I had the most incredible experience on Saturday and I had to get my thoughts down on paper. Again, thanks for indulging me.
Several weeks ago, Emily Voll of the Apostolic Revival Center, a Pentecostal church, asked me to give a mention of a breakfast prayer meeting she was starting. She called it LOVE –- Ladies of Victory and Encouragement, which by the way, I thought was extremely clever.
I spoke to two of my best friends about it and as both are dealing with some pretty heavy health issues, we decided we would quietly check it out.
As a disclaimer, I will tell you that I consider myself a Methodist. Methodism was borne of the Anglican Church and the Anglican Church was a reform movement of the Catholic church (I looked it up).
All that being said to explain that Methodists are a rather quiet denomination. As it was once explained to me, we “stand to praise, sit to learn and kneel to pray.” Thank God, they passed on that kneeling thing a long time ago.
Regardless, in my lifetime of being a Methodist I have never heard anyone shout, wave his or her arms in the air or speak aloud when someone else is speaking. And that’s okay. It is not a judgment at all.
However, I do know that there are other denominations that are much more fervent in their worship styles and I knew that Emily’s church, being part of the Pentecostal movement, was quite different from what I was accustomed. Again, no judgment.
My two friends and I agreed that if it got too “strange” for us that we would just knock it up to a new experience and would not return.
However, that was not the case at all.
First, I doubt I have ever been so warmly welcomed to anything in my entire life. This diverse group of women came from so many different forms of Christianity that it was like riding a rainbow in there. Unlike most of our churches, we were racially diverse, of all ages and of all stages of life.
Emily spoke on being a “lukewarm pray maker,” and how in our busy-ness we offer to pray for someone and it ends up like, “Lord, bless all those people who need prayer.” What a message and I could tell she was speaking to a thirsty crowd.
Emily has a vision of this group of women, not only supporting each other, but also being a unifying force to pray for the well-being of our community. For each participant to keep our leaders, our teachers, our physicians and our collective children at the forefront of our prayers.
After many personal prayer requests (I made mine in a Methodist silence) and some extremely moving testimonies, the women were called to the front of the room to gather in prayer. As I am still unsteady on my feet, I kept my seat and one of my friends stayed with me.
That prayer huddle was a little foreign. I heard Emily’s sweet voice begin to speak. Before I knew it each of the nearly 40 women clinging to each other were praying their own prayer. Out loud. Not in unison. What?
I asked my friend, “what are they doing?” “They are praying,” she replied.
“What is all that noise?” “They are praying.”
The energy was electric. Have you ever seen a transformer that is about to blow from being overloaded? How it pulses and hums? That was exactly what it was like.
Transformers. I believe that’s what this group can be. It’s what our community needs. Transformation.
The “Ladies of Victory and Encouragement” will meet again on the last Saturday of the month, Sept. 29, 9 a.m. at the Manning Restaurant. Brandi makes a fabulous cup of coffee and a terrific breakfast.
Women of Clarendon … don’t you want to be a part of the transformation? All are welcomed.