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VINE AND BRANCHES

May 2003 - Volume 2, Number 5

The Monthly e-Newsletter of Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries Welcome to Rachel’s Vineyard - Retreats for Healing After Abortion. <http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/>

Our national toll-free hotline is (877) HOPE-4-ME.

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Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries holds weekend retreats for emotional and spiritual healing after abortion.  It is a project of American Life League.

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Publisher: Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries
Editor: Leslie Graves
Associate Editor: Catherine McHugh
Comments and questions: "tburke@net-thing.net", "lbgraves@aol.com"

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"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law."

  • Galatians 5:22

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CONTENTS

1. National conference in June: Inspiration, fellowship, training
2. Reflection on a recent retreat experience
3. New email counselors for Rachel’s Vineyard
4. Training conference set for Palm Beach in July
5. E-group for after the retreat
6. Educational tapes available to the Rachel’s Vineyard audience
7. Upcoming retreats

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NATIONAL CONFERENCE IN JUNE: INSPIRATION, FELLOWSHIP, TRAINING

by Leslie Graves

In May and June of this year, 38 Rachel’s Vineyard retreats will be held across the country. Fourteen of these retreats are the first retreats in their particular locations. Two of the retreats—in North Carolina and Florida—are in Spanish.

As the word spreads about Rachel’s Vineyard, we have a growing flow of inquiries from people who are interested in learning more about how to offer this beautiful weekend retreat in their own area.

Since our first National Leadership Training Conference in 2000, our national training gatherings have been a vital part of empowering and training new ministry servants. Many of the people embarking on their first experience of retreat service this May and June began to develop their head, heart and hands-on knowledge about Rachel’s Vineyard through attending one of first three National Leadership Conferences.

We look forward with great anticipation to our fourth National Leadership Conference at the end of June in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Starting on Tuesday evening, June 24, the conference begins with a two-and-a-half day retreat for anyone who serves in post-abortion ministry. This retreat will focus on inspiration and renewal. We will learn to identify our own spiritual gifts and those of others, which is a powerful way to build up ministry teams and each other in the Body of Christ.

On Friday morning, June 27, Archbishop Eusebius Beltran will open our Rachel’s Vineyard Introductory and Clinical Training, a multi-track conference that concludes on Sunday, June 29. A wealth of information will be shared throughout this conference, in addition to opportunities for fellowship and inspiration.

For complete details and a registration form, please contact conference coordinator Susan Lepak at "susanlepak@yahoo.com" or (405) 721-8944.

Please note that the registration deadline for the Rachel’s Vineyard Servants’ Retreat is June 17.

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REFLECTION ON A RECENT RETREAT EXPERIENCE

This was shared by a woman who attended a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat in April 2003.

"I cannot begin to express what this retreat has done for me. I have closure, I have God and I feel I have my life back, the life I had lost 14 months ago. I shared my experience with my husband, and he was overcome with emotion, which is not easy for a man who cannot show emotions. I have learned to appreciate so much in my life that I was letting pass me by. It is so amazing what this one weekend has done for me. I thank you for all your hard work in bringing us Rachel’s Vineyard. It is a huge undertaking for you, but please know that your efforts are greatly appreciated. I was unbelievably touched and moved by each and every person on the retreat. It has given me new faith in the human race."

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"Man has places in his heart which do not yet exist, and into them enters suffering in order that they may have existence."

  • Leon Bloy.

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NEW E-MAIL COUNSELORS FOR RACHEL’S VINEYARD

Two new volunteers have recently joined with those who serve as e-mail counselors for men and women who have been hurt by abortion. John and Kathryn’s bios have been added to the Rachel’s Vineyard web page and also appear below. Our heartfelt thanks go to the many volunteers now serving in this capacity.

John ("ERose2us@aol.com") is 45. He and his wife live with two of their children in Virginia, and their oldest son is in the United States Marine Corps. He is a regional vice president of service within the office products industry. John and his wife have been married for 25 years. They had an abortion together 28 years ago in 1975. After 25 years of silence between them about their abortion experience (not one word of it spoken for 25 years), John dared to break the silence after seeing a notice for a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat. They discovered a shared desire to break the silence and to seek understanding of why. Together, they experienced the healing Grace of God’s reconciling love for them and felt the love between them grow in the truth and fullness of acknowledged life. Today, they share a vocation together in post-abortion ministry.

Kathryn ("ksrvmail@yahoo.com") tuvo su aborto a los 21 años, el primer año que fué legalizado. Este ha sido la única vez que estuvo en estado y no tiene hijos. Aparte del padre del bebé, y de su esposo actual, nadie supo de ello. Al comenzar su trayectoria hacia la iglesia Católica, a los 49 años asistió al Retiro del Viñedo de Raquel. Ahora forma parte del equipo que da estos retiros y también da estudios bíblicos de sanación para mujejes que han tenido abortos. Después de experimentar el sanamiento entiende el por qué fue engañada en pensar que estaba bién. Ella está interesada en traer el estudio bíblico y el retiro a la comunidad hispana de su area. Le encanta leer, viajar y adora a los ninos.

