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Diocesan Women's Ministries PDF Print E-mail

Overwhelmed with Jesus
A One-Day Event for Women with Joanne Ellison,
May 9

In our busy world and in our busy lives we can easily become overwhelmed with stress, anxiety, fear and life in general. What would our lives look like if we were overwhelmed with the loving kindness of Jesus?

AlJoanne Ellisonl women are invited to join with the women of the Diocese for a gathering at Church of the Good Shepherd, Charleston, Saturday May 9 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  Check in will begin at 9:15 and the program will begin at 10 a.m. with worship music led by Julianna Fletcher, followed by a teaching from Joanne Ellison. Time will be allowed for prayer and lunch will follow. The Rev. Shay Gaillard will finish the day with Holy Eucharist.  Learn more and Register.

Women praying during Bible study

The Diocesan Women’s Ministries council is growing and working toward our God-given vision and mission:

Vision Statement

To transform the hearts of women through the power of Jesus Christ.

Mission Statement

Equipping women to live out a Biblical model of womanhood from generation to generation by providing a network of resources, Biblical studies, prayer ministry, and mentoring through the transforming power of our Lord, Jesus Christ.



Biblical Womanhood: Understanding the "S" Word - Submission

A video series by the Rev. Shay Gaillard, Rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Charleston

Submission videoIn preparation for presenting and living out our mission statement, we, the council members, had to ask ourselves some tough questions.  Perhaps the most challenging question was, “What does Biblical womanhood look like?”  We get a glimpse of what the Bible says about womanhood from Titus 2:3-5.  We could also read Proverbs 31 and catch a different perspective of Biblical womanhood.  For us on the council, the most challenging part of Biblical womanhood came down to one word.  The “S” word.  Submission.  It was fascinating to hear how each member of the council defined submission.  No two members had the same definition!  Evidently, this little word carries a lot of emotions and feelings.  It would certainly be easier to sweep it under the rug and not pay it any attention!

Obviously there are some very important connections between Biblical womanhood and this little word “submission.”  The council approached Rev. Shay Gaillard, rector at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Charleston, to see if he could help us, the members of the council, understand the Biblical meaning of submission.  Not only did he agree to teach us, but he also let us video each of the four different teachings so we can share them with you!

These teachings are for all Christians, not just women.  We are all called to submit to our Lord Jesus Christ.  We are all called to live lives of submission.  It is so critical for us to understand from a Biblical standpoint what submission means.  Fr. Shay’s teachings take us from submission in the Godhead all the way through submission in our relationships.

Please take time to watch and share these videos:

The attached handout is helpful to use with the videos.

1.    Submission in the Godhead: In the Beginning
2.    Submission in Creation: Imago Dei
3.    Submission in Marriage: In Everything
4.    Submission in Women’s Ministry: God’s Perfect Plan

Contact information: Diocesan Women’s Ministries; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or on Facebook at Women's Ministry of the Diocese of South Carolina


The Rev. Martha Horn to Lead Two Diocesan Women’s Ministries Retreats

September 11-13
November 13-15

The Rev. Martha HornThe Rev. Martha Horn, who was recently appointed by Bishop Mark Lawrence as the Chaplain to the Diocesan Women’s Ministries, will be the speaker at two Diocesan Women’s Ministries-sponsored beach retreats this fall! The first will be held September 11-13 at St Christopher Camp and Conference Center and the second will be held November 13-15 at the Hampton Inn & Suites, Myrtle Beach Ocean front.

“It is my honor to serve as your Chaplain as we enter into this new adventure as the Diocesan Women in Ministry,” says Horn.

The content for both retreats will be identical—same retreat, different location!

The vision of the Diocesan Women’s Ministries is “to transform the hearts of women through the power of Jesus Christ.” More details will be coming soon. Registration will be open in June of 2015. Questions? Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Our council members (listed here), thought it was time to let you know what we’ve been up to and the next steps we believe God is calling us to. There have been questions as to when our next women’s retreat will be. Our next women’s retreat is in its planning and praying stage at this time. Having stated that, bear with us as we briefly try to explain what we mean!

The transformed Diocesan Women’s Ministries (DWM) council is finally walking away from the planning table and stepping out into what God has called us to do.  We are stepping away from traditional business-style meetings and meeting women where they are. We believe the council needs to take time and visit each church in the diocese.  We would like to meet with the clergy and with women’s ministry leaders and find out what’s available for women of all ages in each church and community.  We also want to personally discuss our new vision and mission for the DWM and explain that, with all our hearts, we are here to serve you.

We are here to be a resource for you and to help you connect with others as resources. God is calling us back to the Biblical basics, which we believe is stated very clearly in our mission statement:  Equipping women to live out a Biblical model of womanhood from generation to generation by providing a network of resources, Biblical studies, prayer ministry, and mentoring, through the transforming power of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  The only way this mission can be lived out is if we allow the power of Jesus Christ to transform our hearts, which is our vision statement.  This process of visiting each church will take time.  Time we are very willing to take to invest in the lives of the women around us.  Please contact us if the women in your church are already following all or part of our mission statement.  We know you’re out there!  Older women have been mentoring younger women for years!  Who are you?  Where are you?  Others want to learn!  Any Titus 2 ministries out there? 

