Harrowing Of Hell
January 11, 2023


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Women’s Retreat Group: January Meeting Notes

Summary of the January WRG meeting by Karen Jackson Forbes:

The WRG meeting of January 7th was well attended by 20 participants, including two online.  Thanks to everyone who attended.  We had a lively and meaningful discussion of the lectionary that included Psalm 103.  This Psalm provides much solace that God is always there for us and loves us.  “Bless the Lord, oh my soul …the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting”.

In Isaiah 52 we read about the people who went into Egypt and were oppressed by the Assyrians and treated as aliens.  We discussed current issues with immigrants in our country, and how the war in Ukraine was causing the same circumstances.  Isaiah encourages us with “Therefore my people shall know my name; therefore, they shall know that it is I who speak; here am I.”

Revelations 2, speaks to the Angel of the Church in Ephesus and their patient endurance for the sake of God’s name, with a need to get back to the Love they had at first.  It was speaking to us to come from Love and generate Love out as Christ in the world.  The Forward Day by Day reading spoke of how Churches have Angels, and we have opportunity to receive from Angels and acknowledge them in our lives.  We discussed how we had been helped, can look for help and can help others, as Angels in the world.  Many who have travelled to Ephesus spoke about it as a wonderfully preserved place to visit.

In John 2 we encounter the Wedding at Cana, and Jesus first miracle of the water into wine.  It was pointed out that in the interchange with Mary in this passage, the use of the word Woman was actually a term of respect.  We had some discussion of the relationship of Mothers and Sons, and how Mary had the inspiration to ask Jesus.  

We also continued to discuss how it was the “good wine” and the first of the miracles.  It seems as if John may also be telling us the story of how we now connect to Jesus through the same good wine.  That Jesus in the world was the good wine.  The first miracle also connects to the last one in the Last Supper where we encounter Jesus through the bread and the wine. 

An excellent presentation by Ann Beck followed which outlined the work of the Service and Outreach Committee at Epiphany.  The Have A Heart fundraiser is coming up on February 5th after Evensong.  Ann discussed our work with the YMCA through backpacks, Thanksgiving and Christmas presents. We also supply a YMCA apartment with household items and a pantry for a homeless family once a month. The work with the Y was the first of the fundraising projects.  

We support the AFEDJ American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and their work in hospitals.  The pilgrimages to the Holy Land visit one of these hospitals.  Holly Boone is on the Board of AFEDJ and most recently went to Gaza Hospital.  Holly will be speaking about this trip January 8th after Evensong.

The work of Argos, and our village of Belen, Guatemala began in 2004; and now continues with the Nicholas Fund for Education (NFE).  Ann and Holly Boone were there most recently in November to attend the graduations from High School, Junior High, Kindergarten, and the adults who are working to become literate in Spanish. Epiphany was honored this year at the graduation.

She also discussed our work overseas with two schools in Africa: and our support of an orphanage through the Haiti Micah project.  Fr. Constant will be here on Sunday January 15th to discuss this work.  

Service and Outreach does work locally in homelessness with the Overnight Watch program to provide a meal every other month; with the Teen Feed program to provide a meal every month; with the Tiny Houses project which builds the tiny homes. Ann also volunteers at Edible Hope, a daily soup kitchen in Ballard.

Thanks to all who attended.  Our next meeting is Saturday, February 4th 9-11am, come at 8:30am for fellowship and a lite breakfast.    Karen Jackson Forbes

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