What’s New with Rachel’s Vineyard – Stevens Point?

 

Dear Friends of Rachel’s Vineyard,

I hope you are all having a very blessed summer!  It has been a very busy time here at Rachel’s Vineyard.  I’m writing to update you on some of the news.

 

Retreat Scheduled

Our next retreat is scheduled for September 21- 23, 2012.  There will be a number of opportunities for helping out.  It has been such a blessing to have so much volunteer support from the Central WI community!  If you are interested in volunteering, please let me know.  Most importantly, please keep the team, volunteers, and retreatants in your prayers!

 

Rosary Cruise

It’s hard to believe, but we are already coming up on our 2nd Annual Rosary Cruise!  The event was very successful last year, and I hope, a blessing for all who attended.  This year’s cruise is scheduled for August 26th, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm.  It will again be on the Chain o’Lakes in Waupaca (departing from Clear Water Harbor.)  Watch for an email with attached flyer to come soon.  Space is limited and we filled the boat last year, so you will want to make your reservations as soon as you’re able.  (Call 715-204-9561 or reply to this email.)

I am looking for sponsorship, in particular for the cost of the cruise.  If you or your business are interested in being a sponsor for this event, please let me know.  This is a fantastic opportunity to get the word out about your business, service, or ministry!

 

October Baby Movie

At the end of May, I’d sent out an email to ascertain if there would be any interest in bringing the movie October Baby to our area.  A few very generous donors have made this possible, and the movie event kit arrived yesterday!  There are a few groups who have expressed interest in hosting a showing, and I’d love to bring it to your church, youth group, etc as well!  Please let me know if you are interested in a showing, or if you’d like to suggest a place that we should show the movie.

 

Prison Ministry

I am discerning a possible new expansion for our site:  prison ministry.  There are a number of people in prisons who are suffering from the after-effects of an abortion decision, (a much higher percentage than in the general public,) and because they are unable to come to our retreat, we need to go to them.  I met last week with the founder and director of a beautiful national prison ministry, who has begun helping me with the steps necessary to make this a reality.

A very exciting two-prong approach is beginning to emerge:

  1. This ministry publishes a newsletter which is sent out to the inmates of women’s prisons.  The next edition will go out in about a month, and I’ve been invited to include a paragraph or two about Rachel’s Vineyard and our work to help those who are suffering to find hope and healing through Our Lord.  We will also include contact information, with the hope of building a relationship through correspondence, which will help provide support one-on-one, in their efforts to find healing.  With this newsletter, we will have the opportunity to reach thousands of women!
  2. We are hoping to find a way to take the retreat directly into prisons.  We are starting specifically with the women’s facilities here in Wisconsin.  This may be a long process, but we know that there is a fantastic opportunity in working with Chaplains already ministering to inmates.  Part of the excitement I feel about this approach is that, with contact already established through the newsletter and hopefully correspondence, a relationship of trust will have already been formed by the time I would enter the prison to work with inmates directly.

I ask that you keep this effort in your prayers; especially that God’s Will may be known.

 

PO Box for Rachel’s Vineyard

As part of the prison ministry, it has been suggested that I procure a PO Box, so that I am not providing my home address.  This is something that I’ve been thinking of doing for some time, so I was not the least bit opposed.

The address is:
Rachel’s Vineyard
PO Box 643
Stevens Point, WI 54481-0643.

The cost of the box is $29 per six months.   Would anyone be interested in “sponsoring” or contributing to this?  It really only comes out to $5 per month.  I have occasionally gotten requests for ideas of specific things that people can do for Rachel’s Vineyard, so I am putting this out there as one of them.

 

Tax-Deductible Option for Donations

Rachel’s Vineyard has been added under the umbrella of programs of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse.  While we receive a small amount of financial help from them, we are still greatly in need of donations.  One of the benefits of our coming under the Catholic Charities umbrella is that we are able to offer a receipt to you for tax purposes.

In order to make a tax-deductible donation to Rachel’s Vineyard, please make your check out to Catholic Charities, and make sure to add Rachel’s Vineyard in the memo line.

These donations may be sent to either the PO Box listed above, or directly to:
Catholic Charities
3710 East Ave S
La Crosse, WI 54602-0266

If you do not need a tax receipt, you may simply make a check out to Rachel’s Vineyard, and send it to the PO Box above.

