Touch a Heart, Reach My World
2016 General Conference Women's Ministries Advisory
Sharing, learning, praying, becoming friends—the WM world advisory, which met in early March, included all of these. World departmental advisories are held in the beginning of every quinquennium at the General Conference headquarters. Organized by Heather-Dawn Small and Raquel Arrais, the WM advisory provided WM division directors information and resources for effective leadership in their departments. New directors especially benefited from the information provided.
This year’s advisory fortified the three-part WM emphasis, “Nurture, Empower, and Outreach.” Activities also included division reports, recommendations, presentations on nurture and empowerment with programs such as “Women of Virtue,” reclaiming members, enditnow campaign to end violence against women, children, and men, and how to have total women involvement in the mission of the church.
Best of all, the thirteen WM directors from all parts of the globe and the WM liaison for the GC attached field, Middle East and Northern Africa Union Conference (MENA), met together for prayer, inspiring messages, and fellowship as they unified the vision and the strategic planning to reach the women where they are.
During the week-long advisory, the program included many inspiring lectures and presentation of new materials, as well as reports of activities in the various divisions. GC Vice President Ella Simmons and GC Youth Ministries Director Gilbert Cangy were among the speakers, and also Ardis Stenbakken, retired WM director. The long-term effect of the inspiration from these meetings should not be under-estimated when the leaders return to their fields.
VISION STATEMENT for Women's Ministries
The WM advisory also adopted a vision statement as companion to the existing WM mission statement:
"Women empowered and nurtured to fulfill their God-given potential."
REACH MY WORLD OBJECTIVES for Women's Ministries
The WM advisory voted to adopt 4 of the 21 objectives outlined in the GC Strategic Plan 2015-2020. These four objectives have been categorized under the WM three-part emphasis as:
- To involve Adventist members in daily Bible study.
- To nurture believers in lives of discipleship and to involve them in service.
- To increase the engagement of young people in the life of the church.
- To enhance Adventist outreach and presence in large urban areas worldwide.
STRATEGIC PLAN 2015-2020 Reach the World
Reach up to God • Reach in with God • Reach out with God
Women's Ministries Around the World
[Malawi] "Smart women pray," says First Lady of Malawi speaking at a WM prayer conference. Read more
[South America] Ten Days of Prayer mobilizes more than 1.3 million women for intercessory prayer and ten hours of fasting in South American Division. Read more
[Mongolia] An English language Women's Devotional book is being enjoyed by women in Mongolia — in an unusual way. Read more
[New resources] Whether you want to create a small group with unchurched neighbors and friends or to nurture women in your local congregation, these new resources provide ways to study the Word of God:
[Burkina Faso] The joy of a baby being born in their midst is experienced by women who visit a birthing center as an outreach activity during a WM conference retreat. Read more
[Switzerland] Women brave weather chaos to attend the first WM conference in their local Canton. Read more
[Maryland, USA] Heather-Dawn Small, director of GCWM, earns a Master of Art's degree in Leadership with emphasis in Pastoral Care to Women. Read more
[New resources] The Six Challenge Issues of WM focuses our commitment and resources in these areas of need:
[Blantyre] Mission to the Cities – Women in Malawi exhibit healthful living when they volunteer as sanitation engineers in their city marketplace. Read more
[Beirut] Women serve refugees in Lebanon with distributions of needed items. Read more
[Egypt] Ten years of visitation ministry and prayer ministry reaps friendships with needy women because of the consistent love and compassion of women serving the Lord. Read more
[New resources] Whether you want to open conversation with someone not yet a Christian or with someone who quit coming to church, these new resources provide a way to connect:
Outreach brochure - "Is Life Good?"
Reclaiming brochure - "Am I My Sister's Keeper?"
[Silver Spring, MD] Recently joining General Conference Women's Ministries (GCWM) as co-sponsors for enditnow are the General Conference departments for Children's Ministries, Education, Family Ministries, Health Ministries, Ministerial Association, and Youth Ministries.
Leaders from these departments supported GCWM in producing a "Save the Date" postcard-sized card which reminds church members that enditnow Emphasis Day is designated as the fourth Sabbath in August on the annual world church calendar of special days. The printed cards were distributed to departmental directors who gathered at the GC headquarters in March to attend the 2016 world departmental advisories.
