December 31, 2007
Dear Family and Friends,
Happy New Year! I greet this New Year with gratitude for so many
blessings received in these past 12 months. For this first newsletter of
2008 I want to share the highlights from the past year.
Business started out slow in the beginning of the year. Thankfully my
home parish, St Francis of Assisi, kept me busy with presentations to
their RCIA group on discernment, as well as a workshop on different
prayer forms at their Common Conference.
I was very blessed to be interviewed by a reporter from the Jackson
Citizen Patriot who wrote a lovely article on my journey to this
ministry. They even sent a photographer to my home to take some great
photos. This article resulted in wonderful exposure in the Jackson area
and brought several people to the Cottage Retreat House for a Lenten
program I did there in March.
March brought the opportunity to conduct programs at two new retreat
centers for me - Weber Center in Adrian and Capuchin Retreat Center in
Washington, Michigan. Weber Center has a huge mailing list and a
wonderful reputation for their programs, providing great visibility. The
program itself was a real blessing, companioning those in attendance as
they journeyed with Christ through His Passion, death and Resurrection.
I finished off the month with a youth group in Grand Ledge who were on a
weekend fast to become more aware of the homeless. While I put the youth
through their paces, I had to tone things down a bit since they were
It was a joy to choreograph a dance depicting the creation for a
Passover supper at St. Francis of Assisi. I learned the hard way just
how much a large group of small children can learn and remember in a
short period of time, but of course their parents loved it! Also at St.
Francis I worked with about 200 parents and children in a Family
Religious Education gathering centered on Pentecost. At one point we
were all doing “the wave” around the parish activity center, depicting
the receiving of the Holy Spirit.
In May I spoke at my first mother-daughter brunch at St. Lucy Church in
St. Claire Shores. It was a lovely gathering of 3 generations of women
and I was particularly blessed to have my mother (in-law) there with me
as well as many of her friends that have become so dear to me too. I was
also the featured speaker at the 10th Anniversary celebration of a Mom’s
group at St. Patrick’s Church in Brighton and led a 7th grade religion
class at St. Dennis in Royal Oak through Prayer in Motion.
I was pleased to provide Prayer in Motion programs and spiritual
direction to Sabbath Time retreatants at St. Francis of Assisi Retreat
Center in DeWitt on five different occasions last year. While there in
June, a Lansing State Journal reporter and photographer took some lovely
photos of my group in action. On a personal note, after almost two years
of intensive study, I took and passed the Cecchetti Level I Ballet Exam.
It was a humbling experience to stand amidst 13 and 14 year olds whose
bodies are capable of so much more than mine at this age but very
rewarding to pass and know that I am learning correct technique.
On July 1st I began working at St. Francis of Assisi in a part time (10
hours/week) capacity as Adult Faith Group Coordinator. In this position
I have had the opportunity to help coordinate the parish picnic, a
breakfast for business people seeking to live their faith and a holiday
grief support session. Best of all, I have stopped waking up nights
worrying about where my next dollar is coming from. Having a little bit
coming in all the time makes a huge difference when I don’t have
programs scheduled. It has truly been the answer to prayer. I am very
pleased to announce that July 29th marked the 4th anniversary of Prayer
Through a series of God-incidences, I was connected with the REJ
Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to helping youth with parents in
prison. I had the opportunity to do a program for a group of women in
the Huron Valley Women’s Facility and then with their children. This was
a whole new experience for me – having to be cleared and then locked
into an area, having my supplies searched with not even paper clips or
staples being allowed and ultimately relating to people who I wondered
what in the world I had in common with. I have never been more moved,
nor done more important work. I saw God clearly at work with each one
present as well as in me as I realized we were really all very much
alike except for our opportunities and choices.
September culminated months of up front work with my friend from the
Spiritual Direction Internship, Bernadette Beach, to put together a
seminar for nurses that was approved for continuing education credit by
the Michigan Nurses Association. It was well attended and received at
St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center in Detroit in both September and
November and we will offer the program monthly during the first 4 months
of this year.
