Kathleen Cummins, our Anchor chair, is a wife, a mother and a wealth manager. Kathleen manages a team at her firm who care for a small number of families, mainly on the west coast. Kathleen is a frequent speaker on faith, finance and giving.
Dear Friends, In March of last year, Katie Robertson and I were discussing an upcoming Anchor Gathering. We had thought we would have to cancel due to the Covid shutdown. Katie said, “I have the singer, the speaker, and the Anchor moment all scheduled. Our team has coordinated the food, drinks and flowers. How can we not gather together to encourage our women? Women need encouragement now more than ever!”
God answered our prayers in a way we could not have imagined. In the months prior to the shutdown, we had felt led to use our initial donor funds to get The Anchor Gathering website up and running. Then in May 2020, we launched the Anchor Live on YouTube so we could continue to reach women every month and everywhere. Our original 10 Anchor in-person gatherings grew exponentially as we were able to send the message out to women everywhere through our new virtual events. (Click here to read Jenn Lawler Haralson’s moving Anchor Moment from the May 2020 Anchor Live below where she shares how the Anchor changed her life.)
New Outreach in a Time of Need
Now, a year later, we continue our work to encourage women in faith and friendship by sharing a monthly video called Anchor at Home. The spirit and format are much like our former in person gatherings. Since the shutdown, we have hosted the Anchor at Home more than ten times! The Anchor now premieres on YouTube the first Thursday of the month, October through June and to date we have more than 6500 YouTube views and have been watched in all 50 states. In person gatherings are still happening, but they have moved to smaller “watch parties” in people’s homes where women gather together to watch and share and they in turn encourage their children, husbands, friends and family to become anchored in their faith in Jesus.
After 8 years as a volunteer run and led organization, we are now in the midst of our first year of operation as a 501c3 non-profit mission. As the new year began, we brought our founder Katie Robertson on as our Executive Director and first official employee! This step was crucial to the long-term success of the Anchor. In addition, we have recently hired a part-time assistant for Katie. We have been able to pay for our website and monthly videos and a new Bible study series all because of our generous supporters like you.
Like our board members and early donors, you have caught the vision of sharing with others that Jesus is for real and faith in Him is an Anchor for the soul.
The Anchor’s Impact
What have we gotten as return for our investment? We continue to see lives changed for the better. Women are growing in faith and friendship in these uncertain times. We see friends reaching out to women who need to know the good news. The testimonies on our videos are being used by women to share with friends who don’t know about Jesus or who have lost their way.
The Anchor’s Hope
Our 12 committed and excited board members gathered at our inaugural board retreat in October 2020 and were led to adopt the goal: “A million women for Jesus!” This statement rings so true to our mission. In the next twenty years, we want to be everywhere, touching the lives of (at least!) a million women. Women need to know that they are loved by their heavenly Father, and He has a wonderful plan for their life! We are excited to share the good news of the gospel and we need your help to keep growing and impacting women’s lives.
Helping Us Get There
Would you be willing to join with us and prayerfully consider a gift, either a one-time gift or a monthly donation? We need your help now more than ever to build for the future and strengthen what we already have seen God build into our organization. Will you come on board and join us in encouraging women everywhere and sharing the hope found in Jesus?
Please reach out to Katie or me with your thoughts or questions. We would love to hear from you and are so grateful for you!
Chair, The Anchor Gathering | Gig Harbor, Washington
The Impact of The Anchor
At our first ever Anchor Live (now known as the Anchor at Home), Jenn Lawler Haralson shared a moving Anchor Moment about The Anchor itself!
Jenn and her family
After a freak accident at a school assembly, former Principal Jenn Lawler Haralson experienced symptoms from a vestibular concussion for a year and a half. During this time, Jenn went through immense amounts of suffering, therapy, and change including ending a long-term relationship and moving back in with her parents. This was not where she envisioned her life at age 33.
Jenn began a Romans study at BSF and was convicted by a particular verse, Roman’s 5:3-5.
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
In Jenn’s own words:
“I read that verse and was in the middle of suffering and was thinking, ‘rejoice in our suffering?!’ I’m sorry but I’m out of my career, I’m having a hard time processing conversations, I’m dizzy, I’m having migraines, how can I possibly rejoice in suffering?”
Jenn tried to concentrate on the hope, but the more self aware she became, the more despair she felt. She was yearning and longing for something more. On a Thursday night in November 2017, Jenn timidly took up her mother’s invitation to attend the Anchor Gathering. From Jenn:
“A week later, my mom was telling me about The Anchor. ‘What is The Anchor?’ I asked. It sounded like a social gathering, and I heard there would be wine, chocolate and cheese. I’m in the depths of despair, living at home, sad from the relationship I left, and healing from emotional trauma. I don’t want to go to the Anchor, I want to sit at home and be anti social! Then I feel this voice inside me to go and so I do.
And I’m sitting there playing with my cocktail napkin, starting to tear up in my eyes. I’m listening to her talk about these turning points and I just get this flood of emotion. I know it was the Holy Spirit saying, ‘Jenn, you’ve been doing it your way for so long, how about you come try doing it my way.’
It was in that moment where I thought, ‘Okay, according to C.S. Lewis, Jesus isn’t a liar and he isn’t a lunatic, so he must be the Lord. How do I follow you? Show me how to believe. Show me how to have hope how to have faith.’
Tears were falling and I tried to sneak away. I’m visibly upset but I’m hearing the Holy Spirit come through me right there at The Anchor at St. Thomas. I’m making this choice: Hey God, show me how to believe. Show me how to follow you. I don’t know how to do this. But I’m tired, and I can’t keeping doing this my way.”
Several moms also at The Anchor saw Jenn in despair and came alongside her giving her a space of comfort to share what she was going through. She describes it as a “moment where other sisters in Christ came alongside me, scooped me up, and held me secure in that moment.”
Jenn has some amazing words of encouragement about The Anchor:
I hope you can find opportunities to rejoice in suffering by believing that suffering does produce endurance, and endurance does produce character, and character does produce hope, and that hope is in Jesus. We can turn all of our anxiety, fear, worry, concern, shame, and vulnerability over to prayer and we can rely on a community of women to share it with. Look for the women around you who might be needing you to scoop them up the same way I was scooped up at The Anchor three years ago.