ACCW Honors Three for Support of Women in Ministry

Post a Comment » Written on June 27th, 2009     
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PORTLAND, OR (June 27, 2009) – The Association of Covenant Clergy Women (ACCW) honored three people for their commitment to ministry excellence and furthering opportunities for women in ministry.

Award recipients were announced and awards presented during the business meeting of the Covenant Ministerium, which precedes the formal opening of the 124th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

WilliamsLinda Williams, pastor of Covenant Congregational Church in Waltham, Massachusetts, was awarded a $1,000 Priscilla Pastorate Grant. The grant is offered to a full-time female pastor—in capacities that include senior pastor, co-pastor, associate pastor, youth or children pastor—serving a Covenant church and in good standing in the Covenant Ministerium.

The award is paid directly to the church on behalf of the recipient. Applicants are asked to describe their vision of how the grant will be used to advance a particular ministry in the church. The award is named for Priscilla in the Bible, who with her husband, Aquila, traveled with the apostle Paul on his missionary journeys and gathered the followers of Christ in their home for worship and instruction.

Over the past seven years, Williams has worked with people suffering as a result of trauma, abuse, and domestic violence. She has begun a ministry of Grace Groups for this purpose—an established program from Open Heart Ministries—to help victims of sexual abuse. William’s will use the grant to send an additional group leader for the Grace Groups ministry through the training course.

Grace Shim, Covenant missionary to Thailand, was awarded the $500 Anderson/Nordlund Missionary Scholarship.

ShimThe scholarship is offered to a full-time female missionary on assignment through the Department of World Mission and supported by a local Covenant congregation. The scholarship is for her continuing education and is paid to World Mission on behalf of the recipient.

Shim, a counselor who has served five years in Central Asia as a project missionary, will be moving to Thailand. She will train indigenous counselors.

“In a society where infidelity, divorce, sexual promiscuity, and human trafficking are commonplace, the Thai family needs the hope and healing that Jesus brings,” Grace says. “My desire is to work at Cornerstone Counseling Foundation in Chiang Mai, Thailand, to gain practical experience and supervision in my counseling skills.”

The scholarship is named for the first female Covenant martyrs, Martha Anderson and Esther Nordlund, who were shot to death by roaming bandits on January 7, 1948, as the missionaries traveled by bus on their way to the Annual Meeting of the Covenant Church in China.

The Mordecai Award for Outstanding Partnership was given to Richard Carlson, professor of ministry at North Park Theological Seminary since 1978.

CarlsonThe award is offered to a nominated male minister in an Evangelical Covenant Church setting (administrators, teachers, pastors, missionaries, etc) who has demonstrated active support of women in ministry through providing advocacy, resources, support, mentoring, and dialogue on behalf of all women in ministry.

Carlson has a long history of promoting women in ministry. He was the co-facilitator of the denomination’s Consultation on Women in Ministry in 2000 and at a similar event for the Central Conference Ministerium in 2001.

He received his Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in 1975. His dissertation was entitled “Theology and Ministry: A Continuing Education Model for Pastors Focusing on Ministry and Issues of Evangelism, Spirituality, Women in the Church, and Pastoral Leadership.”

Eva Sullivan-Knoff, associate pastor of Northbrook Covenant Church in Northbrook, Illinois, noted that Carlson played a crucial role in helping her discern her call to ministry. “I will forever be grateful for the gift of his advocacy personally as well as in the denomination,” she said.

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