The Daughters of the King Institute a New Chapter

The congregations of the Diocese of Northwestern PA are invited to join the celebration as the Grace Chapter of the Order of the Daughters of the King travel to Trinity Episcopal Church in New Castle on November 5th to institute the newest chapter of their order.

The Order of the Daughters of the King is an international lay order for women of the Episcopal Church. New members take vows promising to live a life of prayer, service, and evangelism. Prayer is the foundation from which their service grows, and they are willing to pray for anyone looking for love and help in time of need. It is not a social club, but they are social and like to have fun. However, one does not just pay dues and start coming to meetings. Prospective members are required to complete a study course consisting of 12 sessions spanning 6-8 weeks, and upon completion they take vows promising to follow a Rule of Life.

The new Martha Chapter is only the second chapter to be formed in the Diocese of Northwestern PA. It joins Grace Chapter, St. John’s Franklin, which was established in 2005 while Bishop Sean was rector. Grace Chapter participates in a number of service projects, the latest of which is their Prayer Tent ministry. During Applefest in Franklin, they set up a large tent on the St. John’s front lawn, and passersby are invited to stop by for free water and prayer. Prayer requests can be left on provided cards, or people may pray with chapter members in person. Grace Chapter also accepts prayer requests from the church and community throughout the year, as well as participating in projects ranging from collecting Christmas gifts for the residents of Sugar Valley Lodge, sending cards to shut-ins, and AHOY (Anonymously Honoring Our Youth), where adults pray specifically for the young people of their church.

More than a dozen women from Grace Chapter will travel to New Castle on the 5th to present the charter during the 10 AM Eucharist. The three women forming the new chapter are very excited, and the congregation is planning a potluck dinner to celebrate following the service.

Daughters of the King: Mission Trip to Honduras

God gave me an idea and a nudge at a meeting of the Daughters of the King Province III board last year.  I should invite those present to join me on a mission to Honduras.  Carol White from the Diocese of Southern Virginia accepted the invitation followed by Joyce Frenz from my own chapter at St. John’s, Franklin.  It wasn’t long before her husband Randall, a Lutheran pastor, signed on as well.  We had a team!

I now marvel at the path we took to get to Danli, Honduras.  We were four individuals answering a call but really not sure what God was calling us to do.  We sometimes wandered off the path and I was reminded of Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

A mission trip was not new to me – I had accompanied my husband numerous times on his veterinary mission trips, but this time I would be leading a team with a very different mission.  Lord, what would you have me do?  My husband’s veterinary team was working with SAMS missionary Jeannie Loving, who just happened to be a Daughter of the King.  We communicated with her and after much correspondence, prayer, and a shared daily devotional, God guided us to a plan: a quiet day, a Bible study, and a service project.  It was a very ambitious plan that would require money for materials, interpreters, and in-country transportation for us and the participants.  We applied for and received a generous grant from the National Daughters of the King Self-Denial Fund to cover those expenses.  God gave us the plan and provided the means.  Now we had to trust Him to show us the how.

Ten months later, February 10, 2017, we finally arrived in Honduras.   The first task was to organize our service project.  Our plan was to assemble and distribute mother/baby kits to the public health clinics.  In Honduras, any woman going to the hospital or clinic to deliver her baby is required to bring with her a shirt, cap, socks, receiving blanket and two diapers for the baby and two sanitary napkins and an adult diaper for her.  Many families earn an average of only $20 a month and it can be a real hardship to procure these items.  We had brought with us more than 200 each of baby onesies, hats and pairs of socks donated by individuals in the US.  With the help of local Daughters, we packed all the required items in a 2 ½ gallon zip lock bag.  We included a card written in Spanish stating this kit was from Honduran and US Daughters of the King who were praying for the mother and baby.  These same Daughters accompanied us to the clinics to deliver the kits.  At one clinic, the doctor in charge clapped his hands and exclaimed he was so thrilled it gave him goosebumps.  He ushered us into a room where two very young women had just delivered babies.  We prayed with the new mothers and handed each of them a kit.  Priceless.

Extra baby items and cash to purchase diapers, etc. were left with the local Daughters of the King so they could continue with this project.

Meanwhile Pastor Randall met with ten women for a Bible study.   They came from four different Episcopal churches and some had ridden about an hour on a non-air-conditioned bus  to get there.  They were attentive, inquisitive and faithful in attendance.  We left extra study books for these women to lead Bible studies in their home parishes.

The main event was our Quiet Day which was attended by more than 50 women and about a dozen children.  The morning program was a series of songs and scripture readings with intervals of silent meditation.  After lunch, we opened with a guided meditation followed by a service to admit nine new Daughters of the King to the Order.  A celebration of Holy Eucharist closed out a beautiful, spirit filled day.  It was a great day in the Kingdom!

I had a vision but I never envisioned the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us.  We hope by reading this you will be inspired to step out in faith to do a mission at home or abroad.

Kathy Paulo is a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Franklin, PA, and has been a member of the Daughters of the King since 2005. 

Prayer Changed Me

Almost twelve years ago, I took a vow to follow a Rule of Life which required a daily discipline of prayer. With 5 other women, I promised to pray faithfully so that I might draw nearer to God and learn His will for me. And so, I began the Practice of Prayer. Brother Lawrence wrote in The Practice of the Presence of God, “It is a great delusion to think our times of prayer ought to differ from other times” and “There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it that practice and experience it.” Like all good habits, the practice of prayer requires a commitment.

I don’t want to give the impression that prior to 2005 I didn’t pray. As a practicing Episcopalian I found the prayers in the BCP beautiful and helpful. They expressed my thoughts and desires much more eloquently than I could ever do on my own. I had my moments of praise and thanksgiving, (like grace before meals) and I would send up the silent “help me or help them.” I had a church life but what was going on between me and God? Were we actually communicating or was He communicating and I wasn’t listening? When I made that commitment to a Rule of Prayer I quickly learned that I needed to set aside a time and a quiet place to study scripture and converse with God.

He said: “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake, and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence— and then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:11-13

beach-1868772_1920Like Elijah, we strain to hear God over the cacophony of our world. Blaring TVs, traffic noises, the ping of our phones and the intrusion of our thoughts all work to obscure the voice of God. When we take the time to spend it with God, we begin to grow into a more intimate relationship with Him. The world is held at bay and we sometimes hear that still small voice.

As liturgical people, we have those beautiful prayers but when we want to converse with Him it should be in our own words. Where do we begin? We can use The Lord’s Prayer given to us by Jesus as a model. It contains all we need for a prayer: acknowledgement and praise of God, turning our wills over to Him, petition for necessities, request for forgiveness and the ability to forgive others. There are as many prayer formats as there are personalities but with practice our prayers will become uniquely our own.

As I become more experienced and comfortable with my time in prayer, I realize that prayer is not limited to a certain time, place or format. It is important for me to set aside that special time for meeting with God but I also know He is with me at all times. I do not need an appointment to talk with Him and I know I can call out to Him at any time. Prayer is about getting to know God better, to trust Him more and obey Him completely. Prayer is not about what we want and how to get God to give it to us. He already knows our needs. It is about relying on Him 24/7. It is an ongoing conversation with God by which we discover His will for us.

Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

Kathy Paulo, a member of St. John’s, Franklin, is President of Grace Chapter of the Order of the Daughters of the King at St John’s, and 2nd VP for membership of the Daughters of the King, Province 3. 

This is the third installment in our Prayer series that will run up to the Diocesan Prayer Vigil in March. Click here to view other stories in the series, and here for more information on the Vigil.