The co-sponsoring departments for enditnow recently revised the logo to read, "Adventists Say No to Violence." The final phrase "Against Women" was dropped. Each of the sponsoring departments are committed to developing and sharing resources that address many expressions of abuse against women, children, and men.
Sermon resource packets for enditnow Emphasis Day have been produced by GCWM since its origination date in 2002. Many different writers have been involved over the years, but the five most recent sermon packets have been written by experts from other departments which now formally sponsor enditnow.
enditnow Save the Date card, download here
Revised enditnow logo, download here
Recent authors include:
Nancy Wilson, wife of GC President (Learning to Love as He Loved, 2016 sermon) and Katia Reinert, of GC Health Ministries (Emotional Health, 2016 seminar); Julian Melgosa, of GC Education (Love at Home, 2015); Willie and Elaine Oliver, of GC Family Ministries (Freedom in Relationships, 2014); Claudio and Pamela Consuegra of North American Division Family Ministries (Jesus is Your Refuge, 2013); and Sharon Platt-McDonald of Trans-European Division Health, Women's Ministries and Disabilities Awareness (Moved with Compassion, 2012).
Dates to Remember
April 7 – World Health Day
World Health Day 2016: "Beat Diabetes: Scale up prevention, strengthen care, and enhance surveillance." The main goals of the World Heath Day 2016 campaign are to increase awareness about the rise in diabetes and its staggering burden and consequences, in particular, in low- and middle-income countries; and to trigger a set of specific, effective, and affordable actions to tackle diabetes. Read more
To enhance your health program, go to Facts with Hope videos.
June 23 – International Widows' Day
International Widows' Day occurs annually to recognize the plight of the millions of widows across the globe who experience economic and social deprivation after losing their husbands.
Over 200 million widows and their children are known to needlessly suffer from disease, illiteracy, and poverty. Many also suffer from violence and sexual abuse, and some cultures even consider widows accursed or accuse them of witchcraft. In addition, women in many societies lack inheritance or property right and become dependent on charity or become homeless once their husbands die. In 2010, the United Nations officially ratified June 23rd as International Widows' Day and urged its member nations to focus on the needs of widows. Read more
Northern California Conference has a mission project for widows in the Congo. Read more
The Best You Can Be
The Best You Can Be is a new 12-lesson Bible study in personal growth for women. The lessons can be used for self-guided study, but they are also well-designed for small group study with neighbors and friends. Each lesson is divided into sections that include a short study, an easy-to-remember list related to the study, a Rate Yourself questionnaire scale, a Personal Growth exercise, a Success Principle to apply, and a prayer. Joy Butler adapted Dorothy Eaton Watts' book, The Best You Can Be, ©1993.
AN EXCERPT FROM
Lesson 3, "A Spiritual Woman"
To be a spiritual woman requires us to listen. To be quiet is the way to hear God's voice speaking to our hearts and minds.
Nine characteristics of a godly woman [can be remembered] by using the letters of the word SPIRITUAL as an acrostic:
S - Sense of the eternal.
P - Prayer is important.
I - Immersed in the Word.
R - Recognizes the importance of silence.
I - Invites Jesus to walk with her in all the circumstances of life.
T - Talks easily about the Lord and His goodness.
U - Understands God's call.
A - Awareness of God's presence.
L - Loves people.
Continue reading Lesson 3
Download Introduction and Lesson 1
The United Nations' Commision on the Status of Women 60th Conference (CSW60) in New York City was attended by Heather-Dawn Small, GCWM director, and her invited guest, Kisanne James, medical student from Jamaica. They were present for the first four days of the conference, March 14-17, 2016.
Photo - Day 4: Kisanne James meets "Jungle Mama," a woman from South America who is changing tribal attitudes in her culture about women and birthing...and saving lives because of it.
2016 Living His Love
Adventist Women's Bible
Available in local Adventist Book Centers | online here
Tips for Leaders
- Set the example
- Communicate your vision
- Act justly
- Love mercy
- Walk humbly
- Keep active
- Sleep well
- Drink water
- Don't skip breakfast
- Trust in God
7 - World Health Day
15 - International Day of Families
31 - World No Tabacco Day
31 - Deadline for Scholarship Application to GCWM
11 - Women's Emphasis Day
15 - World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
23 - International Widow's Day
- Women's Ministries Emphasis Day
- Women in higher education applying for scholarships
- Women's devotional book
- WM division advisories
- Global campaigns for enditnow
- Women and their families around the world
- The plight of widows