Firstfruits began with an idea: How could women’s needs to gather with other women, experience God’s love and go forth more centered on their own giftedness and purpose be met? Then the Holy Spirit stepped in and something powerful happened!
In the beginning … Firstfruits began as a vision for a women’s ministry whose purpose was to gather women to experience God’s love. And as a result, be transformed!

As word spread about this unique opportunity, other parishes became interested in hosting a Firstfruits gathering. It became apparent to the founders of Firstfruits that this “gathering” needed to be moveable. We became known as a moveable feast of spiritual opportunities for women.

The  Firstfruits  Experience

What Is It Like To Come To Firstfruits?

Women attending recent Firstfruits were asked “What did you like best?”

“The venue is a perfect way for women to enjoy one another while getting closer to God.”

“I love being around women who want to have a deeper relationship with Christ.”

“It is a time to refill my cup.”

“It gave me a chance to make new friends over lunch.”

“The yoga class really helped me connect with God.”

“A chance to just relax with God.”

Imagine that someone has thought of your every need – physical and spiritual.

If you preregistered or checked out the Firstfruits website, you saw evidence this might be the case. It’s no surprise Firstfruits time brings to mind a “mini-retreat.”

You become more certain when you arrive – you easily spot a welcome sign, and park nearby. When you reach the door into Firstfruits, a smiling face greets you. You receive a name tag and a small schedule that includes the name of what you signed up for – in case you forgot – and the times and rooms they are held in. If you’ve signed up for child care, you will be directed to that room.

Then you are invited into the “Kiwi Cafe,”

a vibrant, warm contemporary cafe, with kiwi green accents, chalkboard quotes and more. Whether you are there in the evening, morning or at noon, the Kiwi Cafe offers everything you need and wish you had time to have ready around at home. Fresh coffee – regular and decaf. Ice water with lemon slices. Iced tea as well as a selection of hot teas. A soup supper or salad/sandwich lunch with cold veggies and fruit. Platters of several kinds of miniature homemade bars and treats invite you to enjoy more than one taste. It takes some time to realize that this restful environment has been created just for you!

…And this is just the prelude.

Traveling Firstfruits Timeline

Opportunities are offered to attend up to three break-out sessions - evening, morning and/or afternoon. Each woman can come when she can and leave when she must, as registration is separate for each session.

The Night Before

5:30-6:30 – Check In and Soup Supper
6:30-7 – Welcome and Prayer
7-8:30 – Evening Session

The Next Day

8:45-9:15 a.m. – Check In and Continental Breakfast
9:15-9:45 – Music/Welcome and Prayer
9:45-11:15 – Morning Session
11:15-1 p.m. – Lunch, Free Time, Optional One-On-One Mini-Sessions
1 – 2:30 p.m. – Afternoon Session

You eventually gather with other women in the prayer room.

There is beautiful live music and singing. A few moments to rest and ponder. A small bowl is being filled with prayer requests – you’ll learn about the artichoke dish and much more during Joan Carey’s reflection that follows a communal prayer.

Then you head off to your first session – the one that spoke to you from among several choices. Maybe a half a dozen women gather, maybe 15 who have made it a priority to be here, just like you. Introductions are made and together, you dig into the heart of the subject with a well-prepared and well-qualified presenter. You might consider a parable, get tips to discern the voice of God in the clatter, focus on Franciscan prayer or ways to strengthen your family’s faith. Even a faith-workout and prayerful yoga may be part of the mix!
Three sessions are usually held – the night before, the next morning and that afternoon.

Come when you can, leave when you have to, as registration for each is separate!

A long mid-day break means unhurried women can visit over in-depth conversations over lunch in the Kiwi Cafe. It doesn’t take long for them to find common ground. Or – really! – take some one-on-one time for yourself with a certified Spiritual Director, chaplain, parenting coach, prayer partner and even a 15-minute chair massage! You also may spend quiet time in prayer.

Then each woman heads to their afternoon session – maybe several faces will be familiar, maybe not. But once again, you are delighted to be sharing this time with other women of faith.

COSTS

Each session: Generally $10 to $15 per woman
Arts/Crafts session: About $5 additional for materials
Homemade Dinner and Lunch: $7 per meal
Child Care: $5 per family

How Our New Space Will Change The Firstfruits Experience

Firstfruits has found a wonderful place to call HOME! Centrally located in the heart of Elm Grove, the space will allow us to provide much more for women - and whatever else the Spirit has in store.

By moving into its own space, Firstfruits will be able to provide more frequent, ongoing offerings in an accessible location that is not connected with a particular parish or church. This neutral setting may seem more comfortable to the unchurched or women who have strayed from the church.

With a home base centrally located in the Milwaukee metro area, Firstfruits can strengthen its traveling program with follow-up events, and better complement church efforts to meet spiritual hunger.

And, in a secular setting, Firstfruits can boldly and creatively answer the call to evangelize in the world around us! We are Catholic Christian in tradition and ecumenical in outreach – all are welcome and encouraged to attend.

“I invite everyone to be bold and creative in this task of rethinking the goals , structures, style and methods of evangelization in their respective communities.”

Evangelii Gaudium- “ The Joy of the Gospel”

Pope Francis

Read More About Our New Home Base

A permanent home base will bring . . .

Presentations to help strengthen your relationship with God and others

Ongoing workshops allowing you to dig deeper into meaningful topics

One-On-One Experiences such as Love & Logic parenting program, Prayer Partners, and Spiritual Direction

Faith-sharing groups such as MOMS, Ponder This and bible study

Faith-and-Body Strengthening with Yoga As Prayer and Firm Believers

More of everything more often, with the child care and Kiwi Cafe refreshments you have come to love . . . or will learn to love!