Women’s Issues

Why Women Ministries?

15 comments Written on January 7th, 2013     
Filed under: Women's Issues, Women's Ministry

January 7, 2013

Women Ministries of the ECC

Do we really need gender-based ministry?

Why Women Ministries?

It is a good question. We should be asking it—and not just to justify our existence, but to discern how we create vision and move forward.

I’ve considered this question often since you called me to this role. And I’m sometimes asked: Why should we have gender-based ministry if women can now serve in all roles in the church? Why do we need to single women out? The Covenant doesn’t officially have men’s ministries. Why can’t we just do things together as a church? Do women really need their own stuff? Great questions.

Listening to many voices, I’ve learned:

*Women want to connect with other women with authenticity and candor in a   faith-based setting without being judged. Whether introverts or extroverts, women are connectors.

*We are better together than we are apart, especially when it comes to life-changing, world-impacting ministry. Our combined efforts to fight heinous, women-specific problems like trafficking and abuse have
impacted parts of Southeast Asia, India, and Northern California. And we can do more.

*Some things are best done through gender-specific community. Healing from childhood sexual abuse or domestic violence is often best facilitated with women only.

*Women’s life stages are unique. Yet regardless of our season of life, we have needs to talk, process, unburden ourselves or just put our confusion and pain out there for others to help us heal.

*For those who know and love God, there is often a desire to work the scriptures into our lives as women, processing it through our distinct, inherent challenges and without stereotyped gender-based ideals.

*Women long for formal and informal mentoring—help and encouragement without over-directiveness.  With the great cadre of seasoned woman disciples in many of our churches, we are primed to abet those walking a path that already bears our own footprints from years before. It’s about those life stages again.

So do you resonate with any of this? Does it make sense? Do you see it this way, or do you have a different perspective? In a future blog post, I’d like to continue this conversation. What do we need to do to empower younger women to step up and take leadership? How can we open pathways for authentic sharing?

Drop your comment in below, and stay tuned. We have a lot to do together.

Thanks,
Meagan Gillan



Mending the Soul Training is Here

Post a Comment » Written on April 2nd, 2012     
Filed under: AVA (Abuse), Events, Updates, Women's Issues

Mending the Soul

AVA and Mending the Soul–a partnership to serve the Church!

NEXT MENDING THE SOUL TRAINING: May 4-5, 2012 on the campus of North Park University, Chicago, Illinois. Registration info HERE.

Through a new partnership with Mending the Soul of Phoenix, Arizona, Women MinistriesAVA (Advocacy for Victims of Abuse) initiative now gears up to launch a vital healing component in addition to its existing education and awareness ministry. Continue Reading »



AVA—It’s International!

Post a Comment » Written on December 7th, 2011     
Filed under: AVA (Abuse), Women's Issues

Newly trained AVA Regional Coordinators in Bogota, Colombia

Something wonderful happened a few weeks ago.  A group of more than 50 Colombian women and men joined together in Bogota for three incredible days of learning about abuse.  Pastors, church leaders, and volunteers of every stripe, came with a willingness to become Regional Coordinators in Women Ministries’ dynamic and growing Advocacy for Victims of Abuse initiative.  Wow. It’s international now.

Seeking to equip and empower Colombians to engage with the issues of domestic violence and childhood sexual abuse, the conference covered a wide range of topics.  The goal was to bring people together in dynamic and lively, experientially-oriented learning exercises that gave participants tools and materials to prevent, reduce and advocate for abused women, children, and men, and share resources with others in their churches, ministries, homes, and organizations. Continue Reading »



Hold Them in Your Heart

Post a Comment » Written on November 16th, 2011     
Filed under: AVA (Abuse), Women's Issues
AVA Advocate, Katy McGehee of Manteca, CA.

AVA Advocate Katy McGehee of the Stockton, California Covenant Church.

You are terrific intercessors, most of you, I know!

So when I ask you to pray, it’s a tremendous feeling, knowing you take the request seriously.

Last Saturday I went to Stockton, California to participate in the memorial service for AVA advocate Katy McGehee. People gathered, grieved, cried, hugged, sang, read scripture, and promised prayers. I promised prayers. I promised your prayers. Thanks for being the kind of intercessors on whom I knew I could lean.

I don’t really know how a family copes with the circumstances facing the McGehees. When one family member ends the life of another, the grief and pain are so raw, so unfathomable; the way forward is choked and clouded. But the McGehees must go forward with their lives, even though it’s the most difficult, impossible, unthinkable thing to do. Continue Reading »



AVA Advocate Becomes Victim

3 comments Written on November 2nd, 2011     
Filed under: AVA (Abuse), Updates, Women's Issues

AVA Advocate Katy McGehee (second from left) of Stockton, California, was commissioned on September 29 at the Mission Springs Women Ministries retreat.

What sadness we feel as we have learned of the tragic death of Advocacy for Victims of Abuse (AVA) advocate Katy McGehee.

Katy was found dead in her Manteca, California home on Monday of this week; her son, Dawson McGehee was arrested in connection with her death several hours later. Katy’s husband, Thom, was in China on business and returned home on Tuesday.  Three other adult children, Justin, Colin and Katelyn, also survive their mother.  

A member of the Stockton (California) Covenant Church, Katy served many people using her gifts of compassion, listening and comfort.  She received AVA training from Pacific Southwest Conference Regional Coordinator Kathy Melton and became a local advocate in 2010. At the Women Ministries Mission Springs weekend retreat in September, Katy was formally commissioned as a local AVA advocate along with three other women, including her good friend, Susan White, also of Stockton Covenant.  Continue Reading »



Miss Representation and You

Post a Comment » Written on October 21st, 2011     
Filed under: Updates, Women's Issues
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For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
–Psalm 139:13-14

God's love for you is unchanging and immovable. Count on it!

You are so precious and so very special to God. His love for you is vast, overwhelming, unchanging and free. I hope you grasp fully the love of God for you, and I hope you are able to fully live into the truth that you do not need to sell yourself, sell out or buy in to the lies that are so readily promulgated by modern culture. You’re terrific, just the way you are, and you don’t need to adapt to fit someone’s idea of what you should be. Accept that; live in to it.

How can you help the young women and men in your life understand this? Continue Reading »