This brings me back to our next retreat. God hasn’t revealed who will be our keynote, what exactly the retreat will be about, or where the retreat will be held. What He has made clear to us is that the resources we will be bringing into the diocese will fit into the vision and mission of the DWM, and ultimately under the vision and mission of this diocese: Biblical womanhood, prayer ministry, mentoring, and sound scriptural teaching. 

We are looking forward to meeting with you!


Denyse Steen, on behalf of the DWM Council


Meet Your Deanery Directors

Beaufort Deanery Director, Debbie Parker

Charleston/Charleston West Deanery Director, Sara Forbes

Florence Deanery Director, Robin Downing

Orangeburg Deanery Director, Vicki Sheedy

Georgetown Deanery Director, Nancy Matthews



President's Address to the Women of the Diocese of South Carolina

Mary Frances Ahl, incoming President of the Diocesan Women’s Ministries for the Diocese of South Carolina gave the following address at the 130th Annual Meeting held on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at St. Matthew’s Church in Darlington, South Carolina

Mary Frances Ahl, DWM President addresses Annual MeetingGrace and Peace to all Women,

After our Annual Meeting last year the Board of the Diocesan Church Women began discerning the relevance of our group.  Last summer, we met with Bishop Lawrence who helped us to realize that we are relevant, and that we need to continue our ministry in the diocese, not only for us, but for future generations.

The Bishop has given us a clean slate--a slate which recognizes and honors the past accomplishments of generations of women, but understands the changing times; one which will see us into the future.  The board knew this would be no easy task; but with the help of Peter Rothermel, Faith Formation Director for the Diocese, we had hope. 

We first met to develop our vision and mission of Women’s Ministry in the Diocese. We asked ourselves how could we be of help to the women of the diocese--all women in the diocese, younger and older women, women from large and small churches, single women, married women, widows, divorced women, mothers, sisters and daughters--how could we better serve them? 

We also asked ourselves how could we better interact with the clergy, to help them understand that we are not in competition with them but want to work with them in any way that will support Women’s Ministry in our Diocese. 

What we discerned was that we could be a network--a network connecting women throughout the Diocese; a network of support and encouragement to women in all seasons of life; a network of resource information through our revised Handbook--available to all who need it. 

We do not want to change what works for you in your churches, we simply wish to offer our support and to help promote your events. This is an exciting time for all women as we honor the women who began our ministry, giving us a voice in times when it was our only platform, and building on that foundation to create a new identity to carry us into the future. 

This isn’t the first time the focus of the Women’s ministry in the diocese has changed; this is simply the latest. We are no longer an organization with a “pyramid” leadership structure. We are at a round table: all working together to the glory of God.

After much prayerful consideration and discussion, our new name approved by Bishop Lawrence, will be Diocesan Women’s Ministries.

After much prayerful thought, the Board united to create our Vision and Mission Statements.

Vision Statement

“To transform the hearts of women through the power of Jesus Christ.”

Mission Statement

“Equipping women to live out a Biblical model of womanhood from generation to generation by providing a network of resources, Biblical studies, prayer ministry, and mentoring through the transforming power of our Lord, Jesus Christ.”

The main focus of future plans will be our yearly Women’s Retreat.  For the last several years, first under the leadership of Sanna Greiser, then under the current leadership of Denyse Steen, our increasingly successful Retreats have focused on bringing together women of all ages for teaching and worship.  Each year we have noticed how people have responded to opportunities for healing prayer and soaking prayer.  Led by our Chaplain, prayer ministers have responded to the great need for personal prayer during the retreat weekends.

We have long felt that we needed a permanent Chaplain; with this in mind, we are excited that Bishop Lawrence has approved the Rev. Martha Horn as the Diocesan Women’s Ministries Chaplain; we welcome her to our Board.

Instead of Deanery Gatherings focused on business, we will, from time to time, have one day mini-retreats with a speaker and healing prayer to better meet the needs of women of all ages.  We welcome ideas for other events to promote our Vision.  We will be happy to visit any church to speak with clergy and women’s groups to ask how we can promote their ministry or help with new ministry opportunities.

We want women to step forward and join us as we journey into the future. If you feel you are being called to leadership in any part of the Diocesan Women’s Ministries, then please talk to any member of the Board; we will be glad to answer any questions you have and will welcome your participation. The future is not set in stone; it will change as our walk with Jesus Christ evolves. Won’t you please join us on His walk.

In closing, the Board thanks Bishop Lawrence and Peter Rothermel for their ongoing support and encouragement.

Diocesan Women's Ministries Council

View the list of women elected to serve on the 2014-2015 Diocesan Women's Ministries Council.

Upcoming Events

All women in the church are welcomed into the fellowship of the Diocesan Church Women. Please join us!


a. Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy,

b. The Ministry at St Alban's, the Citadel or on Facebook

St. Albans on Facebook

d. The Order of the Daughters of the King

f.. Water Missions International




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