Susan Yates Delivers Her Advent Message to a Packed House at ECW (Every Church Woman) Luncheon
Just before noon on Friday, December 6, the Parish Hall was abuzz with women of St. Philip’s, their guests, and other ladies from across our diocese, all of whom had come to enjoy an elegant luncheon while listening to renowned speaker Susan Alexander Yates deliver her Advent message: “Finding Peace in a Season of Uncertainty.”
After filling their plates with mixed greens and anything they desired from an extensive salad bar that included black beans, broccoli, diced hardboiled eggs, bacon bits, shredded cheese, croutons, and more––plus Chef Connie Stahl’s broiled salmon drizzled with a lemon Dijon sauce––the ladies took their seats at tables beautifully appointed by the ECW.
The Rev. Andrew O’Dell opened with a prayer, and ECW president Joanna Ghegan stepped in to introduce Susan, mother of five and grandmother of 21––a rather staggering number Susan admits “shocks” her, although that’s mostly because that number jumped very quickly when her daughter Libby gave birth to quadruplets.
Susan began with a disclaimer, because she was sure some of the ladies were looking at her and thinking, “What is the deal with her hair?” The smattering of tiny braids secured with turquoise beads was the result of time spent at a family reunion over Thanksgiving. Two eleven-year-old granddaughters urged her to get “beaded,”and Susan, wanting to do something special with them, agreed. “But nobody has told me how to get them out!” she announced with a laugh. And even though one of her friends told her that she could not go to St. Philip’s in Charleston, a really proper church, with beads in her hair, she did it anyway, figuring it was her right as a grandmother. (Grandmothers can do whatever they want.)
After the laughter died down, she quickly moved on to her program, offering insights about how to experience the supernatural peace of Jesus in a season of uncertainty, a time when women might feel overwhelmed and, as a result, fearful. But God, she explained, is bigger than whatever issue it is we’re dealing with. “Remember me,” she felt God say once when she was concerned about her adult child and allowing the problem she thought the child might have “to grow and grow and grow” in her head.
She encouraged the ladies present to begin a lifelong journey of discovering just how big God is; even though there’s no way to truly get to that point “this side of Heaven,” those who search will grow in Christ along the way.
To listen to Susan’s program, please click below or find St. Philip’s Church’s “ECW Speakers” podcast through your favorite podcast app.