2017 brought several new sisters into the women’s service team as others transitioned out. This team consists of the Elders Service Team wives and the wives of those on the Evangelist Service Team. The women on the Teachers Service Team have also been a part of the group. Together, we try to keep issues pertinent to the sisters around the world in focus as we seek to fulfill our team’s purpose.
The mission of the women’s committee has been as follows:
To serve the sisters around the world by providing resources for growth and inspiration through the Women Today website, planning the women’s portion of worldwide conferences, and championing the need for healthy functioning of women’s ministry throughout our churches.
We feel that we have accomplished much of this mission and will propose in our October meeting in Chicago to update the mission statement of the committee to state:
Inspiring women globally to grow spiritually, connect, and advance the gospel.
Of late, communication has still been pinpointed as the greatest service the women’s team can provide. We continue to send devotionals, lessons and good news concerning women to women church leaders around the world. The response has been extremely meaningful. This also helps us to feel more connected.
At the 2017 meeting in Dallas, Texas, an election for the next term women’s chair took place. The elders’ wives elected Kim Evans as the chair. Jeanie Shaw was asked to be assistant-chair with Kim. The evangelists’ wives elected Marci Arneson as the chair and asked Anne-Brigitte Taliaferro to serve as assistant-chair.
In the most recent gathering of the women’s service team several topics were discussed. First, a top concern was uniting women generationally as God’s daughters across the world. There was a strong desire expressed to find ways of representing every demographic of women in our fellowship. We spoke of striving to represent a voice for those who are not able to attend meetings. We acknowledged that it will take a concerted effort to ensure that we are truly representing the voices of the sisters in every part of the world and across our collective generations. We want to strive to gain a wide range of perspectives and to hear the needs from sisters in each stage of life. One suggestion brought forward was to find more non-paid ministry sisters that deeply have the women’s ministry on their hearts. That we would work to involve them and to gather their input, their suggestions and ultimately their participation in achieving our mission.
Second, we acknowledged that, more than ever, sisters are wanting to have an impact on the challenges going on around the world. Given the regular and immediate stream of news about pain, war, and suffering we were led to discuss how our global sisterhood might engage to bring healing and impact. It seems that especially the younger generations of disciples have demonstrated a deep desire to engage. The question before us is simply “How?”
We landed on a decision to use a globally recognized day to highlight our vision. The global “International Women’s Day” takes place every year on March 8th. So on March 7th of this year we chose to initiate our first ever global day of prayer and fasting for the sisters in all of our churches. Then on March 8th the sisters around the world acted on that prayer in boldness as they served God in whatever way God has so moved them. We feel that this event was both unifying and productive and can continue to serve as an annual event for our sisterhood. Our goal is to continue to capitalize on this day each year. Annually we will come together in whatever ways we can to meet the needs of the women around us. Our vision is to see a greater level of unity through prayer, servitude, Bible studies, meeting the needs of the poor or even some day rallying women to hear God’s Word preached at conferences around the world.
You can read about this year’s exciting time and all the ways God has moved by clicking here: Be Bold For Spiritual Change.
Our “Sister2Sister” video clips have been delayed due to a staffing change in ICOC HotNews filming. We hope to provide more of these videos within the year.
Finally, we are looking to form subcommittees coming directly out of the Women’s Service Team. Many of the women are currently partnering with their husbands on our collective subcommittees including: Global Missions Strategy, Church Growth, and others. The development of new subcommittees will be on the agenda for our next gathering.
Our committee consists of the following women:
Wives of Evangelists Service Team: Rolayo Ogbonnaya (Lagos), Vicky Auki (Nairobi), Caroline George (Delhi), Faridah Enrile (Manila), Siu Wai Wong (Hong Kong), Barri Lusk (Denver), Cynthia Powell (NY), Kay McKean (N.VA), Joyce Arthur (Boston), Anne-Brigitte Taliaferro (San Antonio), Renee Quint (LA), Tatyana Zhuravlev (Moscow), Helen Nanjundan (London), Sonia Arroyo (Mexico City),Tatiana Kravetz (Kiev), Sarai Serra (Buenos Aires), Marci Arneson (Chicago).
Wives of Elders Service Team: Jeanie Shaw (Boston), Gloria Baird (Phoenix), Sally Hooper (Dallas), Abigail Ereola (Lagos), Elexa Liu (Hong Kong), Pat Brush (S.Florida), Linda Brumley (SanDiego), Mary Lou Craig (NY), Geri Laing (S.Florida), Kim Evans (Philadelphia), Erica Kim (Denver), Sharon Gauthier (Chicago).
Women on the Teachers Service Team: Deb Anton (Virginia Beach), Tammy Flemming (Seattle), Suzette Lewis (Toronto), Kay McKean (N. VA).
Marci Arneson – Chair of the Evangelists’ Wives Service Team
Kim Evans – Chair of the Elders’ Wives Service Team