M E D I A R E L E A S E from Catholic Writers Guild

I am a member of CWG and this is release regarding a conference next month. Wish I could go! Sigh!

 

Any writers interested in joining the CWG? I am so glad I joined. They are a great group of dedicated writers, authors and bloggers who share their interests and encouragements with each other. I have learned much since joining.

 

CONTACT: Ann Margaret Lewis

Phone:  (317) 755-2693

e-mail: cwglivecon@catholicwritersguild.com

 

For Immediate Release

 

Catholic Writers to Hold Conference in Arlington, Texas

 

Arlington, TX–The fourth annual Catholic Writers’ Conference LIVE will take place August 29-31, 2012, at the Arlington Convention Center in Arlington, TX. Sponsored by the Catholic Writer’s Guild and the Catholic Marketing Network (CMN), and held in conjunction with CMN’s annual retailer trade show, the Catholic Writers Conference LIVE provides Catholic authors with a prime opportunity to meet and share their faith with editors, publishers, fellow writers, and bookstore owners from across the globe.

The conference will offer “pitch sessions,” allowing authors an opportunity to meet personally with publishing professionals and pitch their writing projects. In addition, attendees have the opportunity to sign up for critique with professional editors and writers. Some participating publishers are Ignatius Press, Ave Maria Press, Christus Publishing, Tuscany Press, Ascension Press and Servant Books. Information for this event can be found on the conference web site.

This year’s conference will focus on “Writing and the New Evangelization.” Speakers include EWTN personalities Teresa Tomeo and Father Andrew Apostoli, CFR, authors Ellen Hrkach (In NAME ONLY) and Patti Armstrong (STORIES FOR THE HOMESCHOOL HEART), Ann Margaret Lewis (MURDER IN THE VATICAN: THE CHURCH MYSTERIES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES), and author and blogger Sarah Reinhard (A CATHOLIC MOTHER’S COMPANION TO PREGNANCY: WALKING WITH MARY FROM CONCEPTION TO BAPTISM). More excellent speakers are still being confirmed.

In partnership with the Catholic New Media Conference, also taking place in the convention center, conference attendees will be able to attend a special track on blogging for $25. Information on this opportunity will be made to attendees upon registration.

“It’s not just writing, it’s not just fellowship, it’s inspiration, too!” says 2011 Conference presenter Sarah Reinhard. “It was great to share the Eucharist and evening meals in person with writers who inspire me, encourage me, and motivate me the rest of the year.”

The Catholic Writers Guild, a religious non-profit organization affiliated with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis sponsors both this live conference in August and an online conference in February to further its mission of promoting Catholic literature. Says CWG President Ann Lewis, “These events are integral to our mission of ‘creating a rebirth of Catholic arts and letters.”

Registration costs $70 for CWG members, $75 for non-members and $40 for students. There’s also a discounted combined membership. To register or for more information, go to http://www.catholicwritersconference.com.

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Graphics, interviews and further information available upon request.

Hospitality

When I was growing up, my family was well known as good “hospodar,” that is they were ready at the drop of a hat to offer a meal and smiles and accommodation to whoever came to our home. My father would happily welcome everyone to come in and begin to offer them some food and drink. My mother was well known to have a full meal for a car full of people within 15 or so minutes. I often was so in awe at her skill of impromptu meal preparation and I would ask myself, “Where on earth did she have all this food?” They were both good examples for me.

I still am learning how to be a good “hospoda/hostess” and how to have meals ready in as little time as possible. Today, I have an advantage in that a large well stocked freezer helps me to do what seems impossible.

I would ask, “Mom, how did you do it?” She would reply that when she was in prayer in the early part of her day, she had a sense to do certain food preparations, and was not consciously knowing that “company’s coming!” Now that I am older and benefiting from her wisdom, I too have had experiences of the urges to do volume cooking and before the end of the day, I end up with many friendly faces around our dining room table.

God is so good! He wants us to be ready.  Whether we provide food for another’s body or another’s soul, we need to be ready! One of the best ways of being prepared for this is to be in prayer.

In Scripture it says, “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Timothy 4:2)

The encouragement in scriptures to offer hospitality are:

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (Romans 12:13)

 And

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:2)

And

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. (1 Peter 4:9)

And

We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth. (3 John 1:8)

We are to build the Kingdom of God with one another and offering hospitality is part of God’s direction for us. Lord, teach me how to be ready to offer hospitality and treat each guest as if it were You visiting our home.

But I must not stop at being hospitable only in my own home. I must also be hospitable everywhere I go, especially at Church.

