For those of you who don’t know, I have been working at the Crystal Cathedral as the Admin Assistant for Relational Ministries (which includes children, youth, men, women, weddings, care, new members & baptisms, and stewardship – yes, we keep busy here!) since mid-August.
First, I want to say that I absolutely LOVE my job, and it’s mostly because of the amazing team I work with! I could not have asked for more caring, understanding, and supportive co-workers! Oh, and we have a lot of fun, too!
Okay, now that I’ve said that, on to what I’m writing this post about…RUBY.
Let’s start with a little history. Four years ago, my predecessor, my boss and my boss’ daughter started a mentoring program for the middle school girls who attend the Crystal Cathedral Academy called GEL: Growing Exceptional Ladies. They meet twice a month during their lunch break with a high school girl and just talk about life through a series of guided questions created by the leadership. The girls fell in love with the program and they started asking for a high school version of GEL, but there wasn’t the “woman-power” to make it happen.
Fast forward to late September. We had a meeting with the high school leaders to discuss GEL for this school year and I listened carefully to what they were saying and while we were indeed discussing the middle school program, certain comments the girls made really tugged at my heart and lead me to talk to Michelle (my boss) about starting a high school program, fashioned after GEL.
With her exuberant blessing, I began researching to nail down out the purpose, goals, and curriculum for the program. I knew I wanted the program to be about the true worth and value of a woman because the world sends such strong messages to our young women about what that is and, unfortunately, causes low self-esteem, placing one’s value in what others think of them, and making poor decisions to go along with the crowd to feel like they belong.
I finally stumbled across Proverbs 31:10, “A wife of noble character, who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” (NIV) Rubies…that really stuck with me, so I started learning more about rubies, especially in history and discovered that rubies are actually rarer than diamonds (naturally) and can be worth much more than diamonds. It’s also one of just four “precious” gemstones, the other three being diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires. They’re in good company!
I began brainstorming ideas on how I could use this ruby symbolism to explain another component of the program, helping girls discover their gifts, talents and strengths and how they can use that in their future careers and ministry opportunities. I have had a passion for helping teenagers figure out what it is they want to do with their lives and even earned my M.A.Ed. in Educational Counseling as well as my California PPS credential to be a school counselor after spending 600 hours doing intern work. This identity search teenagers are on just had to be a part of this program.
On my way to work one day (I do some of my best thinking driving to and from work), I started thinking of words that I could use to create an acronym for RUBY that encompassed discovering and becoming the women God created them to be. The result, “Realizing, Understanding, Becoming YOU.” Not only is it about discovering who they are and who God created them to be, but it’s also about understanding how to use what God gave them, and then develop into that woman.
Much of the curriculum will come from the study of women in the Bible, both good and not-so-good and how we can learn from these women about what the characteristics that we should have as daughters of God. The girls will meet with women from the Relational Ministries team twice a month in small groups to discuss these women and characteristics, pray, develop relationships with those in their group, and of course, socialize and snack!
It’s still a work in progress since I’m developing everything from scratch and how to integrate the individual identity component into just 40 minutes each meeting is proving a bit of a challenge, but I believe that God will provide a way for this to happen and reveal it to me when the time is right.
I am so excited for this program to begin! We got the approval from the high school principal and will launch on November 18! Letters and permission slip forms will go out to parents with first quarter report cards this week and I’m working on designing the poster, hopefully to go up no later than Monday. Plus we’re making announcements in chapel on Monday to let the girls know what’s going on!
I would really appreciate your prayers as we begin this program and if you’re interested in financially supporting this ministry (for materials and snacks), please send your donation to Crystal Cathedral Women’s Ministry, 12141 Lewis St., Garden Grove, CA, 92840 and be sure to designate it for RUBY.
Thank you for letting me share with you and for supporting me in this ministry! I’ll post updates as often as possible!