Women Together: February

On Thursday, Feb. 3, Women Together at St. Paul’s Cathedral (WT@SPC) had another wonderfully successful evening. This was the fourth event for the newly “reformed” group and it continues to grow in numbers. Through Nancy Tarbell’s leadership, the group has developed many ways to publicize their events and have made signup easy, thus continuing to increase the number attending, with February’s evening hosting over fifty women!

Dr. Pat Lindquist, a member of the Cathedral, spoke to us on the topic “Love One Another: Really?” Being a clinical psychologist, she began by stating, “I am not allowed to ‘shrink’ anyone else, before I ‘shrink’ myself.” She then shared with us her own difficulty when the ‘hand of peace’ was introduced during the service. She, too, had a challenge meeting strangers. Stranger Anxiety, as Pat referred to it, is common to everyone.

Did you know that we make a decision if we want to get to know a stranger in less than a second! We instantly think, “I wonder what you’re like? Would you make a good friend?” If people are similar to us, either socially, economically, by their speech or their clothing we feel a sense of warmth. We can feel this same sense towards people who are different from us in ways such as the disabled, elderly, even the down & out that are trying to improve their lives. But we find it much more difficult to meet people who we feel are richer, more educated or more powerful than us. And sadly, this same difficulty extends to the homeless, substance abusers and the mentally disheveled.

Pat then led us through an interesting activity. She asked each of us to look around the room, find a stranger, and then actually stare at them for awhile. About a third of the women found this somewhat uncomfortable. We then broke into small groups with a stranger and talked about how it feels to BE a stranger. Wow, did the volume pick up in the room!! It was amazing how women, yes even strangers, found the ability and comfort to talk with one another. Could it be that we all felt more comfortable with each other knowing we are part of the St. Paul’s family??

Women Together evenings were beautifully summed up by Carol Walsh. She stated,”I was overcome by the happy atmosphere during the entire evening. This group is unique in that it is a relatively large group of women making something happen on a regular basis for their Christian sisters, purely for their edification and enjoyment. Loving friendships are formed by brainstorming together, solving problems together, making arrangements together and bonding over a salad bowl. This is such a GOOD THING!!”

Next month, Thursday, March 3, WT@SPC will be hosting Professor Mary Doak who will be speaking on “A Living Faith: Theological Challenges for Our Times.” She will be discussing the new questions and problems in the 21st Century that are challenging Christianity. This is sure to be an evening not to be missed. Because of the growth of the group, we will be moving to the Great Hall. Be sure to watch for more information and sign ups.

Pat Kreder

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