A Day of Dialog was a full and wonderful morning of praise, sharing and ministry affirming dialog. As we embraced Lectio Devino worship we began our dialog by listening to Psalm 61:1-5 in both the NRSV and The Message; thinking about the scripture and listening to the Holy Spirit. Each of us paused to hear the Word of God read to us, pour over us and absorb us. We listened to the word of God, patiently anticipating the rich dialog to follow and the blessings that would ensue. Reverend Mayra Castaneda took us on a “Dirt Road Journey”, sharing her call to ministry, the turns, bumps and curves. She shared the benefits of a dirt road journey versus the deceiving ease of paved roads. She shared her challenges and her triumphs which enabled her to yield to God’s call to serving as a senior pastor even without role models. God guided her all the way. Rev. Patrice Hernandez shared the national landscape for WIM and a closer look at WIM in New Jersey. She expressed the necessity of a partnership between male and female clergy so that there is equal access for women to share the gifts that God has given them to share with the people of God. Living into your calling and being obedient requires each of us to serve God’s people by sharing the full array of gifts that God has given us. After each workshop we separated into small breakout groups and reflectively discussed the content that was shared with us. We found similarities in our journeys, advice, affirmation and encouragement. We recognized that while our ministry and our calling is ordained by God we may need to seek alternate venues for our ministry to be realized. We discussed the need to shadow WIM that are serving in senior pastor positions, to form alliances within clergy and that it is essential to raise congregational awareness about the biblical and ethical basis for equity in ministry.
ACCESS has defined by Rev. Hernandez, serves as a catalyst for the national emphasis and the newly formed Advisory Team that will continue to look for ways to educate, advocate and support Women in Ministry. The vision of ABWIM is to seek the full participation and full partnership of men and women in ministry in which both women and men are able to fully utilize their God-given gifts and fully live out their God-given call. Moreover, through Shining the Spotlight on Women in Ministry, their mission emphasis, Rev. Hernandez will continue to encourage and guide WIM. In many ways ACCESS both summarizes and establishes the goals for ABWIM and the focus for WIM within New Jersey.
- Advocating for equal access in placement and opportunities for ministry
- Cultivating women’s call to ministry
- Celebrating the gifts women bring to ministry
- Educating congregations about the biblical basis for women in ministry
- Shining the
- Spotlight on American Baptist Women in Ministry!
All in all, it was a blessed and inspiring day. WIM will meet again on December 1, 2012 for our annual Women In Ministry prayer breakfast. Location and time will be shared soon.