I need to remind myself to be ready to welcome new people to our parish, to offer assistance to the elderly and new parents, to smile at everyone. Sometimes this is work for me. Some days I am tired and smiling is work. Some days, I need smiles too! After the Divine Liturgy we usually go for refreshments and visiting with everyone. Part of my hospitality could be a “listening ear” or an encouraging word for the altar server or deacon. When I pray and ask the Lord to help me to be sensitive and aware of who He wants me to be with and “love” them with the graces of hospitality, I am always surprised who He will have me spend time with. I am doubly blessed by the company of the other person and God’s encouragement for me to grow in my faith and understanding of His call on my life; to be available to know, love and serve Him through everyone He puts in my path. Glory to God!

God’s direction in Scriptures is clear about hospitality. This is an amazing tool to build His Kingdom, under His direction. Another word for this beautiful grace is “evangelization!

Lord may I become a good hostess whether in my home or Church or anywhere I am, by Your graces and mercies. Lord, I know that You love me. Lord, grant me a teachable heart!

 

Copyright © 2012 Gloria Winn, all rights reserved.

 

TEARS, now available

My new book TEARS is now available at Salem Storehouse, Merivale Road, Ottawa for $7.99 It is my story about healing from grieving for 18 years. It is also available on Amazon.com. It is also available on Amazon.ca and available as a soft cover and e-kindle version.

Also, please check out my website gloriawinn.com and click on my three blogs: For His Glory, Small Things with Great Love, and Who Am I? God’s!

Destiny

What does it mean to me that I have a destiny? This question causes many reactions in me.

The words cause me to reflect upon me, my faith, my desires, my hopes, my plans, my control, my resistance to someone else being in charge of my life.

Regarding my faith, I do believe in God, the Holy Trinity; the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit.  I like to check out my faith with the teachings of the church (holy tradition) and with scripture. The church uses scriptures and holy tradition for its benchmark.

Picture of Bible - Free Pictures - FreeFoto.com

The church teaches that all God’s children are to “know, love and serve” Him. Also that He has created me and all His children and it is His nature to love us. In His loving us, He provides what we need to be close to Him.

I believe that, when God thought about me, He created me, before I was placed in my mother’s womb. He had already set a plan for my life. That plan includes my relationship with Him. His plan includes His care and provision.

Psalm 139:13-16
For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[b]
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

 Jeremiah 29: 11-14a
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,

“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
I will be found by you,” declares the Lord….

I am destined to be God’s child. I feel safe with this awareness. I believe that I am being created to “know, love and serve” Him. I am a person with self-will that pulls me away from God. Only when I have surrendered my will in each moment and decision of my life am I truly fulfilling my destiny. My destiny, your destiny, is to be molded into being an icon of Christ, to be Christ for each other, and to be community for His glory. God does not force all this on me, or you, but He woos us and loves us into the Life that He has planned.

Copyright © 2012 Gloria Winn, all rights reserved.

Formation

I have always loved God. I have not always been in relationship with Him. Even when I was angry with Him and not on speaking terms with Him, He always loved me.  He has provided for me that which would cause me to grow and develop and this process continues. He knows that I grow best where I am struggling with letting Him have control and accepting the place of being stretched beyond what my head and heart think I can cope with. Now, in hindsight I am grateful for those times that were difficult. Maturity is not a destination but a process. He knows me thoroughly; better than I know myself.

After having worked at a seminary for many years, and observing that there is a required formation process for the seminarians’ development towards priesthood, I began to recognize that God has me in formation also to be developing into the fullness of His creation of me, to be fully human and fully alive. God has every one in formation. This formation covers areas of my human and spiritual development encompassing my relationship with Him, and my relationships with others as well as myself.

When we become parents, we are given a glimpse of the heart of God. God rejoices in us at every new learned skill, both physically and spiritually. As we hold our child’s hand as he begins to learn how to walk and taking baby steps, He holds our hands and supports us too. Even when our child begins to take his first steps and falls down, we stay close to catch him so we can help him stand up again. God always stays close to us to catch us and help us so we do not stay down.

This formation is not a boot camp training where there are rigorous and demanding activities to force me to become transformed physically and mentally. This formation is a gift of His love so that I can develop in my faith, my humanity and personhood, and my relationship with Him and others. In this formation process, the school of love, I am becoming who God has designed me to be; His child, His servant, His friend, His hands to serve others.

Picture of Worship at Sunset - Free Pictures - FreeFoto.com

What I need to bring to this “formation” process” is a good attitude. When I am in a learning curve, my attitude will make a difference in how long I am in the process or whether I need to repeat the experience or whether I “get it” and move into the next stage of my development. Attitudes can be helpful or destructive to the process. I am still learning to pray and ask for the “right attitude”, namely Psalm 51: 10-17 (NKJV)

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.

Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
The God of my salvation,
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.

