Growing Your Philoptochos Garden of Faith
Jeannie Ranglas, National Philoptochos First Vice President + SF Metropolis Philoptochos President
“A tree is known by its fruit; a [wo]man by her deeds. A good deed is never lost; [s]he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and [s]he who plants kindness gathers love.” – Saint Basil
As a member of Philoptochos, you become an integral part of a Beautiful Garden with women of all ages, backgrounds, and gifts. Without that variety, our gardens would not flourish. In the Gospel of Matthew, when Jesus shares with us the Parable of the Sower, we are taught to plant our seeds in fertile ground, so they may grow and flourish and bring forth a bountiful harvest. The same holds true for our efforts in growing the ministry of Philoptochos. The seeds we are planting today will create a strong foundation through their deep roots upon which we will continue to welcome, inform, and engage women, while empowering them to serve others, just as the Lord has taught us.
The Saint Helen Philoptochos Chapter in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California, is a living example of growing their membership by cultivating a beautiful garden of faith. This was achieved through a hands-on project at the annual Membership Tea that involved members creating their own personal garden of succulents, while celebrating the diversity of women coming together for one common purpose and appreciating all parts of the Philoptochos Garden.
The seeds of the garden are simple, yet profoundly important: kind hearts and those with the ability and willingness to join and get involved. Embrace new ladies, our younger generation who are just being planted and beginning to take root. This will ensure that the gardens will grow and flourish for years to come, offering a variety of trees and plants to create a beautiful backdrop for the important work of Philoptochos.
The roots of the garden are kind thoughts: the result of deep roots in faith, tradition, and with each other. The soil has been cultivated before us by those who have instilled wisdom, strength, love and encouragement for all Philoptochos members. They have shown us the way.
The blossoms of the garden bloom when the roots take hold and women are cared for and engaged in purposeful movement. The blossoms are vital with the beauty of growth and a colorful new life in service to the Lord and to each other, as a visible witness to the devotion to this ministry.
The fruit of the garden reaps good deeds. When our garden is alive and vibrant, we truly embody Philoptochos, we are Philanthropy~Fellowship~Faith in Action. We are the garden of hope carrying out our mission to help all of those in need.
Let us all be in prayer for one another as we gather for our annual Membership events. May our Philoptochos Gardens continue to grow in faith and friendship and bear the fruit of love.