Debra Mattingly, President
Sisterhood of St. Nina
The needs of individual women, at any given time, differs greatly. So, our goal is to provide a variety of opportunities for fellowship, spiritual growth and community service. Through our fellowship we seek to strengthen personal relationships so the already very busy women of the community can grow in faith and in service without added pressure. Thus, the women of Holy Cross participate in various ministries of the church such as:
- the cooking rotation of the weekly post-liturgical luncheon
- helping sew costumes for Sunday School plays held at nursing homes
- making quilts for critically ill children in local hospitals
- sponsoring speakers and trips to various museums and places of Orthodox interest
- an annual Beautiful Egg Breakfast to learn to make Ukrainian Easter Eggs
- acting as the gardeners of the church
- providing a booth at the local fare to sell ethnic baked goods and Orthodox items to support a local food bank
- holding Lenten Food Tastings to give ideas for fasting foods.
We have occasionally sent invitations for a Lunchless Luncheon to our entire Holy Cross mailing list (9X larger than our parish) to raise support the for the Eastern Region Antiochian Women Orphanages project. This virtual luncheon is a fund raising method which allows an opportunity for Lenten almsgiving without taking time from the busy Lenten service schedule.
All women of the parish are considered members and we normally meet at 9:00am on the first Saturday of the month for a potluck breakfast. When conflicts arise with regard to date, time, or nature of the event our “First Saturday Breakfast,” changes are posted in the parish newsletter, the weekly bulletin and on this page. Near the beginning of the church year in August or September a proposed schedule of monthly topics and activities is formulated for the upcoming year. Changes to that initial plan are also listed in the parish newsletter and weekly bulletins.
For more detailed overview of the history, goals and projects of the Sisterhood, see the Holy Cross Chapter of Antiochian Women.
St. Nina Choose Us
We actually only became known as the Sisterhood of St. Nina in 1999, when it was decided that the women of Holy Cross should join with our pastor in selecting a patron saint for the women's group. In January of that year we came to our regular monthly meeting with the stories of the lives of several female saints that had been suggested by various people. We marveled as the stories were read of these very godly women. How would we decide between them? Then someone said St. Nina was also on our list, what is her story? No one had brought that story, no one really new anything about her. But we found an article about her in our bookstore and one member began to read it.
As she read, a strange thing happened to the woman whom the priest had appointed as president of the group. Copious tears began to flow, although, as she later reported, she had felt such a tremendous pressure that she didn't even hear the story and had to go home to read it for herself to learn about St. Nina. It was the general consensus of the group and our priest that St. Nina was probably selecting us. Imagine our surprise and the confirmation in our choice, when we arrived at the Liturgy the next day and discovered that it was St. Nina's picture on the Bulletin as it was her Sunday on the Church calendar! We are very grateful to have been selected by this most holy of young women —Saint Nina, Equal of the Apostles, and Enlightener of Iberia (Georgia).
—Sh. Ina O’Dell, President