by Major Jolene Hull, Territorial Women’s Ministries Secretary
In February 2020 as Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, world president of women’s ministries, launched a “Reimagined” women’s ministries, she talked about the Lord’s leading. It was providential. One month later, we were not only in the throes of reimagining women’s ministries but everything in The Salvation Army and in the world! Reimagining has been a slow and steady process. “It’s about knowing what we have and about what we had, but imagining it again; what could be, what can be and how we can be more relevant and how we can be more inclusive,” Commissioner Marieke Venter, then zonal women’s ministries secretary for South Asia, so aptly captured.
Being relevant and inclusive to the needs of the people in our community, while sharing Jesus Christ, is what women’s ministries is all about.
Doing something different is not new for the Central Territory. We have utilized focus groups in women’s ministries to address the needs and interests of women for more than two decades but as Commissioner Bronwyn Buckingham, then world secretary for women’s ministries, summarized, “Sometimes we need a little bit of a shake-up…we want more, and we want better.”
As each corps in the Central Territory continues reimagine women’s ministries, they do it out of their desire to serve like Jesus, taking into account the needs of women in their community. One major way women’s ministries reimagined itself is through virtual experiences. We have seen numerous examples of Bible studies, holiday parties, Embrace groups, women’s craft days and even women’s retreats through online experiences. In addition, corps officers have brought a sense of normalcy and togetherness in the form of “women’s ministries program in a box.” Each bag or box delivered consisted of a small treat, devotional, craft and a little bit of love and hope. Another way for women to connect has been through sharing a meal over Zoom or a conversation on the phone.
As we continue to reimagine women’s ministries, let’s not be overwhelmed by what seems impossible but look for simple of ways of helping and equipping women through self-development, service to others and loving the Lord.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 (ESV)
Women’s Ministries International Vision Statement
We envision women who are:
• Transformed and empowered by the gospel to lead a Christlike life
• Enriched mutually through local and global connections and support
• Equipped to fulfill their potential through lifelong learning and development
• Engaged in social justice and action to positively impact the world