! Our 1st WGNO was in June, but in my heart it began as early as January. STORY NIGHTS. That's what I kept hearing from God. An opportunity for women to gather and share their personal stories, to be real, transparent, and to know that we are never alone in what we are facing, that there is no shame in where we have been, no secrets that need to be kept in the closet, no skeletons worth preserving. And lo and behold, THE GLORY of our Girls' Nights! (yes, men, you should be a bit envious of this!). The schedule is consistent, but all else is a work of the Holy Spirit. We begin at 6:30pm by coming alone or bringing a guest. You won't be a loner here! None are able to escape our embrace. Food and drinks await you; love greets you at the door. The fun begins! Arrive at 7pm, and you are awakened by the sound of [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:21+00:00 August 7th, 2014|, , |1 Comment

Woven Women JAPAN UPdate

We love hearing from our Woven sisters in Japan. Leader Tash Horner (the blonde in picture) recently sent this update on her group... We have completed the fourth Woven evening! We've had a shift in the group with one lady leaving and going back to America and two lovely new ladies joining us. I've found that are connecting more and more this year through this program and I look forward to leading it monthly. We have had gracious hosts who very kindly open up their apartments and (it has also been the trend for them to serve delicious food - a gift I certainly DON'T have). One of the most beneficial things has been the ice-breaker activities where we get to relax and have fun in a safe spiritual climate. I've also enjoyed hearing the various hosts tell what's going on for them. As I explained in my first update, we all live in close quarters and know quite a bit about each other, but Woven allows us to share what's happening spiritually. Woven recommends working together to bless the community. Here is a photo of 4 of the 7 women singing a song for a community Easter program we hosted. We put on a mime about the prodigal son (read [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:22+00:00 July 23rd, 2014||0 Comments