VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 4/26/13)—The Women in Ministry Advisory Team is excited to introduce “Celebrating the Gifts of Women in Ministry,” a letter of support created by the Advisory Team to gather signatures of American Baptists who affirm women as ministerial leaders for our churches. The initiative seeks to highlight the support that already exists for women as leaders in our churches—but may not be widely known—in order to encourage others to join in this momentous movement.
The team extends an invitation to join in a public affirmation of the gifts that women bring to ministry and for the vision of the full partnership of men and women in professional church leadership.
Those interested can sign the letter by visiting the following link: http://www.abc-usa.org/what_we_believe/abc-organizations/abwim/openletter/
The Reverend Charles C. Adams, of the Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit, a member of the ABWIM Advisory Team, originally suggested the letter of support. Rev. Adams envisioned getting the signatures of recognized leaders in order to encourage others to sign. He states: “This letter reaffirms our commitment to promote and encourage equality of opportunity in our churches. History has taught us that these movements must be deliberate and determined, thoughtful yet with a profound sense of urgency.”
The “Celebrating the Gifts of Women in Ministry” letter will publicize the names of those who support women’s leadership, with the hope that those who may be unsure will be encouraged to think about, discuss and explore supporting women’s gifts for ministry. Click here to view resources available to provide biblical support for the inclusion of women in all levels of ministry: http://www.abc-usa.org/what_we_believe/abc-organizations/abwim/
Patricia Hernandez, the National Director of WIM, conveys the Advisory Team’s excitement over this effort: “We hope to ignite a movement which will bring us closer to a world in which both women and men are able to fully utilize their God-given gifts and fully live out their God-given calls. Our ultimate goal is the full partnership of women and men in ministry in which all God’s gifts and all God’s calls can be fully lived out for the good of all and the glory of God!”
The Advisory Team believes that publicly acknowledging the support for women’s ministerial gifts is important because women in ministry face many formidable “glass ceiling” barriers.
Signees of the letter become advocates in celebrating and supporting women’s gifts for ministry. The Advisory Team plans to use this letter to encourage others to support women as equal partners with men in ministering to all God’s people.
The Women in Ministry Advisory Team members include:
Rev. Patricia Hernandez, National Director ABWIM
Rev. Holly V. Bean, Advisory Team Convener
Rev. Charles C. Adams
Rev. Dr. Judy G. Allbee
Rev. Steve Bils
Rev. Dr. Alice B. Greene
Rev. Dr. Mary Hulst
Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley
Rev. Lauren Ng
Rev. Jackie Saxon
Rev. Karen Yee
Rev. Dr. Mary H. Young
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.