Friday, June 10, 2011

OUTSTRETCHED ARMS: WONDERFUL WOVEN WEEKEND!!

I had barely caught my breath from the Woven Women's Weekend in Newark when my hubbie whisked me away on vacation!  We are back and I am excited to share: not about our vacation, but about the Wonderful Woven Weekend that preceded it!  I am excited to offer you this recap of our NewarkNaz Woven Weekend (May 13-14, 2011), which is not limited to just my perspective. Instead, I have asked others to share so that I could present to you "a tapestry of love" from our time together! Please enjoy this scrapbook of (unedited, except typos!) sentiments for the glory of the one true God! 

But first: MY recap! :)
This Woven Weekend was a dream-come-true for me in several ways. The team effort required for a quality event was so evident this year. God's anointing was too! Friday night as I closed the session, I heard myself saying, "God has many unexpected treasures tucked into this 24 hours of our time with Him." I had no idea what they all were, but it was totally a word from Him and He totally delivered!
     First, I have to give praise to our praise leader Melissa Anderson. She pulled together an incredible Woven Women (and Man) of Worship team. Wow! They were superb! (Thanks so much to Mark Tenney for being willing to spend the weekend with us:)  Thank you all! You fulfilled the vision!
     Second, there is no doubt that every woman who attended would agree that Kim Dent was one of the most precious treasures the Lord had for us that weekend. There was not a dry eye in the room when she danced to Unredeemed and then spoke directly to the hearts of our women. Kim, your sensitivity to the Lord's voice and your obedience in following through was a turning point in our weekend.  Thank you so much for rearranging your schedule and making the trip to minister to us.
     Third, I have always envisioned that Woven would become an army of women equipped and prepared to minister to other women. The response to Dustee and her outreach to NYC totally embraced our theme of Outstretched Arms. Woven and Gifted Hands are a marriage made in heaven! The relational aspect of Woven empowers women to work together for a greater goal. Gifted Hands provides the legs and vision for the greater goal of reaching out to women who are struggling, hurting, disenfranchised. As a result of Dustee's workshop, forty women have committed to serve women in the Newark community through the launching of a Woven Gifted Hands ministry. We will begin June 20th at The Courage House, a drug rehabilitation home for women and their children. We are already looking at a second location for outreach to women. A special thanks to Woven Leader Karen LeMasters for taking on the leadership role of this project. And, a very special thanks to Dustee for inspiring our ladies to love and serve as Christ. It's always a joy to partner with you in ministry!
     Fourth, a theme throughout this weekend was the sharing of our stories. The goal was to lead women to see God's intervention in their lives, to develop their personal story, and to be able to share their testimony with others. At the end of our time together, several women shared their stories. I had personally asked Nancy Jozwiak to do this and I have to say, "Nancy, you made a powerful impact. You are as amazing as your story!" I want to especially thank all the women who shared their stories with us. As you read the comments below, may you be blessed to know that YOU were at the top of the list of treasures! God bless you!
     Finally, "thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphant procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the knowledge of the fragrance of Him!" (2Cor 1:14)   AND, to Him be the glory!

AND NOW...(drum-roll, please) OUR WOVEN TAPESTRY OF LOVE...
 
~Truly an anointed time from every aspect....music, ministry, a tremendous team of people made a quality retreat! Worship through music was especially meaningful as well as the “My Stories”. The expressive dance by Kim ignited a flame for the Holy Spirit to move in a mighty way. Cindy, you spoke with such power and authority…loved it. I was so amazed how God not only used the music that was sung but the words from Melissa’s mouth to speak truth. How amazing was it to see dozens of women keyed into the outreach focus!  Thank you, Cindy, for your vision!

~That weekend was awesome. Thank you so much. I walked away with so much more peace in my life!

~What an awesome experience!!! I still feel the glow from lifting my heart up to our Lord in the presence and company of so many beautiful women. We are so lucky to have such gifted women (and man) within our reach. The words shared from the Bible from our wonderful speakers, the amazing music, and most of all, the heartfelt stories that were shared, all strengthened my faith and my love for our incredible Father! Thank you for the opportunity to be woven into this loving tapestry of God's love. Wow!!

