VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 9/29/20)—On Friday, September 18, 2020, the Young Adult Women’s Advisory Team (YAWMAT) of American Baptist Women’s Ministries (ABWM) hosted Paint and Soothe Your Soul. Women from across the nation gathered for a night of worship and creative expression. Worship centered around Psalm 131. Keynote speaker, Jasmin Figueroa encouraged participants to check in with their bodies and spirits during times of stress. Given the unique pressures of COVID-19 and its particular impact on women, one can be tempted to not mourn or seek help and comfort, to one’s own detriment. The Psalm reminds us to remember, especially in times of distress the image of God as a loving parent.
Participants were blessed by the talent of Jessica Brooks whose musical selections reminded participants to draw close to God’s presence. Following worship, participants were led in painting by VaLorie Fogle (YaYa). YaYa taught painting fundamentals and encouraged each participant to explore their own unique way of replicating the artwork for the evening. Participants shared how the event provided a much-needed opportunity for fellowship and creative therapy. ABWM is grateful for the gifts and leadership of the YAWMAT team, Olivia Banks, Jami Hefflinger, Barbara Florvil, Sadqia Delaney, and Driana Arceneaux.
“It was an evening of fellowship, fun, and exploration. Together we paused to take a breath and to tap into the creative joy in each of us. Painting provided an opportunity for us to explore our connection to God and to each other” stated Rev. Dr. Gina Jacobs-Strain, executive director of ABWM.
The young adult women’s ministries advisory team helps to coordinate and envision AB Women’s Ministries outreach and support for young adult women. ABWM holds regular events for young adult women; in the past, these events have included brunches, retreats, conferences, webinars, and spiritual pilgrimages. ABWM encourages young adult women to be involved in leadership and the ministries at all levels of the organization, as well as in their local churches and communities.
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.