May 2024 Flourish Newsletter

This month we are focusing on flourishing by being deeply rooted in the spiritual discipline of control of the tongue. In her book, Spiritual Disciplines: Practices That Transform Us, Adele Ahlberg Calhoun writes, “Control of the tongue involves an intentional awareness and governance of words as well as tone of voice in all communication.” And the desire from this discipline is “to turn the destructive way I use words into authentic, loving and healing speech.”

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26

Inside you will find a devotional, conversation starters, prayer ideas, helpful tips and quotes, and a monthly Bible reading plan all centered around the idea of disciplining our tongues.

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May 2024 Craft: Door Hanging Wreath

By Lt. Katherine Hernandez
Salinas, CA Corps – Golden State Division

As we discover the power our tongues have and identify ways in which we can better control it, let us create a lovely door hanging wreath. As we gather together and begin to create something beautiful, may we be reminded how important it is to be intentional about using the words that come out of our mouth in a way that will bless and uplift others. As you create this door hanging decoration, be reminded how powerful a simple “hello” or “welcome” can be to someone when done out of love.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Grapevine wreath (the one I used was 18” in diameter)
  • Mix of faux flowers and foliage
  • Greenery
  • Wired Ribbon
  • Wooden lettering (optional) I used the word Hello.
  • Paint for the wooded lettering (I used white, but you can paint the lettering any color you want) (this is optional as well)
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Floral wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Jute rope for hanging wreath (optional)

Step 1:
Start by painting your wooden lettering (this step is optional, as you do not need to add lettering to your wreath. I did, as I wanted to give my wreath a little something extra). You only need to paint the front and the sides, don’t worry about painting the back part (no one will see it). You may also need to give the lettering two or three coats of paint, depending on how dark you want it to be. Once painted, set aside and let it dry.

Step 2:
Cut the flowers and greenery. Then roughly arrange them on the wreath- this will give you an idea of spacing and placement. You can arrange the flowers and greenery however you like. I arranged mine on half of one side of the wreath. You can arrange them on the bottom, top, all around, etc.
When I begin to arrange my flowers and greenery, I start with the greenery first, then I add the flowers and other foliage. Once I like the placement of it, I start to hot glue it all to the wreath. Again, I begin with the greenery, then move to the flowers, and lastly the other foliage.

Step 3:
Make a bow using the wired ribbon. Once you have your bow made, you can attach it to the wreath using floral wire or using the glue gun.  

Step 4:
It’s time to attach our painted wooden sign. You can attach it using floral wire or using the glue gun. You can place your wooden sign wherever you like.

Step 5:
Cut some jute rope and hot glue it to the back of the wreath in order to hang it, unless you already have a metal door wreath hanger.

There you have it! you just created a beautiful door hanging wreath. You can now hang it on your front door (or any other place you like around your home).

I hope that you had a fun time creating this beautiful door decoration. I pray that it blesses your heart, as well as those who enter your home.

Download printable directions:

April 2024 Flourish Newsletter

This month we are focusing on flourishing by being deeply rooted in the spiritual discipline of confession and self-examination. In her book, Spiritual Disciplines: Practices That Transform Us, Adele Ahlberg Calhoun writes, “Self-examination is a process whereby the Holy Spirit opens my heart to what is true about me. Confession embraces Christ’s gift of forgiveness and restoration while setting us on the path to renewal and change.”

Look on my affliction and distress and take away all my sins. Psalm 25:18

Inside you will find a devotional, conversation starters, prayer ideas and a Bible reading plan around the topic of confession of sin.

Also included in this month’s issue are highlights from “Women Preach Sunday” which was held on March 3 of this year.

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April 2024 Craft: Beaded Cross Necklace Pendant

By Major Harryette Raihl
Divisional Women’s Ministries Secretary
Southern California Division

Supplies Needed:
(6) 6 mm beads (smaller beads or larger beads vary the size of the cross)
(10) spacer seed beads
Gold/silver jump ring (found with jewelry making supplies in stores)
Jewelry Wire (wire sized to fit through the beads are used)
*Necklace chain if you want to attach the beaded cross pendant.

There are many different ways to do these beaded crosses. You will find some designers harder to follow and some easier. The following directions are the ones that work the best and quickest for me and look the nicest in my opinion!

Instructions:

1.Fold the cut wire in half. (Cut wire about 8 inches to allow extra)

2.Lace one seed bead on the wire then twist tight.

3. On BOTH wires put one big bead, then one little seed bead, then a big bead, etc. so three big beads and three seed beads are on the wires.

