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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.”

Contact information for the 2017-2018 Diocesan Women's Ministries Board is listed here.

Diocesan Women's Ministries Retreat Poster

The Women's Retreat will be held on 22-24 September, 2017, at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center. The Speaker will be Karen Mulder of "Wisdom of the Wounded" an organization dedicated to supporting caregivers and those in need of care during crises. Every woman is a caregiver at every age. Karen gives us many ways to be better caregivers by connecting with God, connecting with our families, and connecting with friends and neighbours. The theme of the retreat will be "CONNECTIONS.”

Scholarship Information: Limited scholarship assistance is available. Contact Mary Kauser (843-814-4035) PRIOR to registering. We encourage those in need of scholarship assistance to also seek assistance from their parish rector.

Register here.

Download the Poster
Download the Postcard.

barnes jacobs schumann smithWomen attending the “Connections” weekend retreat on September 22-24 at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center can choose from four Saturday afternoon workshops focused on connecting with God.

Terri Barnes will lead “My Journal: Tablet of My Heart,” exploring ways God speaks through the written word. Terri is an author and editor, as well as a lifelong journal keeper.

Catherine Jacobs will teach a session on Bible study called, “Resting Daily in God’s Word.” Catherine has written a book about grandparenting and is a charter member of the Legacy Coalition, a national organization for Christian grandparenting.

Sherry Schumann will present “The Power of Intercessory Prayer,” with examples of intercession in the Old and New Testaments. Sherry is the prayer director for Christian Grandparenting Network and a speaker for the Diocese of South Carolina’s GrandCamp.

Patricia Smith will lead “Fasting: Unleashing God's Power,” about this ancient practice for seeking God. Patricia has experience with various forms of fasting, serves on the Women's Ministry Leadership Team of St. Paul’s Summerville, and is a Deanery Director for the West Charleston Deanery.

Praise and Glory Offerings to be Used for the Rev. Marth Horn Memorial Scholarship Fund

By Betty Schaffer, 2016 Praise and Glory Coordinator, Diocesan Church Women

Praise & Glory jarAs women in the Diocese of South Carolina, our mission is “to live with hearts of thankfulness and to practice generosity for the praise and glory of God.”

To that end, we have a wonderful opportunity to show our thankfulness and practice generosity through the ministry of our Praise and Glory offerings.  Last year, $4,536.00 was given to The Church on the Move, a ministry to our Hispanic brothers and sisters living here in the Lowcountry.

For the coming year, our focus will be the Rev. Martha Horn Memorial Scholarship Fund for Women’s Retreats.  Our beloved Martha, Chaplain for Diocesan Women’s Ministry, key note speaker for two women’s retreats and numerous other events, as well as dear friend, not only lived her life for Christ, but also loved women’s ministry immensely seeking any opportunity to bring the women of this diocese into a relationship with Christ.  If you would like to have a representative come and speak to your church or the women of your church concerning the Praise and Glory ministry, please call Betty Schaffer (843-762-0127).   For those new to this ministry, we have Praise and Glory labels that you may attach to a jar and make it your own.  Each time you think of something for which you are thankful or if you wish to praise God in some way, you just drop a donation of your choice into the jar.  These small acts of praise and glory to God are on-going throughout the year and are a great way to involve your family in worship.

Though you may choose any day as a Praise and Glory jar collection day, the Diocese recognizes the Sunday before Advent and the Sunday after Easter as our two Praise and Glory jar days.  Once you’ve collected your money, convert it into a check made payable to “Diocesan Church Women” noting Praise and Glory in the memo line, and mail it  as follows:

Diocese of South Carolina
c/o Betty Schaffer
235 Country Club Lane
Charleston, SC  29412

Further information related to applying for a Rev. Martha Horn Scholarship will be made available in time for the retreat.  If you have any questions about the Praise and Glory ministry, or if you would like additional Praise and Glory labels for members of your church, please contact Betty Schaffer at the number above or at


Over 200 Women Gather to "Go Deeper" in Faith

with Allison Lawrence and her daughter Chelsea Hamshaw

Over 200 women from across the Diocese gathered at Holy Trinity, Charleston, on Saturday, April 30 to hear teachings from our about-to-be newly installed co-chaplains, Allison Lawrence, wife of the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence, XIV Bishop of South Carolina, and her daughter Chelsea Hamshaw, wife of the Rev. Jason Hamshaw. Chelsea spoke on the importance of covenant, focusing on the difference between God's covenant with us and a contract. Allison fleshed out what that means in practical terms using stories from her own life to encourage women to step out in faith. Their teachings were recorded and will be available soon.

Following the teaching portion of the day the women met in small groups, enjoyed a delicious boxed lunch, had a business meeting in which the executive board stepped down and the new board was installed and shared in a service of Holy Eucharist. The Rev. David Dubay, Rector of Holy Trinity preached and Bishop Mark Lawernce celebrated.

View the photo album.



horn martha teaching video

Horn Video Teachings Now Online


“Shifting Landscapes; From Mine to His”

The Rev. Martha Horn

In September, 2015, just one month prior to her ordination to the priesthood and three months prior to her death, the Rev. Martha Horn, Chaplain for the Diocesan Women’s Ministries, led a women’s retreat at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center on the theme “Shifting Landscapes: from mine to His.” She offered this teaching again in November 2015.

The following three videos are of her teaching at St. Christopher.

Teaching 1: Who is Jesus? This teaching focuses on the Nicene Creed and three important Christological events that point to the deity of Christ.

Teaching 2: In Jesus Christ we have incarnational identity. This teaching dives into the Gospels of Matthew and John to answer a foundational question:  What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ who is incarnational?  

Teaching 3: The sovereignty of God and His Landscapes: This teaching defines the word sovereign and outlines God’s landscape through the book of Job.  The Rev. Martha Horn concludes her teachings with a lesson about the authority and power of Jesus Christ in each of us.

Questions for Small Group Discussions

Shifting Landscapes Small Group 1
Shifting Landscapes Small Group 2

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; or on Facebook at Women's Ministry of the Diocese of South Carolina

 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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