Every October, women from Minnesota, Manitoba, the Dakotas and sometimes Iowa and Wisconsin, get together for a retreat. Women come to get away from the busyness of life; they come to meet with friends and meet new friends; they come for spiritual renewal; they come from habit. As the retreat planning committee organized this year’s retreat though, we hoped and prayed they would come for more than just those reasons.
The idea behind “Courage for the Call” began as a way to encourage and inspire women to take time to discover their own calling from God into service for Him. Each believer is gifted uniquely to share God’s love in her own way and her own community. Often we step back from that calling because we don’t feel good enough, qualified enough, just enough. But as our keynote speaker, Bonita Shields, brought out, ‘What would we do if we knew we couldn’t fail?’ working with God, He gives us the courage and strength to follow through on any calling He is placing on our hearts, no matter how big or small.
Part of our calling as a church family is reaching out to the communities surrounding us, showing them God’s love in tangible ways, actually being the feet and hands of Jesus to the world. And so we invited Jo Dubs, founder and creator of the “God in Shoes” ministry started in Cumberland, Georgia more than 10 years ago. An exciting mission-at-home opportunity, “God in Shoes” invites Christians to serve anywhere from a few days to up to two weeks in a particular town or area of a city where volunteers work at service projects, community education evenings, a family fun day and for the grand finale, a spa day for the women where they are treated to massages, manicures, foot care, facials and a brand new pair of shoes. The spa day provides a unique opportunity for women to connect and pray together in a pressure free environment. As “God in Shoes” has developed and grown, it has provided a catalyst for local churches to branch off on their own, offering yearly community outreach opportunities as the name of the church is remembered in a positive light by the participants.
As we finished our retreat together this year, those attending helped to raise start-up funds for Minnesota’s own version of “God in Shoes”. Our first, small project will be held in December with plans for a larger scale opportunity sometime in 2016. Stay tuned as we pray and plan for this exciting new opportunity to serve God.
Kristin Breiner, Women’s Ministries Coordinator
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