Let There Be Peace, In ME.

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Let There Be Peace, In ME.  By Gena McCown, Co-Founder

Let’s be honest, leaders, we are navigating unsettled waters right now.  There are a lot of things causing division and strife in the world, and among the body of believers.  Spend just a few minutes on social media and the divides in unavoidable.

Our Christian friends are divided…

Pro-Life or Pro-Choice.  Open Borders or Closed Borders.  Pro-Trump or Anti-Trump.  Single issues or larger scopes… the battle has been waged.

The leader in me wants to say things like…

“We have to remember the real battle is not you vs. me, but us vs. the Enemy.”

“The scriptures said there would come a time when people would stop listening to sound judgement and seek out what their ears want to hear.”

I’m even tempted to say:  “This is not about what we should do, or even Gena should do, but about what Christ would have me do.”

These are big answers, the ones we use to address problems on a larger scale.  They are outward responses to the world around us, the church around us, the division around us.  But I can’t help but wonder, what is going on inside of our hearts?  What is the battle raging inside of us?  Can I really expect others to come to a term of peace, when I myself struggle with some of the same questions.  Have I given answers that I knew were the Biblically correct answer that a leader should give, yet still have uncertainty in my own heart?

If I want to find peace in the world, should it not begin in my own heart?  In my own life?  Should I not study the Word, have conversations with mentors and people of faith whom I trust about these issues.  Should I not come to a resounding peace in the Lord before I am tempted to share my own two cents on a matter?

When asked a question, even as a leader, I should be able to share that I too struggle with that answer.  It is permissible to still be a leader and not have all the answers.  We don’t need to fake it until we make it, or selling the vision before I have bought it myself.

I need to start within me.  I need to examine my splinters.  I need to put the time and effort to seek out how the Lord stands on these subjects by searching His Word.  Then I can walk forward in confidence and peace that the words of my mouth are reflecting Christ and pleasing in God’s sight.  Not just giving the right answer, but believing it.

I need to quell the divisions in my own heart, unifying and reconciling myself to God, and then allow that peace to flow from me into the community He has charged with me.

As leaders we can not force solutions on the world, we can not force peace or unity upon the world… when we are divided in our own hearts.

There must be peace IN ME, to fl0w FROM ME.

As a leader, I must be the example for those who follow my lead.

When the Lord Moves, We Move Too.

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2017 is here, and the Women’s Ministry Council has some exciting things to share.

* We Are Moving –  It has been almost 3 years since we started the Women’s Ministry Council.  We have grown in numbers and in purpose.  We have also outgrown our meeting location at Panera Bread.  The Lord however is providing a answer to that need.  Please keep an eye out for this important announcement in the comings months.   Prayerfully, the location will be ready for us by our April meeting.

* We Are Growing – When the ministry grows, so does our leader team.  We are excited to announce that Trish Jones has joined the WMC Leadership Team.  Trish will be an integral part of our team, bringing her experience and expertise to our website content, editorial review, and more.

* We Are Preparing To Expand –  Three years ago we shared the vision for the Women’s Ministry Council to become a ministry that can be duplicated in other regions.  We have 2 potential leaders who would like to start a WMC in their area.  The leadership team will be using 2017 to create the logistics of this program, with an anticipated roll out in 2018.

* We Are Thinking Big – In addition to the development of our group expansion, we have some beautiful things on our horizon…. such as….

~   Women’s Ministry Leader Mission Trip with One Child Matters

~   Intensive Workshop on How to Study the Bible for Yourself

~   One Day Women’s Ministry Leader/Team Conference

~   and so much more!

The WMC Team can not begin to express how much we are blessed by this ministry.  Serving our local leaders is an honor and a privilege.

Lord, let this ministry be all that you have called it to be.  Let us serve you, each other, our church, and our community well.   Amen.

Care & Community, Part 2

As we gathered for another quarterly leadership meeting, there were new faces from local churches present.  But there was something else present, the spirit of giving.  The Women’s Ministry Council collected donations for the Church at Gate 5, which ministers to the workers at the South Florida Fair.  We collected clothing, food, and toiletries that will be dispersed to the workers by the Church at Gate 5 team.  These volunteers actually live in campers along side the fair workers throughout the length of the fair, serving their needs and sharing the gospel.    What an exciting opportunity to bring our leaders together and serve others.

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Our introductory speaker, Laura Masoner, shared with our leaders various ways that we can tangibly reach out in to the community.  Some of the suggestions she shared included:

* Pick one night per month from your small group schedule to volunteer at a local soup kitchen, 0r volunteer with a local organization.

