Houston-Regional MGOCSM Women’s Retreat held at St. Gregorios Orthodox Church Houston
The MGOCSM of St. Gregorios Orthodox Church Houston held the first Women’s retreat of the Houston-regional MGOCAM on October 12, 2013. The point of this retreat was to educate the women of what they can do for the church, because they do have specific roles that they are not aware of. Young men have privileges to serve the church by entering the altar or by influencing the decisions made for the church. After the retreat was over we hoped to encourage women to be more active. Our main speaker, Mrs. Promila Eapen, talked about her past experiences and what influenced to be an active member of her church. Our workshop speaker, Mrs. Jaimy Varghese, talked about St. Mary of Egypt, who was so far from God, but came back in just an instant. We were told to use her life as an example because no matter how low you may seem or feel, you can always come back to God.
Along with the retreat being an educational event, it was also a social event. It gave the young women of church the chance to build stronger relationships with each, along with meeting new people and making friendships. It gave the young girls a chance to know that there are older chechis in the church who will always look out for them, and that they will be there to help and guide them, instead of having to turn to outside influences that might give them the wrong idea The overall point to the retreat was to let women know that they do have a strong role in the church and their community.
The theme of the retreat was taken from Proverbs 31:20: "She extends out her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hand to the needy." The reason for this theme was because the retreat was charity based. The surplus money, along with donations, we generated from the retreat would go to a young girl’s education in India. She is a 19 year old girl, studying in the 12th grade at PTM Higher Secondary School in Pampady. She was severely burned at the age of three, and her mother passed away when she was in 1st grade. She is currently going through funds given by the sisters at the St. Mary’s Convent Kozhimala, Thiruvala, Kerala, India.