This year marks the tenth anniversary of the
formation of Bethany Association, an
international, ecumenical, charismatic network of
women who are living single for the Lord in the
Sword of the Spirit.
When we first met together, there were 17 women
throughout the Sword of the Spirit who had made
lifelong commitments to living single for the
Lord. Each of us had experienced this call as
members of our local covenant communities, but we
had no formal connection to one another. In 2009,
after considering how we might come together to
actively support one another, make our way of life
more visible, and help young women who feel called
to live single for the Lord in the Sword of the
Spirit, we ratified our charter, and the Lord gave
us our name Bethany Association.
In the North American Region, there are currently
seven sisters who are members of Bethany
Association: Jeanne Kun, Sherry Snyder, Sue
Cummins, (The Word of Life, Ann Arbor, Michigan),
Lori Covak (Community of Christ the Redeemer, St.
Paul Minnesota), Nohelia Lopez (City on the Hill,
Los Angeles, California) Marge Connelly (People of
God, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), and our newest
member, Rebeca Sastre (Light of Christ Community,
Grand Rapids, MI). In total, there are 21 sisters
throughout the Sword of the Spirit with lifelong
and full commitments.
two of our founding sisters, Beth Melchor, (Asian
Region) and Myriam Torres (North America) have
passed away. These two women gave witness by their
lives and deaths to the hope of the resurrection
and the impact that women living single for the
Lord can have in the Sword of the Spirit.
Over the past ten years, we have grown in our
understanding of who we are and how we see
ourselves serving our communities, our churches,
and our Lord through our involvement in the
mission of the Sword of the Spirit. Bethany
sisters do not all live together nor do we have
all our finances in common. Our local communities
and our homes are the places from which we receive
pastoral care, work to support ourselves, and
serve. Like Martha and Mary who served the Lord by
offering him a home to rest in and be refreshed,
we want to imitate the way they cared for the
needs of Jesus and his disciples, but also were
attentive to him and listened to his words.
As an association, we encourage young women in our
communities and outreaches to live radical and
dedicated lives for the Lord no matter what state
of life they are called to live. Toward that end,
we recently developed a booklet that can be used
throughout the Sword of the Spirit as a resource
for helping women discern their state in life.
Keep your eyes on the lookout for the unveiling of
a new Bethany website where we plan to offer
access to this resource guide and other
inspirational materials. Bethany Association holds
an international conference biannually — this
coming August we will be meeting in Costa Rica —
for its members. Young women in more serious
stages of discerning a call to live single for the
Lord are invited to join us. We also occasionally
offer regional retreats.
sisters with lifelong commitments at 2017
Bethany conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
Lower two photos: Myriam Torres and Beth
Melchor of blessed memory
article was first published in the North
American Newsletter of the Sword of the
Spirit, April 2019.