One Day Young Women's Conference held on March 29th, 2014
G.R.O.W. Ministries held its annual One-Day Young Women’s Conference at St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church, Unruh Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. on Saturday, March 29th, 2014. This was the third annual diocesan conference hosted by GROW Ministries. Women from Virginia to Boston attended the conference.
The theme of the conference was “Who Am I,” taken from Isaiah 43:1, “I have called you by name, you are mine.” This year, the ministry was extremely blessed to have the Diocesan Metropolitan, His Grace Zachariah Mar Nicholovos, who formally established the ministry, as the main speaker. His Grace spoke about the multiplicity of identities that we all possess. Thirumeni was inspirational, motivating and also illustrated the notion of self perception. His Grace was quoted as saying, “When you acknowledge the image of God in others, you are also reflecting the image of God in you.”
In addition to His Grace, two workshops were conducted in the morning and in the afternoon, and it was led by women lay leaders. The first workshop was “Who do I think I am?” and the second workshop was “Who does the world think I am?” The workshops were led by Dr. Ammukutty Paulose (mothers group), Mrs. Bincy Thomas (college), Mrs. Sunitha Zacharia (single and working professionals), Mrs. Susan Mathew (married) and Mrs. Anu Jacob Gheevarghese (high school.)
Several highlights of the conference included a welcome presentation by the committee to the song “Who Am I,” a mime presentation to the song “Who Am I” by St. Thomas Greater Washington during lunch, and the assembling of flower rings and metal cross necklaces. In addition, women were able to meet their fellow sisters in Christ from various areas in the diocese during the coffee break and fellowship time. His Grace and members of the clergy also joined in this relaxing session. An open forum was also organized, in which His Grace, the clergy and seminarians answered questions on various topics.
The conference came to a close as the women spent time in spiritual meditation. During the meditation time, the priests prayed for all the participants at the altar, and thereafter, each woman individually received blessings. Each woman was given a Bible verse reflecting a promise made by God, a prayer card, and a booklet titled, “Letters from the Heart for the Growing Soul.” The booklet is a compilation of letters by women who experienced a challenge and overcame it. The experiences are a reminder of the mysterious ways God is glorified in our lives. Through these personal experiences, the hope is that God will heal and uplift other sisters who may have similar situations.
Through the support of the clergy present, the members and volunteers of St. Thomas, Unruh, and all the prayerful support from the various spiritual organizations and friends, the conference was fruitful and uplifting.
The mission of G.R.O.W. Ministry is to help women be active in their Orthodox faith and to deepen their relationship with our Lord, Savior and King, Jesus Christ, despite the challenges they face in their daily lives.
Please remember the ministry in your daily prayers.
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