 

Internet Presence

It is becoming apparent that God’s plan for the Stevens Point site includes both outreach to those who are suffering due to abortion, and education on the issue itself–in both the general public and the Pro-Life movement.  With this in mind, we are finding more and more of a need to set up a website, as a large number of people who are seeking our services, or information,  are doing so online.

I’m seeking help from anyone who can give advice, time, or expertise to get this project started.  If you know of anyone, please pass this on to them as well.  (This is also another opportunity for anyone who is interested in “sponsoring” a specific project for Rachel’s Vineyard.)

And again, please keep this in your prayers…there are many out there who are suffering, and anything that we can do to help them find the healing that Our Lord is able to offer is absolutely vital.

 

There are a number of other projects that are “percolating,” so to speak, for Rachel’s Vineyard, and I ask you to also keep these in your prayers.  I greatly hope to update you all sometime in the near future on more developments of these!

I want to thank all of you for your amazing support of this ministry!  It is such a blessing!

Know that you are all in my prayers daily,
May God bless you,
Lisa

 

❦                                        ❦                                        ❦

 

Published in: on August 7, 2012 at 8:09 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Our Rosary Cruise Was a Great Success!

 

We had an absolutely wonderful Rosary Cruise to benefit our new Rachel’s Vineyard site on the nearby Waupaca Chain o’Lakes this past Sunday!

Thank you to all who attended, for your generous support of our ministry, and to all those who were praying for the success of our first fundraising event!

There were 94 of us on the boat, including the Captain, whom I found out is Catholic! Represented among the group were 16 different parishes from 10 communities in Wisconsin. We were blessed to be led in the Rosary by Fr. Joseph O’Hara, and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy by Fr. Arul Joseph. It was such a beautifully peaceful and Spirit-filled time of reflection and prayer together.

Special thanks to Will Goodman and the Servants of Our Lady of Guadalupe, for bringing the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe from the Marian Center for Peace; to Dan Buss for donating several of the Door Prizes; and to all those who donated food and beverages for the cruise, and helped with set-up and clean-up.

The neatest extra blessing: although it started clouding over during the Rosary, and looked like it was going to storm (and it was in the distance,) suddenly a rainbow appeared! It got really intensely bright & beautiful, too. And we never got more than a small sprinkle.

If you’d like to see more pictures of the event, you can check out our “Scrapbook” on Facebook. (You do not have to be on Facebook to view the album. Also, there are a few other pictures, etc, relating to establishing the site.)

Thanks again to all those who attended, and to those who contributed in so many other ways to the success of this event! God truly continues to shower His blessings upon our site!

 

Please continue to pray for us, as we prepare for our upcoming retreat, October 14-16, 2011.

 

❦                                        ❦                                        ❦

 

Published in: on August 25, 2011 at 7:49 PM  Leave a Comment  
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July 23, 24, & 25, 2011

Thank You, God, for a husband who let me rest ALL WEEKEND (and quite a bit of today.) I was exhausted!!

Published in: on July 25, 2011 at 6:31 PM  Leave a Comment  
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July 11, 2011

Thank You, God, for helping me get everything done that I really HAD to get done today.

Published in: on July 11, 2011 at 11:02 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Meeting with a Planned Parenthood Director

 

On Wednesday, April 13th, I had a fantastic meeting with the director of a Planned Parenthood in a city in Minnesota. She was training a new staff member, so that lady also sat in for the majority of the meeting.

I told her that I was there because I wanted to be able to provide accurate information to the young people in my life, particularly some of my nieces who are coming up in age. I then told her that this was going to be a little bit different, though, because I am Pro-Life, and that I would be asking questions from that viewpoint. She blinked a few times, almost imperceptibly, and then said, “Ok.”

We talked for 45 minutes, openly and very respectfully, about the different methods of contraception (particularly hormonal) that they dispense, the drug Ella (which they do not,) and Mifepristone/Misoprostol (RU-486, which they also do not dispense.)

After I’d asked questions and felt that I’d gotten sufficient answers on the topics, she said, “I’m actually very glad that you came in here, because I’d like to ask you a few questions about Pro-Life beliefs, if you don’t mind.” So we discussed what the Pro-Life position is on different methods of contraception, and why. We discussed the fact that not everyone on either “side of the fence” agrees, or should be labelled. We talked about labels, and how they limit, or often even end, dialog between sides. And, we discussed how there are so many misconceptions about each other, so much information out there for people to sift through, judge and make sense of, and that it was a great opportunity for all of us to really just talk.

