Ashley Belknap on Intergenerational Women’s Ministries – How can we Change a Model?
When speaking with women across our denomination, one of the most common questions I am asked is is, “How can we better reach the younger women in our women’s ministries?” At the heart of this question is a desire for change. Rephrased, the question could be, “How do we change our ministry to better reach all of our women – old and young alike?” Young women are not the problem; older women are not the problem; the desire is most certainly not the problem. Our problem lies in the fact that change is not easy. It’s not easy for individual sinners to change; it’s not easy to collectively change a group of sinners; and it’s even more difficult to change the direction of a ministry comprised of sinners. Yet, this is exactly what the Gospel is all about – change – changing daily into Christ-likeness!! Our goal in these two seminars is to begin addressing the question of change – “How do you change a ministry model to better meet the collective needs of all?” These are questions that we should all be asking of our women’s ministries daily – after all, as sinners change and grow, so do needs – what worked yesterday might not be the answer next year. Come join us as we explore the concept of change within ministry.
Sherry Lanier on Gospel Unity, Cultural Diversity – The Changing Faces of the PCA
This workshop has become a most exciting project for us all. Six women from diverse backgrounds; five ethnicities, four nationalities and four languages all with one Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This is both a living reality and a reflection, a shadow, of the Kingdom to come – God’s ultimate victory over sin and death and His restoring all things in Christ Jesus. In His Word God repeatedly tells us that the redeemed from every tribe, people group and language will worship together around His throne. When we began this project most of us didn’t know each other, but now we have become fast friends. We have learned to trust one another, to speak the truth in love, and to learn from one another as sisters in Christ who care for His glory and His covenant family, the church.
The world is seemingly becoming much smaller through technology and travel, and the ease of moving from one nation to another. The church has an incredible opportunity to reach more and more people groups with the gospel and see people come to faith in Christ as He is bringing the world to our neighborhoods and communties. Now is the time for us to build lasting bridges of relationships and trust on which the good news of Christ can cross over cultural boundaries and traverse the chasm of language to change the hearts of His called out ones. Come and enjoy and learn with the rest of us as we share God’s good work in the lives of our lovely sisters in the PCA.
Reedemer Church, Jackson, MS
Sherry Lanier and her husband Steve reside in Jackson, MS. They helped start Redeemer Church PCA, an intentionally multi-cultural church, where Steve is the Assistant to Rev. Mike Campbell. Sherry has a passion for God’s Word and discipleship and mentoring of young women. She and Steve served on the staff of Youth for Christ for 23 years and she now meets on a weekly basis with a number of young women from her church and teaches a weekly outreach Bible study for professional women. She has been involved in the development of women’s ministries at several PCA churches and currently serves as the Women’s Advisory Sub-Committee (WASC) Member for the Mid-South Region for PCA Women’s Ministry. Sherry serves as a board member for several organizations including the local Center for Pregnancy Choices, an outreach to young women in unplanned pregnancies, the Neighborhood Christian Center, an outreach ministry to at-risk youth, and Mississippi Volunteer Organizations Assisting in Disasters (MS VOAD), as well as being on staff with the PCA/Mission to North America Short Term Missions and Disaster Response Ministry. She is excited about the growing vision of the PCA to reach every people group at home and around the world. Her greatest joy is ministering alongside her husband, hosting people in her home, and being ‘Momsie’ to her precious grandchildren!
Grace Community Church, Dalton, GA
Adela Ireta is married to Reverend Carlos Ireta. They have three daughters; Denise, a violin player who lives in North Georgia and is getting a degree in music; Karla, an 11th grader; and Emma, a 10th grader. Both Karla and Emma play volleyball. Adela and Carlos began their ministry with Carlos attending seminary in Mexico. Their next calling was to church planting in Laredo, Texas, and now they serve at Grace Community Church in Dalton, GA where Carlos is the Assistant Pastor.
New City Fellowship South, St. Louis, MO
Renee Higgins loves the Lord Jesus and His church. Renee was born in Saint Louis, MO and became a Christian at the Christ Zion Water Tower Baptist Church. Across the years, Renee has used her gifts as a teacher to host home Bible studies in each military location that she was placed. Renee also served the families of soldiers through working with Protestant Women of the Chapel as an officer, teacher, and prayer leader. She is an accomplished worship leader, singer and an outstanding choir director. She is also a woman of prayer and a trained Precept Ministries Bible study teacher. Renee holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Harris Teacher’s College in Saint Louis, Missouri. She is extremely hospitable and loves to cook. Renee has been married to Mike Higgins for 31 years. Presently, Mike is Dean of Students at Covenant Seminary in Saint Louis. Renee is the mother of Mary Yvonne and Michelle Joanna, and a friend to all who know her. Renee is also now grandmother to Moses!
Christ Community Church, Franklin, TN
Phemie immigrated to the US with her parents and younger sister when she was 19. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she still experiences “cultural shock” every now and then after twenty plus years of living in America. Phemie met her husband, a Singaporean, when they attended the University of Oregon. Tim is an audio-engineer and producer. He’s also studying for ordination at this time. Her husband always said that God called him to come to Nashville for music to get him out of music, meaning the industry. Besides helping Tim with the new church plant they felt called to start, Phemie also works full-time running a business in Franklin, TN. Last but not the least, she is the proud mother of two boys, 20 and 15. Phemie says, “Being a mother is one of the greatest blessings the Lord has given me. It helps me appreciate His unconditional love.”
Redeemer Church, Jackson, MS
Ronjanett Taylor is a member of Redeemer Church, PCA in Jackson. She is originally from St. Louis, Missouri but grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. Ronjanett came to Christ at the age of 9 and even at that young age, realizedknowing Jesus changed her. Somewhat turbulent adolescent years made her realize that the being a Christian and loving Jesus didn’t make you do everything right or everything good. As a young adult, sherealized that this process had a name (sanctification) and it would be a life-long process of “continuing to work out salvation…” as it says in Philippians 2:12-15. Remembering these years of change is what led to the prayerful creation of the Sister Cooks ministry for which Ronjanett currently serves as coordinator and Bible study leader. Ronjanett also sings in the choir and serves with the women’s ministry. Together with her wonderful husband Bryant of 12 years, Ronjanetthas three children Justin- age 16, Sedric – age 19, and Amber- age 20, and a2 year old granddaughter, Ambria. This marvelous blended family affords many opportunities to practice grace, patience, love, and foregiveness. Ronjanett works full time asprogram director for an AmeriCorps grant.