All women are invited to the cluster meetings. These gatherings are not limited. Please mark the dates and plan to attend. This is an opportunity to worship and to gather valuable information about PW for your group.
Saturday, August 23
Corpus Christi Cluster
Tuesday, September 9
Saturday, August 9
Saturday, August 30
San Benito First Presbyterian Church
566 N. Reagan, San Benito TX 78586-4650
The San Antonio Cluster met on August 17 at Northwood PC in San Antonio. 78 Women were in attendance representing 12 cluster churches. the offering recipient was the San Antonio Food Bank. We collected $256.36 plus an addition check for $50 made directly to the Food Bank. Other ministry represented was: Presbyterian Children's Home, Congo Mission Network, USA Mission Experience, Hispanic Women's Conference and the Spring Gathering at Mo Ranch. The CT members that visited were Patty Nance, Moderator and Helen Richards, Mission Interpreter. Judy Harris gave an introduction to the Horizons Bible Study; we sang "Let my People GO" from the study; we laughed at a preview of "The Matriarchs" by the Sinful Sisters and Fallen Floozies II; we watched the DVD "Restoring Creation for Ecology and Justice", we ate breakfast, and we toasted the new PW year.
Austin Cluster met on August 17. 70 women were in attendance representing 14 churches with 9 moderators present. Total attendance was down from last year. This year’s gathering was a week earlier than usual and also conflicted with San Antonio’s gathering, a church-wide activity in San Marcos, and a community activity in Wimberley. Suggestion: lock in a church and date early. We had originally published a different date and then changed it, resulting in some conflicts.Amount collected for Emma Norris Fund: $529.49. Format: Main speaker on Horizons Bible Study, skit on Moses, communion service, two workshops, lunch. Women seemed to like the workshop format. This is the second year in a row we've done it. This format does require more planning and larger facilities than a plenary format. Communication is key when having so many different speakers. Music: We had a music leader for the opening gathering song and a piano accompaniment. One hymn was sung to recorded piano music (this method didn't go over very well.) The last hymn was sung to the live piano. Next year we need to have a piano player and song leader for all hymns. Facilities: Beautiful sanctuary; good acoustics with microphone system. Some workshop rooms were small for the people attending. Next year we need to ask workshop leaders what special needs they have so we aren't scrambling for TVs, video players, tables, easels, etc. the last minute. Bathroom breaks: For the second year we did not schedule for bathroom breaks. No one complained. Amazing! Timing of agenda: We were able to adhere to the agenda by alerting speakers to how we would help them stay on time. Suggestions were made to publish the times of the workshops. Workshops were only 40 minutes long because extra time was taken by serving communion. Speaker: Judy Skaggs did a wonderful job introducing the Horizons Bible Study. This was followed with a workshop for Bible Study Leaders. Workshops: We had six workshops; all but two were offered twice. For the second year, the exercise workshop was the most popular. The other two most popular workshops were on Human Trafficking and Using Water Wisely. We had no method to control the number of people who attended each workshop. We had a sign-in sheet for the craft workshop, but no one signed up for the 2 rooms, this may not be a problem. Suggestions for future programs: Remie Martin offered to do a workshop on nutrition. A suggestion was made to narrow the Human Trafficking topic to something smaller like: fair trade, poverty, or teen trafficking. Caly Fernandez was recommended as a possible speaker on the subject. Another suggested topic was Green churches. Evaluations: A total of 28 evaluations were returned. A rated score of 4.4 out of a possible 5 was very positive. About half of each workshop attendees completed an evaluation. Food: Only complaint was that we didn't serve caffeinated coffee in the morning. Menu consisted of a pasta salad, green salad with chicken, and a fruit salad. Cookies were served for dessert. We were even served on real plates! Breakfast foods were miniature muffins and sweets with juice and coffee. Registration: Two ladies worked with pre-registered folks (arranged alphabetically by church) and one lady worked with walk-ins. Asking the helpers to bring their registration money in ones helped with having change available. Two ladies took the money and two handled the pre-made name tags. This all worked out well.Speaker gifts: No gifts were given this year. All participants received key tag rings which were handmade and donated. A suggestion was made to consider giving a donation to a PW cause in honor of the speakers.
Our Farmland Cluster Fall Gathering was a wonderful event, held at the First Presbyterian Church in Luling, Texas on Saturday, August 10th. There were approximately forty-two lovely ladies from LaGrange, Lockhart, Luling, Gonzales, Seguin, Smiley, and Smithville and special guests and members of the Coordinating Team (Francile Blue, Patti Nance, Martha Flores, Yolanda Jimenez, Lynda McKee, Rev. Monica Smith, Dr. Judy Harris, Helen Richards, Roxanna Hauschild and of course, me!).
The Overview of the PW Bible Study was given by Rev. Monica Smith of Gonzales; the Offering went to the Presbyterian Children's Homes and Services, Signe Frederickson of San Antonio was the speaker. Moderator Beth Flynn of Luling spoke for the LAMA Food Pantry in Luling, another Offering recipient. $1,519.00 went to PCHS and $91 plus many food items were given to LAMA.
Marjorie Newton of Luling sang a solo while playing the piano; we all felt like we were in New Orleans!
Breakfast and lunch were provided free of charge by the Luling ladies, Moderators Beth Flynn and Etta Wise, Susan Rutherford, Sally Kuny, Helen Wofford and Marjorie Newton.
The ladies enjoyed visiting with each other and also enjoyed partaking of the many Door Prizes (each person could choose what she wanted from a tableful of goodies). And there was a handmade wooden cross for each made by Yolanda Jimenez and her husband. A very good inspiring time was had by all.
Next year the Gathering will be hosted by Smithville and in 2015 we will go to Seguin. I am working on LaGrange for 2016!
Corpus Christi Cluster:
The Cluster meeting was September 7 at 11 am. The offering of $301 went to Mission 911 in Corpus Christi. A shelter run for the homeless. Tony Reyes, an Elder at Jackson Woods, used to work at Office Depot and then went home and he and his wife moved and started a shelter. They bought an old apartment building at 911 Park. There are classes and retreats to help these homeless men, women and families to get out in the workforce.
The lunch was lovingly prepared by the Ladies of First Presbyterian Church. The members of the Coordinating Team of Mission Presbytery's Women in attendance were: Rebecca Robertson, co-cluster leader for Corpus Christi Cluster, Patti Nance, Moderator, and Dr. Judy Harris, Moderator-Elect.
Patti Nance spoke briefly and then Liz reported on the Spring Conference at Mo Ranch for 2014. Barbara Elliott, PW Moderator of the host church gave the Bible-study overview. 6 door prizes were awarded. Dr. Bob Scott played the piano for the meeting. 31 Ladies were in attendance. The cooks for the day were Darlene Scott, Brenda Melendy, Michel Barnett, Elsa Helms, Rose Alvarez, Barbara Elliott, and Bobbi Kirkpatrick. Michele Barnett made the name tags and Nancy Langschied provided the program.