* Hold a collection drive with your small group, or Women’s Ministry throughout the year.

*  Expand your meal ministry beyond people in your church and out to those in need in your community: neighbors, coworkers, extended family, etc.

*  Lead a Bible Study, night of Hymns/Worship songs, etc at your local retirement facility.

We created a document full of local organizations that can use assistance, volunteers, collection drives, or groups that they can start within their church to assist their community.

CARENET, C.A.R.E., PROTECT THE HEART

Our guest speakers Sue and Pam, from our local Carenet Center, shared with the women the facts about how abortion affects our community.  We were able to get a better understanding of the services they provide for women who find themselves in an unexpected pregnancy.  We learned about the statistics for our area, and were given information that we can take back and not only share with our Women’s Ministry but also our Pastors and church leaders.  This information included the various ways Women’s Ministries can come along side the center.  If you have a local pregnancy crisis center or group for unexpected moms in your community consider how you can:

* volunteer to stuff envelopes, clean up the office, provide meals for training events.

* collect donations of money, diapers, clothing, or other goods for the center or local moms.

* support their local fundraising events, purity events, walk for life events, etc.

* consider becoming a mentor mom, leading a study for moms to be, or share your testimony to other women who are in post abortive recovery.

Contact your local center and ask how you can help individually or collectively as a church.

ONE CHILD MATTERS

Curtis Wilson of One Child Matters shared some things with the leaders about One Child Matters, their child sponsorship programs, development centers, and mission trips.  Something that Curtis shared, that was new information to many of us, was the impact women have in their homes in regards to the spending & giving toward child sponsorships and missions programs.

As women, mothers, and those whom the Lord has gifted compassion and love… these children cry out to a special place in our hearts.  We want to be able to help them, and we don’t always know how.  As a Women’s Ministries we can have an impact not just on the children through sponsorship, but relationally as we connect with them in person through mission trips to the centers that serve these children.

I’m very excited to share, as a follow up, that One Child Matters has made great connections and has begun building relationships with several local churches.  This means Curtis will be coming back to our area again in the near future.  Should you be interested in having Curtis connect with your church, reach out to WMC or One Child Matters directly.

OUR ATTENDANCE IS GROWING.

OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM IS GROWING.

OUR MINISTRY IS GROWING.

2017 IS GOING TO BE A GREAT YEAR.

Care & Community, Event in Review Part 1

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It was another great event, with our community leaders coming together to learn about serving our communities (local and abroad) better.  We are quickly outgrowing our space, and the Lord has provided a new location for us.  The site and RSVP pages for all of our future events will be updated as soon as we know our exact move date.

Some highlights from our Care & Community Event:

Convoy of Hope’s Convoy:Women division sent us this amazing Empowering Women Party Kit for our women to preview.  This kit will help you put together a great event that raises funds for women in their at risk/trafficking rescue programs across the globe.  Additionally, they sent each Women’s Ministry Leader in attendance a great gift bag with information about Convoy:Women and Tumbler.    THANK YOU DOREE WITH CONVOY WOMEN! 

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We also had the opportunity to share with the leaders a ministry called “HOPE Mommies”, which is a two part ministry.  If you know of someone who has suffered the loss of a infant, during pregnancy or after, then you know how difficult it can be to work through that loss.  Churches can charter a HOPE Mommies Group and create a support network for the women in their church and community who have gone through this loss, and need a community who understands their pain.

You can also order a HOPE BOX (pictured below) to be sent to a woman in your church or community that has suffered a loss, or as a Women’s Ministry host a Hope Box Gathering where you can pack up multiple boxes and then take them to your local Hospital or Doctors Office where they can be distributed to grieving mothers. 

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All of our Women’s Ministry Leaders received the following in their gift bag, thanks to the ministries that support our work, and sent us information to share with the leaders. 

jan17wmcfguthriecrosswayCrossway Publishers donated sample chapters of “What Grieving People Wish You Knew” by Nancy Guthrie, and two full copies for us to give away.  Harvest House Publishers donated thirty copies of Women Counseling Women for our leaders to add to their Women’s Ministry Resource Libraries!  Do you have one?  Look for an upcoming post on suggestions on how to start your own!

SonGear sent beautiful necklaces, bracelets, and scarves (not pictured) for our leaders, as well as these awesome Overcomer Stickers.  New customers get 10% off their first order when they register.  Great site for event favors, speaker gifts, or personal shopping.