4. Separate the wire. On one wire string, place one seed bead, then one big, then one seed bead THEN…skip seed bead and put wire through the big bead very tight with no slack. On the other wire do the same.

5. Then add one seed bead on each wire and twist very tight.

6. Add big bead through BOTH wires and then add little seed bead.

7. ON one wire add the jump ring and thread wire back through the large bead. Then wrap several times around to secure the jump ring. Cut the wire and if necessary, thread back through hold so that no sharp wires are exposed.

8. The wire that is left can be twisted around the large bead and then cut off so that no shape wires are exposed.

Once the cross is completed simply lace through the necklace chain.

These directions seem a little complicated at first, but once you have done once and experienced what ways work best and easiest for you, the crosses can be made rather quickly. This is a relatively inexpensive craft since you usually buy the supplies in bulk so that you may make many at a time.

Download printable directions of this craft:

March 2024 Craft: Mosaic Cross Craft

By Margaret Grieco
Territorial Women’s Ministries Department

“That I may know Christ, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings…being conformed to His death.” Philippians 3:10

Beauty from brokenness is shown in this beautiful craft that highlights Christ’s journey to the cross. By letting His body be broken for us we experience the transforming work of His love within us.

Supplies:

  • Unfinished wood cross: Amazon
  • China or ceramic dishes in various colors that work well together: SA Thrift Store
  • Grout (bone): Home Depot
  • Adhesive Hangers: Amazon
  • Craft Sticks Michaels
  • Hammer
  • Measuring cup
  • Water
  • Bowls for mosaic shards
  • Plastic gloves
  • Plastic jewels (if desired)
  • Tacky Glue (if needed)
  • Paper grocery bags (or another bag)

Step 1: Set up your table (cover it with a plastic cloth for an easy clean up).

Step 2: Using a brown paper grocery bag and hammer, slowly break apart the plates.

Step 3: Place your shards into a cross to line up how you want the finished piece to look.

Step 4: Mix the grout to the consistency of pancake batter. Using a craft stick, carefully pour the grout into the cross (try to avoid getting it onto the sides – you may need a few paper towels for this step).

Step 5: If you have two crosses that you’re working on, you can place them side by side and transfer the shards from one cross to another.

Step 6: Carefully press the shards into the grout and let dry overnight (place an adhesive hanger on the back.

Download printable directions of this craft:

March 2024 Flourish Newsletter

This month we are focusing on flourishing by being deeply rooted in the spiritual discipline of Solidarity in Jesus’ Suffering. In her book, Spiritual Disciplines: Practices That Transform Us, Adele Ahlberg Calhoun writes, “We are in solidarity with Jesus’ sufferings when we hold our pain and bear our burdens together with Jesus and his own sufferings for the world.”

He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in love esteem. Isaiah 53:3

Inside you will find a devotional and conversation starters that will help you focus on the suffering of Christ. This month’s reading plan is the Passion Week Events (Palm Sunday – Easter morning) from the Gospel of Matthew. Also included are extended prayer ideas giving you the opportunity to taste His suffering (these prayer ideas could easily be made into prayer stations for a group). This month may you be with Jesus in His pain and be remined He is with you in your pain.

Download this month’s issue:

Women Preach Sunday

In honor of  International Women’s Day (March 8, 2024), the USA Western Territory held its first annual “Woman Preach Day” on Sunday, March 3.  The goal was to have as many pulpits in the territory to be filled by women.

From left to right, top to bottom: Captain Dora Stearns, Captain Mysti Birks, Major Toni Halstad, Captain Dina Cisneros, Captain Maureen Lawliss, Major Monica Covert

We celebrate the beautiful heritage that we as women have in The Salvation Army. Catherine Booth, co-founder of The Salvation Army, was an accomplished preacher and wrote a pamphlet entitled, Female Ministry or Woman’s Right to Preach the Gospel in 1859, which systematically refuted claims that women shouldn’t preach. She wrote,

“[W]e think that we shall be able to show, by a fair and consistent interpretation…[t]hat not only is the public ministry of  woman not forbidden, but absolutely enjoyed by both precept and example in the word of God.  She also wrote, “And we find from Church history that the primitive Christians understood it; for that women did actually speak and preach amongst them we have indisputable proof.”

From left to right, top to bottom: Major Noelle Nelson, Captain Bridget McCort, Captain Stephanie Pavlakis, Captain Jamie Stokes, Captain Tanya Pemberton, Major Dina Graciani

Colonel Genevera Vincent, Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries challenges us with these words: 

“As women we have been given a sacred privilege of preaching the Living, Breathing Word of God. This is a privilege not to be taken lightly but one that should fill us with joy…we get to share the Word!  As women, God has gifted us with a voice, He has given us something to say—so let’s avail of every opportunity to use this God given privilege and preach the Word with power and conviction.”

