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 Wishing Well

The gospel today at mass was about the Samaritan woman meeting Jesus at the well. Such great take a ways from that story but today I was distracted by a very random thought that I blame on the fact that the last two houses we lived in were on well water. I got thinking about the fact that these women back in Jesus’ time drank water from a well with no iron curtain, water softener, or reverse osmosis system. No Culligan man. I wish I had that.

Actually, I found myself wishing I had more of something else these women had. For the women in biblical times the well wasn’t just a place to get water. It was a gathering place for women. While fulfilling their daily tasks they were afforded the opportunity to be together, to talk, to listen, to laugh. It was the place to not only fill their buckets but also fill their souls with whatever they needed to go back home and live the challenges of their lives with hope.

Hope is a powerful thing we can give each other. God wants us to live with a deep and abiding trust that He is in our situations. He promises. That gives us hope. But often we have to be reminded of that promise, especially when it is so hard to see. And often that reminder comes from others who God puts in our lives.

The catch is that unless we are willing to admit we have challenges, that we need a good dose of hope, the message those people God has put in our lives to remind us of His promise remains undelivered. We end up carrying our cross in isolation and loneliness. I wish that weren’t true.

And we all have a cross we carry. It’s so much lighter when we share it with others.

This became evident in a powerful discussion we had at Firstfruits following Mary’s Way of the Cross last week. After reflecting on the Stations of the Cross through Mary’s eyes, we were moved to a very raw and real conversation about the crosses we all carry and the need to share those crosses with others we can trust and feel safe with. This led to talk of an offering at Firstfruits in the future that would address this need. A vision of Firstfruits as our “well.” I’ll keep you posted.

Spring is right around the corner. We are surrounded by God the creator’s annual promise of new growth, new life, NO MORE SNOW! It’s not hard to hope in new life this time of year. We know this promise to be true by experience. We have history to look back on and assure us of the fulfillment of the annual promise of Spring.

This Lent lets come home to that same God who delivers on His promise of new life every Spring. Come home to the hope His promise brings of new life in whatever cross you are carrying. Reflect on your history, your experiences in the past of God’s care and provision and let that bring you hope.

You don’t have to wish for that, you just have to claim it.

Joan

Long have I waited
for your coming
home to me and
living deeply
our new life.

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Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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