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U GROW GIRL! is on the move!  We are truly blessed and highly favored!  Tea Thyme 2008 was an opportunity for autonomous groups of U GROW GIRL! women to come together and meet as one……E Pluribus Unum ‘out of many one’.  In the beauty of a sunny Southern California Saturday afternoon, U GROW GIRL! leaders (aka Leading Ladies) gathered to declare and affirm the value and uniqueness of each woman in her group.  Currently, there are U GROW GIRL! groups based in Los Angeles, Inglewood, Compton, and San Pedro.

Afternoon tea proved to be the perfect setting for GIRLz from across the southland to meet and greet one another.   The women ranged in age from 21 to 80 years young.  There was no generational barrier!   In fact, the opposite was true.  Several mother-daughter duos were present and Marenda was joined by her mother and grandmother!  Now that’s an example of crossing the generational divide while living and leaving a legacy!

In the tradition of afternoon tea, the women arrived wearing hats, gloves, and hearts prepared to be blessed.  There was a selection of gloves provided for anyone who did not have ‘gloves on hand’.  And yes, there were some GIRLz who had just gotten their coifs done and they wore hats in spirit.  The collective spirit was absolutely tea-rific!

The linen was crisp, the tea cups and china sparkled, cloth napkins and eclectic rings adorned each placesetting, and food was in abundance.  The assortment of teas, petite sandwiches, fruit, dips, nuts, and desserts was a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.  Pinkies were extended as the beau-tea-ful women sipped tea.  The decorating details included small elevated ‘tea’ words (sorori-tea, uni-tea, guaran-tea) scattered throughout the setting.  Background music included classical sounds such as Bolero.

Leading Ladies Nikki Ace, Joyce Carroll, Aleta Schexnayder, and Marenda Hughes-Taylor stepped front and center to affirm and honor each of the women in her group.  The Leading Ladies recognize the giftedness and value of every one of her women and that message was conveyed for all to hear.  Each of the GIRLz was blessed and affirmed individually, by her leader and collectively by the other women.    Each woman received a custom decorated ‘Tea Bag’ (aka gift bag) with items to commemorate the afternoon.  Guests who were present were affirmed and blessed and got a little taste of U GROW GIRL! love! 

The speaker for the afternoon was Rev. Theresa Francis-Smith.  She shared from the heart and touched hearts for eterni-tea.  Theresa encouraged the GIRLz to ‘Be Still and Know That I Am God’.  Everyone present was able to take away words by which to g-r-o-w. 

Ms. Sharee Stephenson shared her gift of dance.  Sharee blessed the group with liturgical dances to Stand and Let Go Let God.  She received plen-tea of love and a standing ovation as she ushered the GIRLz into the presence of the Holy One.

Tea Thyme 2008 was a dream that came true!  It would not have been possible without the collective efforts of the Leading Ladies and the GIRLz!  Leading Ladies Nikki, Joyce, Aleta, and Marenda are absolutely tea-rific women who from their overflow of love, are able to pour into the lives of other women.  They give unselfish leadership at monthly meetings and consistently explore ways to build up and enhance women’s lives.  I tip my hat and take off my gloves in their honor!

If you are interested in growing and have a few friends who want to grow, U GROW GIRL!  may be just what you’ve been looking for.  Starting a group is simple.  The growth is tremendous and the foundation is solid, which is the Bible.  It’s so much easier to do life successfully in connection with other like-minded women.  Women’s voices are heard; connections are made; growth is achieved, and all while having f-u-n. 

No cloning!  Each group has its own dynamic and direction.  The focus and flavor of each group reflects the goals and needs of those who meet.  What’s your flavor?   Now is the time to make plans to grow financially, spiritually, and/or relationally.  I would love to meet with you and explore the possibilities! 

Click below to view pictures of the TEA 



Posted on Oct 26, 2008

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