From left to right, top to bottom: Captain Deanna Markham, Major Harryette Raihl, Captain Felicia LeMar, Captain Stephanie Philpot, Major Lawry Smith, Captain Martha Apuan

We had three retired officers also participate: Lt. Colonel Shawn Posillico preaching in Prescott, AZ, Major Flo Murray preaching in Sitka, AK and Major Willdonna Rich preaching in Concord, CA.

From left to right: Major Flo Murray, Major Willdonna Rich, Lt. Colonel Shawn Posillico

Not only officers, but soldiers shared the morning message. Kittura Wimer preached at San Diego Centre City Corps, CA. Ellen Lasater preached in Auburn, CA. Alina Santamaria preached in Flagstaff, AZ while her mother, Major Sybil Smith preached in Torrance, CA.

From left to right, top to bottom: Kittura Wimer, Ellen Lasater
Alina Santamaria, Major Sybil Smith

Commissioner Colleen Riley, Territorial President of Women’s Ministries shares this from her heart:

Women who are called by God, it is our privilege to share His gospel with the world. Let’s take up the mantle and preach. The world for Jesus.” #womenpreach

From left to right, top to bottom: Captain Amber Ohl, Major Jennifer Masango
Major Shevaun Malone, Captain Heather Baze, Captain Heather Pope

Congratulations to the Alaska Division, who had all their corps, including the three run by single men, fill their pulpits with a woman preacher!

From left to right, top to bottom:
Major Jennifer Erickson-King, Captain Serena Woods, Captain Monica Kyle, Major Tina Bottjen,
Captain Heather Witcher, Captain Belle Green, Major Barbara Wehnau, Major Gina Halverson,
Lt. Rosie Tollerud, Captain Minhee Lee, Captain Michelle Josephson, Captain Shelby Qualls

Women, your voices needs to be heard.  We pray that women will continue to fill our pulpits and preach the Word of God.  Start preparing now for next year, when we celebrate “Women Preach Sunday” on March  2, 2025.

From left to right: Commissioner Colleen Riley, Colonel Genevera Vincent

February 2024 Craft: Napkin Mod Podge Planter

By Captain Hilda Parks
Renton, WA Corps
Northwest Division

A great way to unplug is to craft. Here is an easy craft that you can make and enjoy during your “unplugged” times.

Materials: 
Plant
Mug 
Decorative Napkins
Mod podge 
paint brush

Instructions: 

  • Pick any small plant from your patio or buy a small one at any grocery store. 
  • Chose any mug and floral napkins that you like, preferable ones with flowers so you can cut the pattern.  
  • Once cut attach one by one to the mug, using the mod podge, then cover the mug entirely with your patterns in a thin layer of mod podge using a brush or even your fingers.
  • Once all covered add a full coat of mod podge.
  • Allow to dry 24 hours then enjoy with your favorite plant.

February 2024 Flourish Newsletter

According to a recent survey 84% of all cell phone users claim they could not go a single day without their devices. Another study showed that mobile device owners check their devices every 6.5 minutes! We like our technology and apparently can’t live without it!

This month we are focusing on flourishing by being deeply rooted in the spiritual discipline of Unplugging. In her book Spiritual Disciplines: Practices That Transform Us, Adele Ahlberg Calhoun writes, “Unplugging calls us to leave the virtual world of technology (computers, email, cell phones, iPads, iPods, etc.) in order to become present to God and others.”

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35

Inside you will find a devotional, conversation starters, a monthly Bible reading plan and other resources to help you incorporate the spiritual discipline of unplugging in your walk with Jesus.

Download this month’s issue:

January 2024 Flourish Newsletter

Happy New Year! This month we are focusing on flourishing by deeply rooted in the spiritual discipline of Journaling. In her book Spiritual Disciplines: Practices That Transform Us, Adele Ahlberg Calhoun defines journaling as, “a tool for reflecting on God’s presence, guidance and nurture in daily comings and goings. Journals can be kept regularly or during time of transitions.” The new year is a great time to begin the discipline of journaling.

Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles and the judgments he pronounced. Psalm 105:5

Inside you will find a devotional, conversation starters (or journal prompts), a monthly Bible reading plan and other resources to help you incorporate the spiritual discipline of journaling in your walk with Jesus.

Download this month’s issue: