Women’s Auxiliary hosts four teas across Texas
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) –Little girls don’t have to be taught to dress up in their mother’s pearls and high heels. No one has to show them how to set a Fisher-Price table with a Toys-R-Us tea set and plastic scones, and no one has to teach them to speak daintily and cordially to the stuffed animals and dolls attending the tea. Yet, somewhere between age 3 and 33, a modern and largely egalitarian society has a way of roughing up those soft edges and coaxing women to brush off those graceful tendencies.
First Lady Dorothy Patterson, however, has not let that become the case at Southwestern, where she frequently holds teas for the Women’s Auxiliary (WA), complete with all the delicate trimmings femininity naturally gravitates toward. This year, Southwestern hosted teas in four cities across Texas, welcoming women in Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio to join in an afternoon fit for a 19th-century genteel woman.
Southwestern WA Coordinator Karen Collett said hosting the three teas away from the seminary created an invaluable connection between the WA and the women who so fervently support and pray for the Southwestern family. Carol Prock, who hosted the San Antonio tea in her home, told Collett and her WA team that the tea literally changed lives and fanned the flame of passion for the Gospel and Southwestern’s work toward sharing it.
“I believe, without reservation, that this is a new beginning for us all here in San Antonio and all because of Mrs. Patterson and her well-oiled machine,” Prock wrote in a letter to Collett. “It made me realize how much we need to reintroduce graciousness back into our homes and cities. It is up to us women to make sure that our families learn to take time out and find a quiet place to rest and focus on our families—the hub of Christianity.”
A record 166 women attended the Fort Worth Women’s Auxiliary Tea, April 11, where Dressed for Service recipients modeled their new outfits in a highly anticipated fashion show and where First Lady Dorothy Patterson thanked the attendees for their faithful support of the seminary and its students.
“Doesn’t that just excite you to see how God is using this mentoring program?” Patterson asked the women. “These girls are not just given a check to go buy an outfit, but someone goes with them to shop and you can tell how they put things together so beautifully. They are going to be leaders in the community and they need to look like that, and they need to draw people to Christ through their very appearance.”
While the women visited at their tables over tea and sandwiches, Southwestern Trustee George Tynes played several selections on the piano. Distinguished Professor of Homemaking Pat Ennis spoke after the Dressed for Service fashion show and reminded women to adorn themselves with the spiritual fruits before considering their physical wardrobe.
Patterson asked the women to continue in their commitments to their local churches and to the seminary, imploring each one to “do what she could”—the scripture from Mark 14:8, which Patterson said she hopes to one day have chiseled on her tombstone.
“That’s what I would say to every one of you,” Patterson said. “You are a perfect example of that principle: ‘She did what she could.’”
Patterson concluded the Fort Worth tea by praying that God would enable the women to give of themselves to accomplish the goals the Lord would have for them.
“I’ve never known a time in church history where women have not been right at the center of getting your kingdom work done, so God give us a vision, God just touch our hearts to do our part and when we get to the Bema, I pray you’ll be able to say about me and every woman in this room, ‘She did what she could.’”