Toward the end of the meeting time, the staff member who was sitting in went out because she had to do something else, and I continued to talk with the director. I felt that the meeting had gone very well, so I told her that I would like to tell her a little about what I (personally) do within the Pro-Life movement. She was receptive, so I told her about Rachel’s Vineyard, and very briefly what we do. To my surprise, she was very enthusiastically supportive of it. She said that it was “awesome, and so needed.”

I decided to really challenge her, and asked if she’d be willing to take a few of my brochures, and keep them in the back of one of her drawers; in case someone, due to their beliefs, was suffering and came looking to them for help.  She said she would not put them in her drawer, and I thought, “Well, I pushed that a little too far. Oh well…I tried.” But what she then said was, “No, I’d love to put these in our resource binder at the front desk!”

Can you even imagine a referral to RV coming from a Planned Parenthood?!  I think it would be nothing short of miraculous–but God can do anything!  And these ladies seemed very close to being on the same page as me, as far as their feelings about abortion–or at least the possibility of it having severe negative effects in people’s lives.

They were nowhere near to my beliefs on contraception, but I really felt that we had a lot of common ground on other things. Among these were:

  • If you truly care about someone, you tell them the truth about things, and let them make a choice based on the information you’ve given them (a “seed” I tried to gently insert a number of times into the conversation–especially in regard to the way contraceptives work.)
  • The BEST education we can give our young people is on dignity and self-respect, to help them understand that they should never feel that they need to have sex with anyone.
  • The best time to think about contraception and abortion is before sex. Do you want to have a child with that person? Do you want to have a child, period?
  • That far too many people would like to believe that their actions have no consequences…and that that is simply not the reality.
  • That abortion hurts (at least some) people.
  • That there are people on both sides of the issues who truly care about women, and really want to help them.

I told the ladies when I began talking that I felt that in the past, some of the most caring people I’d met were those in the two family planning clinics I’d been into. This was absolutely true–not a ruse, and it was borne out that day as well. The staff was very courteous, and I truly did feel they cared about me, and that they really were very attentive to my questions.

I also felt that they had expanded their minds somewhat about “us Pro-Lifers.” I went into the clinic with the hope that if nothing else, I could carry the Gospel– the love of Christ–in to the staff members, and give them a glimpse of a person on the other side of the fence. I prayed that God would allow me a couple of minutes in there, before they “kicked me out.” Instead He granted me 45, and we parted with an exchange of contact information, and a HUG!

A friend of mine said that that would have been an interesting photo–the director of a Planned Parenthood and the facilitator of a Rachel’s Vineyard site hugging, in the waiting room! I agree–but I also think, it is the epitome of exactly why God asked me to go in there: to build a bridge (or at least begin) between us. In essence, to put my money where my mouth is, since I’ve been speaking publicly on this issue for awhile now: that they are not our enemies…that there is no “us” and “them”…that we have only one real enemy, and we are all together on the same side against him.

I sent an email follow-up thanking the director for the chance to talk with her. She sent back an email with a scan of some more information on the way hormonal contraceptives work, along with the statement, “Thanks again for such a positive encounter!”

Even if nothing more ever comes of this, I personally felt like God had changed me a little because of it, and I pray that the two ladies I met with felt a similar ripple in their lives.

AMDG!

 

❦                                        ❦                                        ❦

 

March 27, 2011

Thank You, God, for the miracles you worked in Abby Johnson, through the 40 Days / Coalition for Life people. What hope in this story!

Published in: on March 28, 2011 at 7:41 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Peace….at least for a second….

Wiped tears & held my little boy crying bitterly when his (dollar-store) hairbrush broke. And realized, my life is perfect. There was nothing else I’d rather be doing at that moment. 🙂

Published in: on February 20, 2011 at 11:33 PM  Leave a Comment  
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GREAT NEWS!

 

After a little over a year of work and prayers, I have been approved: our state has a NEW Rachel’s Vineyard site, located in Stevens Point, Wisconsin!*

Rachel’s Vineyard seeks to facilitate healing for those suffering from the loss of abortion.  This includes women and men who have lost children through abortion; but also includes grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, friends, etc. The primary outreach is through weekend retreats, 1 -2 times per year.  The process is designed to help the individual to find, and accept, the forgiveness of Christ–to reconcile with Him and receive healing.

We need: 
– Volunteers
– Donations
– Most of all, PRAYER

For more information, or to get involved, please contact me (Lisa) at 715-204-9561, or rvstevenspoint@gmail.com.