Thanks to the help of my friend Mary Shindell (and some of you who
helped provide suggestions and review!) I revised my Prayer in Motion
brochure. It looks very professional in layout and printing and I think
represents this ministry well. When I think of how far I’ve come from
the days when I sat down and made up things I thought I could do to put
in the first version of the brochure, I am amazed that it now lists the
many programs, groups and themes I have already done.
I was privileged to lead a group of grieving souls through a movement
program at Christ Church Spirituality Center in Grosse Pointe Farms that
was life changing for all of us. I was blessed to see healing before my
very eyes as well as feel my own next level of healing. An article in
the Grosse Pointe News just prior to the program brought a woman whose
husband died, as well as a woman who lost a child, a Muslim woman
struggling with the loss of her mother, as well as others with a myriad
December was my busiest month ever for Prayer in Motion with 7 programs
scheduled in a 2 week period. The first was an Advent retreat day at
Manresa Jesuit Retreat House in Bloomfield Hills. This group of 26 women
and 9 men bonded like no other group I’ve had before and immediately set
about scheduling a reunion time. During the course of this retreat day I
developed laryngitis which lingered during the next 2 weeks. Thanks to
lots of prayers, hot tea, Vicks Vapo-Rub and some good microphones I was
able to do all the programs although at the Advent tea at St. Paul’s in
Owosso I spoke only in a whisper. It was a challenging, humbling time
but I felt called to persevere and was carried through it.
As we move steadily into this new year of endless opportunities and
possibilities, I am most grateful for all of God’s blessings
I have received and continue to receive
through each of you. Thank you for your prayers, your support, your
concern, your advice, and most especially for your love. May 2008 be a
truly blessed year for each and every one of you.
Prayer in Motion, LLC … Let the Spirit move you!
June 27, 2007
Dear Family and Friends,
So much for my New Year’s resolution to be timelier with my newsletters!
The “doing” in life just seems to always take precedence over the
“recording” of life. One resolution I am happy to report that I have
been keeping, is to take a day a week off from Prayer in Motion work.
Even though I love what I am doing, I immediately realized the benefits
of a little time away.
I was fortunate to do some programs at my home parish, St. Francis of
Assisi in Ann Arbor, early in the year. I worked with the RCIA group on
discernment, organized a program to acquaint new parishioners to our
parish and then participated in our Common Conference Day with a program
on various types of prayer.
After a couple of cancellations in January due to bad weather, I faced
an entirely empty February. Pressing on through the fear of absolutely
no income for the month, I tried to get a jump on the many programs
booked for March. March was incredibly busy with programs at three
retreat centers – Weber Center in Adrian, Capuchin in Washington, and
Cottage in Jackson, as well as a trip to Grand Ledge to work with a
youth group on retreat. Weber Center and Capuchin Retreat were new
venues for me and both were lovely and well attended, thanks be to God!
Just before these retreats I was blessed to have a reporter from the
Jackson Citizen Patriot contact me for an interview. What resulted was a
lovely article about Prayer in Motion and my journey with God to get
there. Some great photos were taken as well. Check out the Press Release
section of my website to see for yourself.
Following the flurry of activity in March I realized that the income
produced was still not enough to meet my meager expenses. I could barely
work any more and it was still not enough. I cried out in prayer asking
for direction. Very shortly thereafter the phone rang. Fr. Jim
McDougall, pastor at St. Francis, called to offer me a part-time job as
their Adult Faith Group Coordinator. He explained that the position
would be for 10 hours per week and I could work flexible hours in order
to continue my Prayer in Motion work. And the salary? Exactly the amount
I was short in my monthly expenses. How’s that for God’s providence?
And so I continue, quite sure that this is still what God calls me to
do. I will write again shortly with the 2nd Quarter Newsletter to get
back on track. In the meantime, my prayers and love are with you all.
Prayer in Motion, LLC … Let the Spirit move you!