We also provided information on local ministries that our leaders could bring their Women’s Ministries alongside for serving in various ways.    This included information on on starting their own MOPS Group, Hope Mommies Group, Foster Parenting and Ministries that serve Foster Kids, Parents, Volunteers (4Kids Treasure Coast, Place of Hope Treasure Coast).

If you have not heard, the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. opens this fall, and would make a fun Women’s Ministry trip.  We also included information on Christian Leaders Institute which has a developing Women’s Ministry Certification program.

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Finally, we included information from our two guest speakers.  Sue Chess of Carenet (Treasure Coast) shared with our leaders about our local pregnancy crisis center and how they serve the women in our community.  Sue also shared a bit about their teen program, Protect the Heart, and then turned the topic over to her guest Pam who leads their Post Abortive Care program.   Not only were the leaders given information on the organization itself, but also a list of suggested ways they could serve and support this ministry.

We also had guest speaker Curtis Wilson, of One Child Matters.  Curtis shared with the leaders the One Child Matters vision and process for reaching kids in communities around the globe.  From child sponsorship, to mission trips to meet your sponsored child, One Child Matters has a unique program that focuses greatly on connections between the church and the community they serve.  We are looking forward to planning a Women’s Ministry Leader Mission Trip in the future.

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Part 2 of this event review will publish on Monday, Jan 16.

We Are S. Florida

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Too close to home.

Tragedy strikes Florida again.

Pulse Night Club in Orlando, now the Ft. Lauderdale Airport.

The Women’s Ministry Council is situated on the Treasure Coast, not far from Ft. Lauderdale.  Too close to home, indeed.

This is our home, these are our people.

We pray for the victims and their families, our hearts hurt.  We pray for those who witnessed this horror.

Lord, hear our cries.

WMC Event SOLD OUT {Wait List}

Our Jan 7th event is SOLD OUT!  This means all reserved seats are taken, and we literally are at max capacity for our meeting space.  If you did not make your reservation, you can sign up for the wait list should a seat become available.  The link is at the bottom of this post, or click on the invitation to be redirected to Eventbrite.

Please remember if you did not RSVP through Eventbrite or directly with one of our WMC Leaders, there are currently no additional seats available.   Make sure you don’t miss future meetings by heading to the Calendar/Events page and reserve your seats.  All of our meetings for 2017 are listed.  You can reserve your seat at any time.

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click here —-> REGISTER FOR WAIT LIST <—- click here

If someone cancels their reservation, Eventbrite will immediately contact the first person on the wait list, until all reservations are spoken for.

Women’s Ministry Road Trip

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Women’s Ministry Road Trip by Gena McCown, Co-Founder

The kids at our churches gather for a weeklong VBS, or go off to a fun camp during summer breaks.  Our youth groups go on missions trips, off to camps, and weekend Christian concerts held by big amusement parks.  Dare I ask… what about us?

Yes, there are a lot of great Women’s Conferences that we can shuttle off to.  We may have a two hour luncheon every other month too.  But, have you ever gotten in the car with a group of women from your church and taken off on an adventure?  On a non structured, registration not required, sleep in until 10am if you like… full of fun, food, and fellowship… adventure?  Or, have you ever considered taking your Women’s Ministry on a women only mission trip to minister to women rescued from the sex trafficking industry?

Why not?

Rent a cottage on the beach or in the mountains for a weeklong retreat with your women’s small group.

Have a sleepover when the men are away camping or hunting, and have a great time bonding with the leaders from your Women’s Ministry team.

This fall, rent a bus, take off to Washington D.C. and check out the new Museum of the Bible .  Then, go sight seeing or visit museums.  Eat good food.  Shop. Laugh.

Plan a Women’s Ministry trip to the next Acquire the Fire, Night of Joy, or Hillsong Concert.

Organize a mission trip for the Women’s Ministry, either within the US or outside.

Buy group tickets to a Food Festival or even a local carnival/fair and eat funnel cake and get stuck at the top of the Ferris Wheel together.

The women we are serving are not targets or projects, but real women who desire to laugh until their sides hurt.  They want to have memories to put in their scrapbooks, ticket stubs to collect, and moments to look forward to on their calendars where they can simply enjoy life with their sisters.

Do you have any fun or out of the box ideas that were successful in your Women’s Ministry?  We’d love to hear about these ideas!  Comment here, or consider writing a piece for our site on your event and how you coordinated it.