Leadership Skills Blossom at First WM Conference in Turkey
Middle East and Northern Africa Union (MENA)
[Istanbul] Women appointed to women's ministries leadership roles in congregations of the Turkey-Iran Field met in Istanbul, Turkey for the first field-wide conference, February 27-March 1.
Establishing women's ministries teams in each congregation began with Level 1 training for WM Leadership Certification. Participants received take-home materials, including the GCWM Bible study series, Women in the Bible and Me.
Even the unexpected loss of electricity for several hours in this challenging territory provided additional time for relationships to flourish.
Contributed by Ute Alkan, Turkey-Iran Field WM director
2015 GC Session Women's Meetings
Join us for Women's Meetings, July 6-9, 2015, at the 60th General Conference Session in San Antonio, Texas, USA. Morning meetings are Monday – Thursday, 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM. Afternoon meetings are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM. Full schedule
100 Days of Prayer, March 25-July 11
You are invited to pray for the world church during the 100 Days of Prayer, beginning March 25 and ending July 11, the final day of 2015 GC Session.
Adventist Women's Bible
View this video to peek inside the first Adventist Women's Bible, co-produced by Safeliz Publishing (of Spain) and GC Women's Ministries. Click here and scroll down to Women's Bible.
June 13, Women's Ministries Emphasis Day
"Spiritual Strength for Such a Time as This,” by Dr. Ella S. Simmons
"God created you for a divine appointment—a unique role to fulfill in your life—just like Esther! There is something you can do for God that no one else can do—a God-given niche only you can fill.”—Dr. Simmons Download packet
Women's Ministries Celebrates its 20th Anniversary
Around the world this year, women come together with joy and gratitude to celebrate the 20th anniversary of departmental status for Women's Ministries.
The 20th anniversary banner image (right) became a custom edible photo when screened onto the icing of a picture cake in Botswana (below).
Additional 20th anniversary graphics are available. Download graphics
Women's Ministries Around the World
First Lady of Cape Verde Visits Women's Ministries Congress
West-Central Africa Division (WAD)
WM leaders with the First Lady of Cape Verde (third from left)
[Cape Verde, Senegal] The First Lady of Cape Verde, Ligia Fonseca, thanked Women's Ministries at the congress held in Praia, Cape Verde for their dedicated work to end violence against women. Fonseca, an attorney, appreciates WM programs such as enditnow, and Women's Ministries Six Challenge Issues because her own targeted programs as First Lady include Vulnerable Populations, Maternal and Child Health, Education, and HIV/AIDS.
A second Women's Ministries congress convened in Dakar, Senegal a few days later. Both events in the Sahel Union Mission focused on empowering women for evangelism. The theme, "Woman, Arise and Shine for Christ,” encouraged 420 participants to commit to sharing their new knowledge of spiritual growth and mental wellness.
Speakers included Raquel Arrais, GCWM associate director, Omobonike Sessou, WADWM director, and Katia Reinert, North American Division Health Ministries director.
Contributed by Omobonike Adeola Sessou, WADWM director
Women Gather at Three Women’s Ministries Conferences in Southern Africa
Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division (SID)
[Zambia, Reunion Island, Mauritius] Raquel Arrais, GCWM associate director, and Caroline Chola, SIDWM director, traveled in March to Zambia, Reunion Island, and Mauritius.
More than 700 women attended the "Wings of Prayer" conference in Zambia facilitated by Arrais and Chola.
Addressing the church at large in Reunion Island, Raquel spoke about the role of women; and men and women ministering together.
The weekend congress in Mauritius drew more than 300 women who learned to reach out through love and compassion by following the "Christ Alone" method.
Contributed by Caroline Chola, SIDWM director
Spiritual Retreat Warms Women in Poland
Trans-European Division (TED)
[Poland] Snowy weather in the mountain area of Poland did not prevent the spiritual warming of 70 women who gathered March 13-15 for the Women's Ministries retreat held in the Polish Union Conference. The local church congregation and some conference administration personnel joined the attendees for Sabbath services.
Guest speakers included Heather-Dawn Small, GCWM director, and Clair Sanches-Schutte, TEDWM director, who emphasized the special task women have for proclaiming salvation in the midst of facilitating the spiritual life of home and congregation. Their messages assured attendees that each one is an artistic creation of the Master, and this gives women courage and confidence to share their gifts in church and community.
Contributed by Halina Jankowska, Polish Union Conference WM director
Women in Hungary Have a Spiritual Wellness Plan
Trans-European Division (TED)
[Hungary] “Spiritual Wellness, God’s Plan for You” Women’s Ministries retreat in Budapest, March 20-22, drew more than 200 women. Activities and messages during the weekend included giving praise to God by writing a gratitude list, accepting and believing in the resurrection power of Jesus, seeking the Lord's will, and becoming the fragrance of Christ. Taking a prayer walk in the city park Sabbath afternoon gave attendees physical exercise and opportunity to share their faith.
