For 140 years the Girls’ Friendly Society has been helping girls and young women to make their way in an often uncertain society. This year we celebrate 140 years of providing education and shelter for women. Although our focus has changed over the years from training to formation, our dedication to helping create a nurturing environment with a Christian emphasis has not. Join us this May as we celebrate our anniversary at St. John’s Pro Cathedral in Los Angeles. Click here to see a slideshow of the event!
This week we are all preparing for the Annual Fashion Show and Tea. As part of our meeting, we are using this devotional. It is timely and so appropriate as we prepare our fashions from recycled materials!
Consider the Lilies of the Field, Matthew 6:25-33
Many of you live where you are able to visit a shopping mall or a large department store. If you’ve had that experience you probably noticed racks and racks of clothing – all kinds of pants, shirts, blouses, skirts, and sweaters.
Those of you who live in the country may look through catalogs and find pages and pages of clothing.
It is fun to look at all the choices – the beautiful colors and different styles; to think about how those clothes would look on you. You may have a favorite color. You may like a little sparkle and glitter on your tee shirt. You may wish to have just the right brand of sneakers or a hat that has the name of your favorite sports team on the front of it.
Jesus teaches us about many things and it might surprise you to find that he even spoke about clothing. This is what he said: “Why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They don’t toil, neither do they spin, yet I tell you that even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed like one of these.”
Jesus asks us to think about wild flowers we see growing in the fields. They are beautiful just the way they are, in the colors and arrangements God gave them. Jesus says that even Solomon, who was a very rich king, was not dressed as well as the lovely wild flowers found in the fields.
You are beautiful just the way you are––the way God made you. It is fun to get a new dress or a new shirt. It is fun to dress up for special occasions in fine clothes. This is all good, but Jesus reminds us not to let clothes become too important to us––not to worry about what we wear and how we look.
This time of the year we give thanks for our many blessings: our friends and family, our food, our homes, the beauty of nature, and yes, our clothing. We remember that all of our blessings come from God and give thanks.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2008, Richard Niell Donovan
Each year, the Girls’ Friendly Society in Los Angeles participates in the Super Bowl of Caring. Some of our branches make a packaged soup mix and sell it at church to raise money for the food pantries in our area. Below is a recipe for Bean Soup adapted from Cooking Light Magazine.
Basic Bean Soup Mix
1 pound dried kidney beans
1 pound dried yellow lentils
1 pound green split peas
1 pound dried black beans
1 pound dried black-eyed peas
5 teaspoons salt
5 teaspoons dried basil
5 teaspoons dried rosemary
5 teaspoons dried marjoram
2 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper
5 bay leaves
To prepare dried-bean mix, combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Divide the bean mixture into 5 equal portions (about 2 1/2 cups each), and place in airtight containers.
To prepare spice mix, combine the salt and the next 6 ingredients (salt through bay leaves) in a bowl. Divide spice mix into 5 equal portions. Package separately from the died beans and combine the packages for sale.
Include the recipe card available here for the soup below.
Basic Bean Soup
1 package dried bean mix
8 cups water
1 package spice mix
1 smoked ham hock (about 1/2 pound) (optional)
1 cup chopped onion
1 12 oz can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
To prepare the soup, place bean mix in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours. Drain.
Combine the drained bean mixture, 8 cups water, and the ham hock in a large Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Add 1 packet spice mix, onion, and tomatoes. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours. Uncover; cook 1 hour. Discard bay leaf. Remove ham hock from soup. Remove meat from bone; shred meat with 2 forks. Return meat to soup.
Cooking Light April 1999
Here is another great recipe for your Souper Bowl Sunday fund drive. This one is adapted from Food.com and is used by the GFS at St. John’s in Costa Mesa.
Submitted by Charlotte J
3 cups dried pink beans or 3 cups dried red beans or 3 cups dried kidney beans
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons dehydrated onion
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- Put beans into a jar or large bag.
- Combine spices into a small bag.
- Place the cans of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes in your gift basket.
- Wash beans. Put into pot with spices.
- Cook until done, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Meanwhile, brown 1 pound of ground beef and drain.
- Add meat, tomatoes and sauce to the beans.
- Simmer to blend flavors.
Here is a link to the recipe cards created by Marie Greatorex for this recipe.
In a scene of Light in the Piazza, Clara admonishes lovers to fight for the one they love. Even though another woman is tempting her new husband away from her, Clara fights to keep the man she loves. She says everyone should fight to keep their true love.
I saw this show almost 10 years ago, once. That scene comes back to me now and then. Do we fight for the ones we love, or do we prefer to be a victim and let them slip away while we cry with self-righteous anger and indignation? We act as if we can’t help that they are gone. Did we really try? Did we try again, and again, and again?
I encourage you to keep seeking after the youth of our church and not to give in when other activities and interests seek their time and energy. Doesn’t the Good Shepherd seek after the lamb that has wandered away? Maybe the lamb saw an interesting flower or blade of grass somewhere else. Does He just give in? No! The Good Shepherd is tireless in seeking the lamb that wandered away.
Energize your efforts to hold on to the young people in your church and don’t give in to the discouragement. Are you not stronger than that? I believe that we must continue to seek bring the love of God to young people. One of the ways we can do that is by continually seeking them and inviting them to join GFS.
If your child is already on track to compete in the Olympics or go on a tour as a world class entertainer, then they should skip GFS camp and focus on their art or sport. Otherwise, consider your child’s whole self and show her that balance is important in her life.
GFS Camp offers girls and leaders an opportunity to “unplug” from the here and now and focus on the eternal. Blue skies during the day and glittering stars at night help them see their place in the world.
Having raised 5 daughters who participated in highly competitive extra-curricular activities, I know the pressure from coaches and teachers to never miss a class and never skip a game. But remember, coaches must say this in order to get the best participation possible. Surely, they can already see which kids are destined to play in the World Cup and which ones are learning a useful skill and enjoying a rewarding activity, but nevertheless, it is just for fun.
Responsibility to the team is certainly a life skill that should be taught, but consider also teaching the value of putting Jesus Christ and one’s church community as number one in your child’s life. In good times and bad, your church community will pray for you, support you and treat you with respect.
Send your daughter to GFS camp and support the leaders that are giving their time because they value the eternal. Registration forms are available on the Forms You will Need page in the Leaders Section of this website.
See you at Camp! from Margaret Nolde
On December 7 at 9 am, the Right Reverend Barbara C. Harris, retired Bishop Suffragan of Massachusetts, will speak at the Convention of the Diocese of Los Angeles at the Ontario Convention Center. We hope that many GFS members will come to hear this pioneering woman speak.
Our GFS members are fortunate to grow up in a time when they can pursue any role they desire in the church. Girls can serve as acolytes, lay readers, and chalice bearers. However, it was only 40 years ago that women and men struck down rules and conventions which prevented women from serving at the altar. The story of these exciting times is found in the lesson plan to earn the Shepherd’s Crook. Barbara Harris was the crucifer at the ordination of the “Philadelphia 11” in 1973. She was ordained a deacon in 1979 and a priest in 1980. In 1989, she was consecrated as Bishop Suffragan in the Diocese of Massachusetts.
Attend the lecture by Bishop Harris and then visit the GFS booth in the Exhibit Hall on December 7!