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Gather Us In 2011

Here is a slide show of the day – enjoy revisiting, or visiting for the first time. Photos were taken by Commission members Ann Wagstaff, with additions by Susan Bailey and Carolyn Black.

Read about the day below the slide show.

Women proceed upstairs to the main area.

WORCESTER, MA – On Saturday, November 5, nearly 500 women came together for the 6th Diocesan Women’s Conference, “Gather Us In 2011.”

The air was buzzing with excitement as women from all over the diocese gathered at the DCU Center in Worcester to hear keynote presentations, participate in workshops and fellowship together.

The theme of the conference was “Gratitude: Acknowledging and Affirming God’s Grace in Our Lives.”

Welcome and Opening Prayer Service

Commission member Marie Fusaro Davis, chairperson of the Gather Us In 2011 conference began the day with words of welcome to all the women.

A prayer service followed focusing on gratitude, featuring live music and prayer by afternoon keynote presenter Sr. Kathy Sherman, a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph. Commission chair Susan Bailey led the opening hymn and closing prayer while Sr. Paula Kelleher SSJ read the scripture passage. Sarah Zybert, the daughter of Susan Zybert, a Commission member, provided beautiful and prayerful liturgical dance.

Liz Walker gives a dynamic keynote presentation on Grace and how it changed her life.

Morning Keynote Presenter
Liz Walker

Marie introduced the morning keynoter, former Channel 4 anchor and reporter Liz Walker, now an ordained Episcopalian minister. Liz electrified the room with her lively, timely, humorous and always penetrating talk on how God’s grace led her down the long and winding road from successful TV celebrity reporter to minister, eventually building a school for girls in Sudan.

Workshop Presenters

Four workshops were made available for the women to chose from after the keynote presentation. They included:

  • Elizabeth Dreyer, PhD, speaking on how to become a grassroots theologian
  • Pat Gohn, describing how a spirit of gratitude can translate into women becoming spiritual mothers
  • Christin Jezak, presenting her one woman play dealing with encountering Jesus in every person through the lens of Mother Teresa
  • Talk Back – Your Turn, run by Commission members Marie Fusaro Davis and Susan Bailey, giving the women a chance to share stories and feelings in relation to what they heard at the conference

Sr. Kathy Sherman, a sister of St. Joseph, is a fine singer, composer and speaker. She shared many of her songs during her presentation.

Afternoon Keynote Presenter
Kathy Sherman

After a nice lunch where everyone got together to share, Commission member Carolyn Black introduced the afternoon keynote presenter, Sr. Kathy Sherman. Her presentation was gentle, quiet and moving, mixing talk with many beautiful songs. Oftentimes women were moved to tears.

Closing Liturgy

Workshops were made available again, and then the day ended with mass beautifully celebrated by retired Auxiliary Bishop George E. Rueger, D.D. The African Choir from St. Peter’s and the St. Andrew’s mission in Worcester provided the music, along with Commission member Susan Bailey and Kathleen Bush from St. Luke the Evangelist in Westboro.

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