Or, find our Page on Facebook, and our Prayer Partners Group on Facebook.

If you’re not on Facebook, and would like to join the Prayer Partners group, please let me know. I’ve written a prayer, specifically for our site, which we’d love to have our Prayer Partners say as often as they can (daily, if at all possible.) Please feel free to join us:

O Loving and Merciful God,
We pray for Your blessings upon Rachel’s Vineyard, and particularly for the new site in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.  We ask that You will fill the hearts of all those involved in this ministry with compassion for those who are suffering because of abortion.  May we never condemn them for their decision, but rather, reach out to them in love—in order to help them find, and accept, Your forgiveness and healing.  Please help those who are unaware of Rachel’s Vineyard, but in need of its help, to find it; and strengthen those who are afraid to call, to take that risk.  Please help the team members to humbly empty themselves and thus allow the Holy Spirit to work through them, to accomplish Your healing work in those whom they serve.  
We ask this through Your Son, Our Most Gracious Savior, Jesus Christ.

Amen.

If you live in Wisconsin, and want to know more about us, or would like to get involved, please give me a call, or send an email. If you know anyone who is suffering from the loss of abortion, please share our contact information with them.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for this effort….and please continue to keep our new site in your prayers!

 

*Although initially my husband and I both had applied to be site facilitators, we decided that due to the fact that he is an OTR Truck Driver, he may not always be available to be a part of the retreats. Also, due to his schedule, I am basically going to be doing most of the work in the end. Finally, since we both would have had to do a retreat as part of a team at an existing site, and I’d already done that, we decided to just move ahead with me as facilitator, to make this happen as soon as possible. He will be on the team, and of course, an integral part of the site. 🙂

 

❦                                        ❦                                        ❦

 

Published in: on February 17, 2011 at 8:17 PM  Comments (2)  
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The Holy Name of Jesus

 

Went to Latin Mass tonight. We celebrated the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. Father, in his homily, said something that really resonated for me:

This year, may it be one of our resolutions to keep that Sacred Name, sweet and powerful, ever before us.

What a great goal!

 

❦                                        ❦                                        ❦

 

Published in: on January 2, 2011 at 6:56 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Slow…Down…………….

 

I get an e-mail newsletter from The Confident Mom, and actually haven’t taken a lot of time to read it since I signed up for it, quite awhile ago.

A couple of the items on the sidebar caught my eye the other day, though. These were from blog entries:

“Confessions of a Crabby, Worn Out Mom”

“Are You Over-Committed?”

I’ve been thinking a lot about these issues lately…that maybe I have piled a little too much on my plate, here and there. Some days I feel that I have very few responsibilities, because after all, I’m basically a stay-at-home mom (minus teaching now and then.) But any empty slot in one’s schedule just begs to be filled, so there is always something going on in our lives, and there is always more that can be done. But, every time in the past, when I’ve taken on too much, I end up getting sick, and burning out. And, that was before I was in my current state in life.

I really felt a deep appreciation for the “Confessions…” blog entry from Susan; it made me feel so much more “normal.” I have realized one thing about myself over the past few years that if I try to fight, I cause insanity–in myself and in my family: I NEED time to myself, fairly regularly, to re-charge. I am a serious introvert, and if I don’t respect that fact about myself, things go awry every time.

There’s where the second article struck a chord for me. She asks, “Does today’s young mom see her busy schedule as badge of honor?” She relates it to pride, which I totally agree with. She says we like hearing “I don’t know how you do it all.” Sometimes this is definitely true. I’m not the kind of person that usually actually hears this, but I can relate to the pressure of HAVING to do it all, and the hope that we are pulling it off.

Most of the time, that “ALL” in “how you do it all” is helping others. Sometimes it’s just plain busy work. And sometimes, it is things we really need “To Do.” Sometimes it’s entire days like that–just crammed with “To Do’s.” But when I start seeing too many days that are nothing but one To Do after another, I know I’m starting to get into dangerous waters, and better come back in. And as the mom, that’s my responsibility. I absolutely have to tell myself over and over not to feel guilty about taking time to myself, and “feeding” myself, in ways other than just the physical.