Heather-Dawn Small, GCWM director, and Clair Sanches-Schutte, TEDWM director, were the guest speakers.
Contributed by Eva Csergedi Nagy, Hungarian Union Conference WM director
Young Women "Arise and Shine for Christ" in Ghana
West-Central Africa Division (WAD)
[Ghana] More than 450 young women of the Southern Ghana Union Conference met the last week of February for the "Arise and Shine for Christ" congress, a time of refreshing and renewal of commitment to chastity and useful service for God. The single and married attendees came from different backgrounds and social statuses to learn practical, spiritual lessons from experienced women.
Contributed by Omobonike Adeola Sessou, WADWM director
"Women of Virtue" Conference in the United Kingdom
Trans-European Division (TED)
[London] The first "Women of Virtue" conference drew more than 300 women to the Adventist Centre in London, Sunday, March 22. The entire day was devoted to studying the 13 attributes of the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31. The event, led by Sharon Platt-McDonald, British Union Conference WM director, was structured around the manual she produced, Women of Virtue. Heather-Dawn Small, GCWM director, presented the keynote address. Women especially enjoyed the lively discussion with men's ministries leaders who shared male viewpoints and the exhibits.
The exhibits provided colorful depictions of the practical aspects of each role listed in Proverbs 31. Small described one exhibition as a “beautiful representation of the homemaker. There is no evidence of the drudgery sometimes associated with this role, rather [it is] an expression of godly creativity.” She said all aspects of the "Women of Virtue" program were excellent and hopes it will be used globally.
"Thinking Well, Living Well" Training Implemented in Israel
[Jerusalem] Led by Israel Field WM director, Nina Usacheva, local WM leaders met at the Jerusalem Mission Study Center for special training, April 15-20.
Raquel Arrais, GCWM associate director, facilitated mental wellness training using the GCWM resource, "Thinking Well, Living Well." Women were encouraged to adopt a lifestyle promoting health of body, mind, and spirit.
Meeting at the Garden Tomb Sabbath morning added a special blessing to the joy of prayer, worship, and music. During the closing ceremony, participants consecrated themselves to follow God's call and to share His abundant life with others in their churches and communities.
Contributed by Nina Usacheva, Israel Field WM director
Women Lead 10 Evangelistic Meetings in the Philippines
Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD)
[Philippines] The Women's Ministries team in Calapan, Philippines organized and led 10 simultaneous seven-day evangelistic series throughout the city, March 1-7. Many female baptismal candidates attending the meetings were already involved in the 10 weekly "care groups" led by the WM team.
Men also led simultaneous evangelistic meetings in this "Mission to the Cities" project of South-Central Luzon Conference. Seven pastors baptized 140 new members at the end of the week.
The flagship location in the city's shopping mall also attracted shoppers and passersby. The speaker, Heather-Dawn Small, GCWM director, titled her series, "Finding the Source of Joy."
The shopping mall manager's experience as a patient in an Adventist hospital prompted him to provide space in the mall at minimal cost. Free medical and dental services were offered throughout the week to highlight the healthy lifestyle of Adventists.
On the first day of the meetings, more than 300 people participated in the walk-run organized by church members. Local support included the vice mayor who participated in "Run for the Family," because Adventists "are our partners in promoting healthy living to our constituents."
Contributed by Ester Fadriquela & Irelyn Gabin of South-Central Luzon Conference
Women's Ministries 2014 Global Statistics
Re-claimed members: 55,230
Evanglistic meetings: 97,417
Training events: 96,344
Other meetings: 259,870
Retreats & Congresses: 27,292
Adventists in attendance: 1,380,312
Non-Adventists in attendance: 106,855
Scholarships Awarded: 271
June 15, United Nations World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
Abuse of the elderly is a global social problem that affects the health and human rights of millions of seniors. This abuse deserves the attention of the international community. According to UN statistics, by 2050, more than 20% of the world population will be 60 years old or more, and the majority of them women.
See the GCWM resource, "Abuse of the Elderly: Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother," by Heather-Dawn Small and Raquel Arrais. Download packet: MS Word (167KB) | HTML (226KB) | Adobe Acrobat (106KB) | Elder Abuse PowerPoint (1.46MB
Share Your Love of Jesus!
Do your church members love Jesus? If they do, does anyone else know?
Seventh-day Adventist women are purposeful in answering that question. While the Adventist Church has long relied on public evangelism series to share the gospel, church leaders encourage all ministries to find new and innovative ways to reach outside the sanctuary walls to their communities. An example of outreach comes from our sisters in the church of St. Pierre, Reunion Island.