~THANK YOU ALL FOR THE WOVEN WEEKEND. THE MUSIC WAS GREAT, THE SPEAKERS WERE AMAZING !! I THINK MY FAVORITE PART OF THE ENTIRE WEEKEND THOUGH WAS WHEN THE LADIES SHARED THEIR STORIES WITH ALL OF US. THAT IS HARD TO DO IN FRONT OF A LARGE GROUP. THE COURAGE AND INSPIRATION OF THE LADIES WILL ALWAYS STAY WITH ME. THE TESTIMONY OF THE STRENGTH GOD GIVES US WHEN WE DEPEND ON HIM WILL HELP ME THE REST OF MY LIFE. AGAIN , THANK YOU TO ALL THAT WERE THERE, YOU MAY NEVER KNOW HOW YOU TOUCHED MY LIFE AS AN INDIVIDUAL, BUT YOU DID... YOU ARE BLESSED...Bobbi Salvagna
 
~God blew me away with His love and tender care for us. He tenderly wove each story,each song, each conversation,each scripture, each message and each prayer into a symphony of love, purpose and passion! Glorious! I loved being a part of this amazing weekend and as always, truly enjoyed time with my Newark Naz sisters! You are a precious bunch! Cindy is always bragging on you and I see why! ...Kim Dent. High Mill Church. Canton,OH

~Dearest Cindy, God has been so good to Newark Naz to plant you in our midst. I thought last year's conference was powerful...and it was! But the anointing of the Holy Spirit was all over this year's event. As Christians, we don't want to dwell on the negative aspects of life. But, sharing "our story" including how God rescued us and made a way out of our desperation shows what is possible when we ask for His help. It adds validity to who He is and the power we have to overcome when we trust in Him. I especially appreciated that we don't have to read stories about these people in Guides, but realize that we were sitting next to walking, talking, living overcomers. To God be the glory!

Cindy, the weekend was itself a miracle of God's incredible love: His love stories, meaningful worship (!!!) and Dustee's challenge to enrich the lives of others that they too might find Jesus.
Thank you, thank you for all you do to enrich the lives of the Newark Naz women and, to God for the inspiration He gives to you.  To our great & mighty Saviour, glory & praise!...Jill Gillespie

~Thank you so much for Woven Weekend.  It truly was wonderful! What impacted me the most was listening to the stories that were shared. It took a lot of courage for the women that shared their stories, but I am so glad they did. Those beautiful women touched my heart and I say a special thank you to Cindy, and also to Kim for praying for me, she touched my heart so deeply and I felt God wrap his arms around me as she prayed. God was weaving us together in a tapestry of love.

~I just wanted to tell you how incredible that weekend was for me, and to THANK YOU for being a large part of it. I know we don't know each other well, but I could sincerely feel your love and concern for me, and that means more than you could ever know...I think it was pretty obvious that I was honestly not very happy to be at that retreat the first night. I write in a journal a lot, and that very night I wrote that it was like I was sitting there in that room with a brick wall surrounding me. It was so real to me that I could almost see it. Bigger still was the one surrounding my heart. I did not want to let anyone in. I didn't want anyone to touch me, to smile at me or to be nice to me... How funny that all of you wonderful women were so loving and gracious and amazing to me that weekend. It was truly what I needed, even though inside I was rejecting it. I had determined in my heart and in my mind that I was not going to allow God to do anything for me at that retreat. I told myself I was just going to get away from my life for a couple of days...
Thankfully, God knows me better than all that! By the time Saturday morning came, and I went to the first session, it was as if I felt my frozen heart start to drip. To be honest, even though the weekend was amazing for me, it was also extremely difficult and painful. I faced my pain, which is something I don't often do, and that was so hard. I am so glad I did it though. Since then, I have tried to do that more, and have done some hard things that I never wanted or thought I could do. I still feel like I am half drowning, but I have hope now that I did not have before. I had not felt the Lord's presence in quite some time before the retreat, and I am happy to say that He met me there that Saturday in a BIG, BIG way...

~To our sweet "Her Cindyness", Thank you for the blessing of all who helped put together what I call our "Think Session" with Jesus. A time and place to draw your mind to His "Blessed Assurance". Where you feel Him beside you. Healing you in those shattered places. Allowing your heart to fall once again on His sovereignty. Lovingly preparing you for what is ahead. Equipping you as you go. Trusting Him to supply what you need. When you need it. When you feel down or insignificant, be refreshed by these words from Ephesians 3:20:
"He is a loving God who knows perfectly what is best for you. He is able to do more than we ever know to ask. Our Rock and Redeemer now and forever."

A HUGE THANKS TO ALL WHO HELPED, ALL WHO SHARED, ALL WHO PRAYED, AND ALL WHO ATTENDED THIS EVENT! May the Lord continue to work in your lives.  
You are in my prayers and in my heart!
Thanks also to our pastors and our church, who believe in this ministry and have invested in it.
With Love,
Cindy 

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