VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 7/3/18)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS), American Baptist Women’s Ministries (ABWM) and American Baptist Women in Ministry (ABWIM) are collaborating to host concurrent conferences for women and girls in July at Judson University, Elgin, Ill. The three organizations hope to attract women from culturally diverse backgrounds for a weekend of learning, dialogue and strengthening relationships with each other. Joint workshops and worship will be featured.
“We are continually looking for opportunities to expand our relationship with our denominational partners,” says the Rev. Gina Jacobs-Strain, ABWM executive director. “American Baptist Women’s Ministries conference ‘FEEL: Fully Exploring and Engaging in God’s Love,’ provides the perfect opportunity for us to collaborate and to serve our constituency. Our common goal is building God’s kingdom by providing intentional, rich opportunities for our denomination to individually and collectively deepen women’s personal relationship with God. This deepening has a positive impact on our communities, locally and internationally. Therefore, intentional collaboration is both obvious and essential.”
The Rev. Dr. Patricia Hernandez, associate general secretary for ABWIM and Transition Ministries, American Baptist Churches USA, says, “It’s a joy to collaborate with AB Women’s Ministries and ABHMS, as we come together bringing our different gifts, distinct voices and diversity of calls, becoming beloved community and—along the theme of the conference—FEELing God’s warm and welcoming embrace.”
Adds the Rev. Florence Li, national coordinator of ABHMS Asian Ministries: “ABHMS is excited to collaborate with ABWM and ABWIM to lift up each other’s contribution. When women come together from all corners of life, there is so much to give and to receive. God brings out our individual cultures and identities but connects us to others on their own unique faith journeys. Building sisterhood creates a network that is a beautiful mosaic!”
ABHMS’ Intercultural Ethnic Women Conference will be held July 18-21. Providing time for bonding, the event seeks to empower female clergy, lay leaders and seminarians of diverse ethnicities via leadership training; increase knowledge about ecumenical engagement and networking skills; increase awareness and ministry skills by building a support network; and create a cross-cultural mentoring program for women in ministry. Participants will learn to navigate the challenges of women in ministry; increase use of church change strategies to positively impact women in ministry; and increase networking, while cultivating mentors and emerging leaders.
Based on Isaiah 11, ABWM’s “FEEL: Fully Exploring and Engaging in God’s Love” conference will be held July 19-22. The conference will feature a series of conversation groups, workshops, interactive worship and Bible study that will help women understand their unique calling and blessings in ministry. It seeks to inspire a deeper sense of community and support among women of faith across denominations, welcoming and affirming diversity of all types.
The Rev. Dr. Zina Jacque, lead pastor of Community Church of Barrington, Ill., for more than a decade, will lead the Bible study and Sunday morning service. She founded the Pastoral Counseling Center of Trinity Church, Boston, and has served in senior positions at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.; the University of Chicago; Mills College, Oakland, Calif.; and the University of California. She has served on the boards of several faith-based organizations.
Hornrette Washington, senior musician and director of the Corona-East Elmhurst Clergy Association, Corona, N.Y., will lead worship music throughout the conference. She served as minister of music for Antioch Baptist Church, Corona, for 33 years, recently retiring in 2013. She also founded the “The Starlets of Corona” interdenominational children’s choir, has ministered with the International Christian Consultation on Prostitution, and has played with many gospel musicians throughout her career.
The FEEL Conference will include a special opportunity for women aged 18-39 to discuss relevant issues in their journey as Christians. The Young Adult Women’s Ministry advisory team of American Baptist Women’s Ministries will lead collection of donations for a local homeless shelter to facilitate deeper engagement in the surrounding community.
In addition, ABWM will host the National Gathering for Girls July 19-22. This event focuses on the concept of “Transitions,” which allows girls between sixth grade and high school (including recent high school graduates) to explore topics relevant to their age group, such as friendship and graduation. The girls will take part in worship, praise and Bible study together.
ABWIM will provide key leadership roles in worship, workshops, and table conversations throughout the event. Additionally, opportunities will be available for women in ministry to gather together for conversation and networking.
Registration Registration fee for the Intercultural Ethnic Women Conference is $100. Continuing education grants are available to ordained clergy. Fee includes program, campus housing (two twin beds) and meals. Air travel and ground transportation are attendees’ responsibility. Additional information is available via a downloadable event flier, cover letter and registration form at abhms.org > Events. Or contact ABHMS’ Li at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610.768.2468.
Register for the FEEL conference by visiting abwomensministries.org. Three registration packages are available. Registrants are invited to stay at the newly renovated dormitory on the Judson campus or at one of several hotels adjacent to campus. Some of these hotels offer free shuttle services. Commuters are also welcome. For more information about the FEEL conference, please visit abwomensministries.org.
Those choosing to attend both the Intercultural Ethnic Women Conference and FEEL should call American Baptist Women’s Ministries at 610.768.2288 to discuss arrangements.
American Baptist Women’s Ministries is a Christ-centered organization committed to encouraging and empowering women and girls to serve God.
American Baptist Women in Ministry seeks the full participation and full partnership of men and women in ministry in which both women and men are able to fully utilize their God-given gifts and fully live out their God-given calls.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.