Behold the maidservant of the Lord!
Let it be to me according to your word.
+from the Orthodox Study Bible
Women's Group Mission Statement
"The Philoptochos" or "Friends of the Poor" is an organization of the women
of the parish, primarily dedicated to service of the needy and to the enrichment
of parish life. Aside from benevolence on an individual basis, this group maintains
an ongoing program of philanthropic projects which support the community,
Orthodox Church of America Ministries, and parish capital projects.
One very important role that each woman can fulfill is to encourage other women to live out an Orthodox lifestyle in their homes because it requires the help of others in the parish. After all, "it takes a village to raise a child," and our village is the Church. In many cases, there are no grandparents to assist as they once did. Families are separated from their family mentors by distance, and perhaps even faith, since our churches are experiencing an increase of members who have embraced Orthodoxy as adults. Orthodox women rejoice in the fact that the most perfect expression of Christian life and the very image of the Church is a woman, the Theotokos. She was devoted to the service of God. She said "yes" to God on behalf of each of us. She continuted to say "yes" as she lived out her life, serving as "mother" to the newly founded Christian Church. Now we, too, are called to be devoted to Christ and His Church. Our devotion requires self-sacrifice, faithfulness to the Gospel and the Tradition of the Church, prayerfulness, and the desire to be all that God calls us to be. If this sounds like too big a task, remember Jesus' words: "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:20-30). Just start and build on the firm foundation that the Church offers us. Allow yourself to be encouraged by another and encourage others whose gifts are not being used.
+from the OCA Website, written by Phyllis Meshel Onest
To become a member of the Women's Group, you must make a committment to regularly attend meetings once a month (unless otherwise specified) and be an active participant in Women's Group events, fundraisers and ministries. All women who are good standing members of St. Mark of Ephesus Orthodox Church and who regularly attend Divine Liturgy are welcome and encouraged to join our beloved group. Here are some questions to consider and discuss:
- What are your talents and gifts from God and how are you using them?
- Do you use your talents for the strengthening of the Church?
- Do you see a need in the Church that you, or someone you know, could fulfill? What is keeping you/them from getting involved?
Sascha Mules and Julie Sutton
Mat. Elizabeth Bacon
Women's Group News and Meetings