I’m planning on trying something really radical, for me, this year. I don’t really know of officially designated “Spring Resolutions,” but it seems like a good time, and kind of like “Spring Cleaning,” it’s a good time to start over with a few things. Plus the penitential season of Lent gave me good time for pause in re-evaluating myself, but didn’t quite culminate in a battle plan; I think that’s where I’ve come to now, in the season of Easter. It all seems to make some sort of sense. (Or, maybe it’s just Spring Fever–at any rate, I’ll take it.) But back to the radical plan: I am thinking about trying a little time off scheduled in on a regular basis–now–even though I’m not actually burnt out, and am not feeling sick. In fact, I feel pretty good, and have really been getting a lot done lately; but it has this strange foreboding to it. Have I reached a point of maturity that I can admit I would be even more effective if I engaged in some purposeful leisure? I hope so.

That statement, in itself, brings up an ironic point: I’ve had the book Leisure: the Basis of Culture, by Josef Pieper, on my Wish List since Christmas of 2008. A friend of mine had told me about the “classical” definition of leisure, and it was pretty intriguing. Especially since it dovetails nicely with my personality. Apparently the Ancients thought of leisure more as a time for quiet study and contemplation, generally in a solitary fashion. More like what we are doing when we are at Eucharistic Adoration.

Here are a few excerpts from product descriptions for the book: 1

Leisure is an attitude of the mind and a condition of the soul that fosters a capacity to perceive the reality of the world. Pieper shows that the Greeks and medieval Europeans understood the great value and importance of leisure. He also points out that religion can be born only in leisure — a leisure that allows time for the contemplation of the nature of God. Leisure has been, and always will be, the first foundation of any culture…

He maintains that our bourgeois world of total labor has vanquished leisure, and issues a startling warning: Unless we regain the art of silence and insight, the ability for non-activity; unless we substitute true leisure for our hectic amusements, we will destroy our culture – and ourselves.

So the irony: What am I waiting for? Why haven’t I gotten this book yet?2 I sure can put plenty of other things on my To Do list…why am I not taking the time to do THIS–read a book on the necessity of leisure–for MYSELF?

Well, we stay-at-home moms are not immune to the “bourgeois world of total labor” either. In fact, as women, in general, we are naturally good at multi-tasking, so it seems like we tell ourselves that it only follows that we “should” try to do as much work as possible, (for the good of our families, right?) I think I am a prime example of the combination of the “total labor state” mentality, and the “good Catholic woman/mom” mentality. This makes for a really ugly, overtired, specimen of a guilt-ridden, perpetually driven, shadow of a human being.

What in the world am I pushing myself for? What am I trying so hard to accomplish? I think if I spent more time trying to examine my true purpose in life, I could probably accomplish it–and with greater efficiency! At any rate, as I said, if I don’t take some “time out,” for me now and then, the machine comes to a grinding halt, anyway. And then, it takes a lot longer to repair.

Awhile back, I “confessed” my guilty feelings to the friend I’d referred to above, about taking time out to read, (referring to my love of learning, and my looooong reading list,) even though I have tons of housework and plenty of other things to do. This is what he sent back: “Never feel guilty about the pure contemplation of truth–of course, in moderation according to your state in life. That guilt is not holy–these are temptations.”

It’s taken me awhile, but lately I’ve been trying to “sneak” in more time, in Adoration, meditation, contemplation, journaling, and of course, just plain reading/studying. Still feel that I am “sneaking” it, away from my duties to WORK, WORK, WORK; but I’m getting better. And what a difference it makes! Some days, I actually almost feel human, instead of simply like a (malfunctioning) machine.

I haven’t quite given up on my dream of somehow being made into a “hu-bot,” but I am getting closer and closer to accepting my humanity for what it is, with all its limitations. I’m also getting better at seeing past the limitations and more toward the joys of humanity…when I actually allow myself enough time to (re)discover them. And I am especially blessed: my 3½ year old son keeps me informed better than any other source ever could, of just how NEAT it is to be alive, to work our bodies, use our brains, and play–the way God intended us to do in our lives here on earth!

 

❦                                        ❦                                        ❦

 

 

1 There are three print versions of the book, an updated paperback printed in 2009, from Ignatius Press, one printed 1998, with an Introduction by Roger Scruton, by St. Augustine’s Press; and the 1999 hardcover reprint of the 1952 original, with Introduction by T. S. Eliot, by Liberty Fund Inc. Of course, they are also available on Amazon.com, and probably through many other sellers.

2 Actually, in my search for the book, I found a digital copy, free, and downloaded that, at the Internet Archive. (So, now I do have the book…)

 

❦                                        ❦                                        ❦