 I am yours Lord! Thank you for your gift of formation. Thank you that you have not left me alone to my own devices. Thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ! Yes Lord, I am yours, do with me what you will!

Copyright © 2012 Gloria Winn, all rights reserved.

Preparing for Easter!

This weekend is the Holy Triduum and as a Christian I am focused on the passion, death and resurrection of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. My best friend and I will be attending many church services all weekend.

 

I am also a wife and mother and baba. My best friend and I are hosting our family this Easter and with my Ukrainian heritage which I try to keep the traditions and remember how hard my family struggled to make a place in this new land called Canada, I will be preparing some specialty dishes from old family and friends’ recipes.  My family arrived in Canada in 1897.

Today I am making Paska, which has a similar sounding name to Pascha, which means Easter. This is a lovely ornate bread that is rich with eggs and decorated with symbols of our faith, e.g., fancy crosses, braiding, rosettes, and doves.  The decorations are from the bread itself. The flavour is similar to Challah, which is a Jewish celebration bread.

Tomorrow, I will be preparing cabbage rolls and not cooking them until Easter Sunday.  Saturday, Nachynka will be prepared. You begin by making unleavened bread with eggs, flour, and salt. After baking the bread, you cube it. Then you make a seasoned dressing out of it with eggs, garlic, onions, and a few other seasonings. This is stuffed into a cage of pork ribs and baked until the meat is done.  The seasonings on the ribs are simply, salt and pepper and garlic rubbed all over the meat. Earlier, I prepared  homemade kobassa and beet and horseradish relish.

Our family will feast on these traditional foods along with some Canadian favourites such as ham, store-bought kobassa, salads and other vegetables.

Our dessert will be a cream cheese pound cake, which is a delicious, and a delicately flavoured pound cake with a subtle hit of cheesecake in the background. One daughter-in-law has had a birthday recently and so I have prepared a Dobos Torte to celebrate her. We will of course have ice cream with these cakes.

Hopefully there will be leftovers and they will be shared with everyone to take home for the next day.

What joy to celebrate our faith together! These foods are symbols of love.

Love is to be gifted to everyone especially family at these Christian feasts.

Easter is about love. Christ loved us so much. He was obedient to the Father’s plan and was crucified. His resurrection has changed everything in our world forever.

What joy to celebrate our faith together!

Copyright © 2012 Gloria Winn, all rights reserved.

Preparing for Easter: Lent!

How does one prepare for Easter? Easter is not just a long weekend! Easter is the celebration of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I am a Christian who is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. So my heart wants to enter into His experience. Lent is the name of the period for this preparation.

 

Being an Eastern Byzantine Catholic, I love to pray the St. Ephraim prayer in the morning and evening.

 

PRAYER of st. Ephraim the Syrian

O Lord and Master of my life!
Keep from me the spirit of indifference and discouragement,
lust of power, and idle chatter.
Prostration

Instead, grant to me, Your servant,
the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love.
Prostration

O Lord and King,
grant me the grace to see my own transgressions
and not to judge my brothers and sisters;
for You are blessed now and forever. Amen.
Prostration

O God, be merciful to me a sinner.
O God, cleanse me of my sins and have mercy on me
I have sinned without number, forgive me, O Lord.

(cross yourself and bow 4 times)

O Lord and Master of my life!
Keep from me the spirit of indifference and discouragement,
lust of power, and idle chatter.
Instead, grant to me, Your servant,
the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love.
Prostration

During the days of Lent, I work at being more vigilant to fulfilling the prayer. My motive is love, not duty. If my prayer becomes a duty, it is worthless.

 

Those days of Lent are life changing for me. Just as a steady drip of water on a stone begins to reveal the shape of the stone changing, so subtle are the changes in me. I have given God permission to mold me and make me a useful vessel for His glory. I am weak and fail many times to work at the changes, sometimes even forgetting to pray. Nevertheless, I am changed and it is good. God is merciful. He gives me what I do not deserve. Himself!

 

These Lenten days are drawing to a close and I am so looking forward to celebrating the victory over death by my savior and Lord, Jesus Christ!

Copyright © 2012 Gloria Winn, all rights reserved.

A ByzyBaba

I am a daughter, wife, mother and a Baba. A Baba is a grandmother. I am gifted with nine grandchildren. I am a Byzantine Eastern Catholic. I am involved in several women’s groups and am a new author. I also write articles and am really getting into blogging. I have been told lately that “Gloria, you are still blooming!” My life is never dull and I am a perpetual learner. I love to do research for projects and also love to listen to hearts. Check in with me now and again and see how life unfolds for me and that I am still discovering who I am!

Copyright © 2012 Gloria Winn, all rights reserved.