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TRAINING CONFERENCE SET FOR PALM BEACH IN JULY

The Diocese of Palm Beach is sponsoring a Rachel’s Vineyard training conference from July 11-13. A wealth of information about how best to understand and help with the anguish that can be experienced after abortion will be shared by presenters Kevin and Theresa Burke, and others.

For complete information and a brochure you can print out, please see this link: http://www.diocesepb.org/acrobat_files/life_survey/rachel.pdf

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"But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."

  • 1 John 1:7

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E-GROUP FOR AFTER THE RETREAT

If you have attended a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat, you might enjoy participating in a private e-group that has been set up by and for former retreatants. The name of the e-group is Oaktrees, after Isaiah 61. A link to the group can be found here: Yahoo! Groups : Oaktrees <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Oaktrees/?yguid=9379210> .

Former retreatants can also sign up to receive monthly messages of encouragement written by former retreatants. To sign up for these monthly messages, please write to Katie at "katie@nti4.com"

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: EDUCATIONAL TAPES AVAILABLE TO THE RACHEL’S VINEYARD AUDIENCE

Our Father’s Will Communications is a family ministry devoted to spreading the Gospel through the media. Our focus is disseminating John Paul II’s "theology of the body," which explains who we were called to be as man and woman in the beginning, how sin has distorted our sexuality and how, through Christ, we can receive healing and regain what was lost through the Fall. During the month of May we are offering several of our most popular tapes at a discount to anyone associated with Rachel’s Vineyard. Visit our website at http://www.theologyofthebody.net/ to view our other offerings or to read more about the theology of the body. This message is for everyone!

Some of the tapes available are "Woman: God’s Masterpiece" and "The Splendor of Woman" with Christopher West, "The Genius of Woman" and other tapes with Katrina Zeno, and "Finding Real Love" with Mary Beth Bonacci.

To order call us toll-free at: 1-866-333-6392. The discounted prices are available through May 31, 2003. Please mention Rachel’s Vineyard when you order.

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"O God, You are my God;
early I will seek you;
my soul thirsts for You;
my flesh longs for You
in a dry and thirsty land
where there is no water."
Psalm 63:1

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UPCOMING RETREATS

May 9-11, 2003-Boise, Idaho
Local host: Vineyard Christian Fellowship (Interdenominational)
Contact: Ginger Corum 208 672 8332

May 16-18, 2003-Danville, Pennsylvania
Contact: Joy 717 993 5450

May 16-18, 2003-Portland, Maine
Contact: Jeanne Bull 207 871 7464

May 16-18, 2003-Hammond, Indiana
Local host: Rachel’s Hope, Diocese of Gary
Contact: Carolyn Kenning 219 374 5193

May 16-18, 2003-Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Contact: Donna Gardner 561 746 7954

May 16-18, 2003-Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Contact: Ann Depner 412 456 6955

May 23-25, 2003-New Orleans, Louisiana
Note: Retreat location is Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
Contact: Melanie Baglow 504 889 2431
Contact: Woman’s New Life Center 504 269 8186

May 23-25, 2003-Long Island, New York
Contact: Frank and Lorraine Gariboldi 516 523 0586

May 23-25, 2003-Atlanta, Georgia
Contact: Mary Ann McNeal 404 896 6521

May 30-June 1, 2003-Sydney, Australia
Contact: Julie Kelly 02 9440 7980

May 30-June 1, 2003-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Immaculata)
Contact: Mary Alice 877 HOPE 4 ME

May 30-June 1, 2003-Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Contact: Susan Lepak 405 721 5651 ext 107

May 30-June 1, 2003-Denver, Colorado
Contact: Edith Gutierrez 303 682 9185

May 30-June 1, 2003-Auburn, Washington
Valerie Jacobs 800 822 HOPE

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"To learn, you must want to be taught....I think it was Mark Twain, Grandma Moses, or someone equally perceptive who said, ‘Learn from the mistakes of others: you can’t live long enough to make all the mistakes yourself.’ Anyway, that statement is one of the lessons life works hard at teaching us all. No matter how efficient, smart or independent we happen to think ourselves to be, sooner or later we run into a ‘brick wall’ that our intelligence or experience cannot handle for us. We can fake it, avoid it, or blunder through it. But a better solution would be to find someone who has walked that way before and has gained wisdom from the experience."

  • Gloria Gaither, in "Decisions"

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You are welcome to forward a copy of this newsletter to your friends.

Comments about Vine & Branches may be directed to the Editor, Leslie Graves, at "Lbgraves@aol.com"

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Rachel’s Vineyard is on the web at: http://www.rachelsvineyard.org

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Rachel’s Vineyard ® ALL rights reserved.

©2003 Rachel’s Vineyard, a project of American Life League

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Tel. 888-735-3448, (718) 980-4400 • Fax 718-980-6515
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