Women's Ministries Activities during COVID-19
Women begin new ministries and assist the elder and others who have restricted activity.
Trans-European Division (TED)
[Serbia] All the time during the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, Women’s Ministries department in South-East European Union Conference (SEEUC) has been well and alive! Even very much alive!
- As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown began, Women's Ministries (WM) department started connecting via all available ways – cell phones, Viber, WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram and SMS messages, E-mails, Youtube and Zoom meetings – to stay in touch with women in the Church and outside it in order to inspire, empower, and change their lives for better.
- Connected and inspired, women in the local churches of SEEUC started collecting, packing, and distributing food parcels for church members and their neighbors older than 65 whose getting out was restricted due to the pandemic.
- Women in the local churches of SEEUC also started purchasing and delivering medicines and everyday necessities for the people older than 65 and sick, and for deprived church members and their neighbors.
- Women in the local churches of SEEUC were also the leading forces in video recording Sabbath worships that were then streaming each Sabbath day during the months of March, April, and May and in organizing different online meetings, conferences and prayer meetings. I was a guest speaker at the one such Zoom Prayer Meeting on April 28, 2020 for the Macedonian Mission congregation and was tremendously blessed by their dedication, eagerness, and willingness to help in every possible way.
- SEEUC WM department is translating resources sent by WM department of Trans-European Division: Inspiring Articles, Encouraging Bible Texts, Women in the Bible 2 PowerPoint presentations, Coloring Pages, Love Notes, Work Ideas, and TED WM Newsletters, and WM International Day of Prayer 2021 resource packet (and earlier, WM Emphasis Day 2020 and WM enditnow® Emphasis Day 2020 resource packets also). These resources were sent to all WM leaders and pastoral wives to be further shared with the women in the local churches and communities.
- SEEUC WM department has also been preparing some additional resources during and after the lockdown:
- Girls for Christ 1 manual was prepared and uploaded to the WM page of the SEEUC website.
- Women in the Bible 2 coloring book was translated and published, now being available in print to hundreds of women in the SEEUC for Bible study, meditation, and creative coloring.
- Women of Virtue manual is midway through the translating process.
- Girls for Christ 2 manual is being translated.
- The first summer retreat of Girls for Christ 1 is scheduled for July 20 – 26, 2020 in Ohrid, Macedonia.
The majority of the local churches managed to use the International Women's Day of Prayer 2020 resource packet, Virtuous Living in an Un-virtuous World, March 7, 2020, just a week before the official lockdown. The photos below show the day of prayer activities in Vranje, south Serbia, where two smaller congregations, Vranje and Surdulica, gathered together to pray and to receive encouragement from God’s Word. Following the service, Stana Nikolić, WM leader of the Vranje Seventh-day Adventist church congregation with her husband Dejan Nikolić, church pastor, presented each woman in attendance with a kala flower and a delicious potluck for the whole congregation.
Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic with its restrictions for group gathering and travel, some of the scheduled events and activities had to be canceled. This included “Woman After God’s Heart" retreats scheduled for May 1-3, 2020 in Ohrid, Macedonia, and scheduled for May 22-24, 2020 in Wiena, Austria, which was to be for the Yugoslavian diaspora women.
In the short period of the released lockdown measures (May 6 to the end of June), the resource material for WM Emphasis Day, Christ’s Amazing Love Moves Me, was used in many local churches of the SEEUC on June 13, 2020. (Photos from Vranje district in South Serbia.)
Due to the increased number of deceased and infected people, we are now back to the lockdown conditions. But the resource package, When Jesus Ended It, for enditnow® Emphasis Day August 22, 2020, was also translated and sent to the local churches to be used in a traditional service or any other possible way according to the given circumstances.
Contributed by Marija Trajkovska, director of Women’s Ministries, South-East European Union Conference
Published in Mosaic newsletter, 2020 Q4, fall issue