Our young women need our support. After all, they hold the keys to the future of our congregations — we need them, too! The congregations and the Diocese work together to make Time for J.O.Y. a success, to bring the women the renewal they need and deserve.

Each church needs a willing sponsor, or at least coordinator, to find a young woman within the congregation, to encourage her to attend and to make certain her way is financially provided for. Everything should be done to help the woman’s family be secure in her going away for a weekend, such as coordinating baby-sitting and providing meals or other needed support. This sponsor will also be the contact for the Time for J.O.Y. staff should questions arise.  Often, the ECW serves as the sponsor.

Ideally, the sponsor would also be the mentor to the young woman when she returns from the retreat. The key to success of the ministry is the continuing support of the local church community in the woman’s life. Time for J.O.Y. may be a separate ministry within a congregation or may fit with an existing ministry of the congregation. Either way, the intention is that the young woman’s spiritual experience does not stop after the retreat is over but continues within the local church family. Having at least one mentor and growing from there is a start for bringing Time for J.O.Y. to the congregations, but there is no exact form. Hopefully more ideas will follow!