By Patrick Downes Hawaii Catholic Herald
Bonnie Moore is a petite, bespectacled woman who glows with the goodness of the Lord. Lines of Scripture flow through her conversation as she talks about her latest venture, Most Beautiful Among Women, a “ministry for women of all ages and walks of life” she founded in September 2016.
“Taste and see the goodness of the Lord, happy the one who takes refuge in him,” she said.
The group meets from 1 to 4 p.m. on the third Sunday of each month at the Kamiano Center at the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, where Moore is a parishioner, on the Fort Street Mall in downtown Honolulu.
All women are welcome. All you have to do is show up. The group has grown to about 40 members.
“We are a fellowship of women,” its colorful brochure says, “single, married, mothers, daughters those with no children, widowed, divorced —with varied talents, strengths, weaknesses and gifts.”
The name comes from the Song of Songs: “Where has your Beloved gone, O most beautiful among women? Where has your Beloved turned, that we may seek Him with you.”
The meetings open with prayer and singing, followed by lunch. The group’s music and dance teams perform praise and worship music at various times during the meeting. Anyone can join in.
Moore conducts a Bible study lesson on a specific theme and distributes a 10-20 page handout rich in Scripture quotes which expounds on her teaching.
Participants share stories and testimonies, some revealing problems “so we can all pray for and over them,” Moore said.
“Sometimes there are tears and sometimes laughing,” she said. “Women tend to share and tell a lot and are comfortable about it with other women.”
The meetings conclude with a “prayer circle” to pray for “our state, our country, the nations, for government leaders, for all people to be saved and come to know the truth,” Moore said. “Then we lay our hands on and pray for those who are sick.”
“We have fun, good fun, together in the Lord, and a lot of joy and comfort,” Moore said. “We feel like family, and we try to look after each other.”
“One member told me that she felt so alone and afraid about the future because she has no family and no children but now she feels safe because she knows we are there for her,” she said.
“We want to be like the early Christians who cared for one another and had love for one another,” Moore said.
“Many women said they have been looking for a women’s ministry like ours but did not know it existed,” she said.
The group also has a prison ministry and a TV, video and evangelization ministry.
“Our projects are as varied as the skills and talents of our members led by the Holy Spirit,” said Moore, who is an attorney.
The next Sunday fellowship meeting is Nov. 19. Among the activities will be free massages by a professional masseuse.
Last month, the organization took a big step into homeless ministry, signing a one-year lease for an apartment in Kukui Plaza near downtown Honolulu for two of its homeless members. It is a service Moore hopes to expand with more housing.
“The apartment is so beautiful with everything new: appliances, toilet, flooring, air conditioner, cabinets and sink tops, and it has become a beautiful home for the homeless,” Moore wrote on her organization’s website.
The $1,500-a-month rent is being paid for by donations, “from a dollar to any amount God puts on your heart,” she said.
Most Beautiful Among Women is planning its yearly all-day workshop, Saturday, Jan. 20, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., at Kamiano Center. It will have lessons, fellowship, praise and worship, breakfast and lunch, gifts and prizes. For more information, and to register, go to www.hisgoodness2018.com.
“This year God gave me his theme” for the workshop, Moore said. It’s “The Year of His Goodness.”
“I can’t wait to see all the good things he will be doing in and for us,” she said. “We have only to open our hearts in faith to receive his goodness.”
Most Beautiful Among Women is a program of Marana tha Ministries Inc., a non-profit charitable organization headed by Moore, which among other things, offers Bible studies and television programs, records and distributes original sacred songs, and conducts outreach to the poor.
For more information about Most Beautiful Among Women, visit www.mbaw.info.