Two women envisioned opening a Hope Center for women in the community. Since the church is closed during the week, they worked with the pastor to open the church for three hours each Tuesday afternoon.
Women from the community responded to the invitation, and today more than 20 women meet every Tuesday to pray, worship, and learn artwork skills. The church has indeed become a center of hope—a place of healing for women to make friends and find joy in Jesus.
Ellen White writes: "Sisters, we may do a noble work for God if we will. Woman does not know her power. God did not intend that her capabilities should be all absorbed in questioning: What shall I eat? what shall I drink? and wherewithal shall I be clothed? There is a higher purpose for woman, a grander destiny. She should develop and cultivate her powers, for God can employ them in the great work of saving souls from eternal ruin."—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 642.
What can you do?
- Be willing.
- Find your gift, and you will find your ministry.
- Pray together for ways to build up the church and serve the community.
- Discover opportunities for service, based on needs in your congregation and neighborhood.
- Encourage church leadership to help women's ministries meet those needs.
- Build your team.
- Get training to become more effective.
- Trust God to use your gifts to make a difference in the lives of others.
A Question for Reflection and Action:
What can local churches do to make a difference in their own congregations and communities – whether the membership is 20 or 2,000?
"The first thing a local church should do is to elect a Women’s Ministries leader. Women constitute 60 percent or more of a church. Women are an [integral] part of the workforce of the church, so I think the leadership should make sure they are being nurtured, empowered, and challenged. If the church is going to be vibrant, we need to nurture the women...And so, I really believe that a working church has to be a nurturing church for all its members—men, women, young people, and children."—Heather-Dawn Small, GCWM Director, as quoted in an interview in Ministry magazine, October 2013, "Affirming the women in the church: The role of Women's Ministry," p. 8.
Learn more about mobilizing women for service in the Women's Ministries Condensed Handbook. Download handbook
Education and Leadership Opportunities for Women
"You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation."—Brigham Young
Lack of education for children today will have lifelong effects: Almost a quarter of young women aged 15-24 today (116 million) in developing countries have never completed primary school and so lack skills for work.
Facts and Figures
- Women make up more than two-thirds of the world's 796 million illiterate people.
- Every additional year of primary school increases girls' eventual wages by 10-20 percent. It also encourages them to marry later and have fewer children and leaves them less vulnerable to violence.
- While progress has been made in reducing the gender gap in urban primary school enrollment, data from 42 countries shows that rural girls are twice as likely as urban girls to be out of school.
- In Pakistan, a half-kilometer increase in the distance to school will decrease girls' enrollment by 20 percent. In Egypt, Indonesia, and several African countries, building local schools in rural communities increased girls' enrollment.
- In Cambodia, 48 percent of rural women are illiterate compared to 14 percent of rural men.
- Deficits in education of rural women have long-term implications for family well-being and poverty reduction. Vast improvements have been seen in the mortality rates of children less than 5 years old since 1990, but rates in rural areas are usually much higher than in urban areas.
- Data from 68 countries indicates that a woman's education is a key factor in determining a child's survival.
- Children of mothers with no education in the Latin American and Caribbean region are 3.1 times more likely to die than those with mothers who have secondary or tertiary education and 1.6 times more likely than those whose mothers have primary-level education.
Commission on the Status of Women, United Nations
General Conference Women's Ministries Scholarship Program
GCWM scholarship program has supported higher education for Adventist women globally since 1991, and more than one million dollars has been awarded to 2,164 recipients in 124 countries. More information | online donations
Among January 2015 recipents are:
- 2 widows
- 11 married women
- 1 orphan
- 5 family outcasts—for becoming Seventh-day Adventists
2015 Women's Devotional
Missionary Book of 2015
Health & Wellness: Secrets That Will Change Your Life, Mark A. Finley and Peter N. Landless, editors.
Order book online, Adventist Book Center
Tips for Leaders
Eleanor Roosevelt said, "A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader, a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves."
- Be authentic
- Know your obstacles
- Believe in your people
- Don't assume
- Turn off the TV
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Get moving
- Sleep, but not too much
- Do something good
Dates To Remember
WHO World No Tobacco Day
World Health Organization and partners observe World No Tobacco Day.
Women's Ministries Emphasis Day
“Spiritual Strength for Such a Time as This," written by Dr. Ella S. Simmons, General Vice President of the General Conference Download packet
15 − International Day of Families
31 − WHO World No Tobacco Day
15 − UN World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
- 100 Days of Prayer, March 25-July 11, 2015
- GC Session in San Antonio, Texas, USA
- GC Session Women's Meetings
- Education for women