The Corporeal Acts of Mercy: How Love Heals
Saturday, February 4
4 p.m. First lecture by the Rev. Becca Stevens
5:30 p.m. Book signing, social hour, and dinner (suggested $10)
6:45 p.m. Second lecture by the Rev. Becca Stevens
Sunday, February 5
9 & 11:15 a.m. The Rev. Becca Stevens will preach in the Historic Church services
10:25 a.m. Third lecture by the Rev. Becca Stevens
Becca Stevens, founder of Thistle Farms, the Nashville-based community for women who have survived trafficking, prostitution and addiction, will be the key note speaker at our annual Eckhardt Mission series this February.
“One of our goals at Thistle Farms is to be part of a movement for global healing and to change a culture that still buys and sells women and children,” commented Stevens. “Since 1997, we have been a witness that women’s lives can be transformed through community. Last year we trained more than 100 cities in learning how to heal the oldest scars in the world. Our goal is to inspire communities to take action on their own. When you heal women, you heal the village.”
Thistle Farms includes a two-year residential program, called Magdalene, and social enterprises that employ survivors. The community provides housing, food, healthcare, therapy and education, without any cost to residents. The social enterprises include a Home and Body line, Thistle Stop Café, an artisan studio and a Global Market. Last year 59 survivors earned over $850,000 in income, and Thistle Farms reached over $2,000,000 in sales revenue. Its Global Market partners with 22 enterprises providing employment to 1,400 women worldwide. The Thistle Farms Education arm has developed into a national network of 60 affiliate programs across the country that model all or part of themselves on Thistle Farms. When Becca speaks the listener is struck by her earnest, empathetic delivery infused with her personality and sense of humor. Her message is honest and she offers groups a way to move from fear and cynicism into inspired action.
Thistles Farms employees will be in attendance at this event to sell handmade body care products made by the women in the organization.
Becca Stevens is an Episcopal priest, author of 9 books, speaker, social entrepreneur, founder and the President of Thistle Farms, the largest social enterprise in the US run by survivors. She has been featured in the New York Times, on ABC World News, NPR, PBS, and was recently named a 2016 Top 10 CNN Hero. In 2011, the White House named Becca a “Champion of Change”. She was featured in the PBS documentary, “A Path Appears,” named Humanitarian of the Year by the Small Business Council of America as well as the TJ Martell Foundation, and inducted into the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame. She has been conferred two honorary doctorates. Her newest book is, Letters from the Farm: A Simple Path for a Deeper Spiritual Life.
Becca regularly keynotes at national events, business gatherings, morning worship in churches as well as universities and colleges across the country inspiring young adults to live into their ideals. She is an international voice for the growing global movement for women’s freedom and a fervently hopeful and determinedly loving champion for the marginalized. She lives in Nashville, TN where she serves as an Episcopal priest and lives with her Grammy-winning songwriter husband and three sons.
About the Eckhardt Mission Series
“Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” John 12-21
Louise Adams Eckhardt brought joy and prayer to the St. David’s parish. Her presence among us was a gift that we treasured while she was with us. In 1987, she gave an endowed gift to St. David’s to remain with us through time by establishing the James Eckhardt Mission Series. This series, a preaching / teaching event featuring a Biblical presentation of the Scriptures according the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is for the Parish family of St. David’s and other peoples of the greater Austin community.
In making this gift, she cited John 12:21, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” A secondary objective in establishing the series was “to provide a more personal teaching and sharing experience for various groups within St. David’s Parish and to bring people into a closer personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”
The series name honors the memory of Dr. James W. Eckhardt for his dedicated Christian ministry to the medical profession.
Not only did she provide for this series in her lifetime, she left a bequest equal to her original gift for the series in her Will. Additionally, she left gifts to St. David’s for food, healing youth, altar guild, mission and evangelism, and prayer ministries. Her generous offerings of abundance to our parish began with sharing her smile and her prayers and her belief in Jesus Christ.
With her Will, she told the parish how much ministry, prayer, and teaching about Jesus Christ meant to [her] in her life. She has left a legacy for those of us who knew her and for those who did not. Those touched by her generosity today and in the future will know the value of her lifework and her love for St. David’s through the teaching series that she has left for generations of people to experience. Louise’s gift blesses us all with God’s love.