The vision of Equipping Lydia is to create settings where followers of Christ, especially women and leaders, can drink from the deep well of God’s love and experience spiritual renewal through spiritual direction and retreating.
The mission of Equipping Lydia is to encourage spiritually renewing experiences where Christians who know and care for each other would be equipped to work in harmony as they resource and create spaces for others to find spiritual rest in Christ.
The fundamental principles driving this vision and mission are:
Maturity – The point of this ministry to help Christians, especially women, grow in maturity towards the glorified state of Christ living fully within us. Everything we do is to lovingly foster maturity. Truth and grace are cornerstones in this pursuit of Christian growth.
Sabbath Rest – Honoring the Sabbath is critical to the life of this ministry. It seems that the church has gotten so busy and so weary that there are few places in our schedules where we can “spiritually breathe” and simply adore God and listen to His voice and share in community together of the love that is in Christ. Equipping Lydia seeks to create space where saints can remember or even learn how to experience Sabbath rest.
Freedom – Women of faith have been bound and oppressed in many different ways. Perfectionism and performance are the enemies of spiritual freedom. Equipping Lydia needs to have as few “rules” as possible, allowing for freedom in the spirit while maintaining gentle order and peace through loving leadership and prayerful preparation. Much of what we do is to create a safe space (like the pen of the Good Shepherd) where the Holy Spirit can operate in freedom and followers of Christ can grow in their gifts and talents.
Hospitality – Christianity is gracious and generous and the gathering together in love and community is critical and quite frankly rare. Equipping Lydia gatherings are to be gracious and welcoming and hospitable, particularly to the least and to those women who are difficult to deal with. This is a simple, but radical approach to welcoming weary travelers on the journey of faith. We are to constantly look for those who need a place of respite—a cup of cool water in a dry and thirsty land.
Fostering Christian Community – The selflessness of living in Christian community means that the days do not belong to us as individuals and our to-do lists — our days belong to God. And in balance, true Christian community is not a diversion from being alone. Rhythmic retreat into personal solitude, silence and reflection on the Word are critical for healthy participation in community. This is the heart of Equipping Lydia as small clusters of women pray and retreat together, live and serve together, they become uniquely equipped to minister and function as the healthy Body of Christ. This is a ministry of love and harmony where people are operating in their giftings and where leaders know each other so well and have prayed together so much that they serve together like a finely tuned orchestra playing a symphony. We will be like the women who followed Christ during his life and death on this earth. We will minister to the Body of Christ with deep love.
Celebrating and Revering God’s Creation – This is a ministry of deep respect for God and his creation. Every life is sacred and every person is a reflection of the image of God. This ministry seeks to honor God’s creation and be cognizant caring for all forms of His creation …even down to what we do with the trash from our retreats.