Women’s Ministry Update

February 2022 | Interview by Barb Ryczek, Article by Ellie McGinty

     Sometimes prayer feels like a cop out, a passive way of caring for someone rather than an active way of serving them. But if we believe that God is real, and that He tenderly and wholeheartedly cares about His people and has the power to change them, then prayer suddenly becomes one of the most important things we could do for each other. Prayer is essential to our lives and ministry and the lives and ministry of others. 

     Our Women’s Ministry Team here at Gashland EPC knows this to be true, and acts on it in sweet and caring ways. Melissa Cable and Lisa Miller, both members of the team, shared about how they have seen the power of prayer and God’s hand through it at work in their ministry: “A core value of the team is not to get ahead of God, to wait patiently on His leading and timing. Sometimes this has meant hitting pause, sometimes it means fast forward. We have seen His timing and His attention to detail over and over again when ours was lacking. I think a part of this is due to another core value on the team: the primacy of prayer. We flipped praying at the end of our meeting to praying at length, sometimes 30 minutes or more, at the beginning of our meetings. We take seriously the call on us to care for the women of the church and the best way we know how to do that is to pray for their needs,” said Melissa. The Women’s Ministry Team receives prayer requests from women on Facebook and through other means of communication, and they faithfully pray for each one, sometimes even just praying for women that were laid on their hearts at that particular time. Lisa Miller heads up writing notes to the women they pray for as well, to encourage them that they are being brought before the throne of God, even when they can’t bring themselves.

Prayer has also played a huge role in how this team has handled their typical events and gatherings in light of the new mandates and restrictions of Covid: “The Women’s Ministry Team sees the uncertainties of recent times as an opportunity to go to the Lord for His guidance and to think outside the box as things keep changing. For example, we had the Christmas Tea, but changed both our physical set-up and our program. As we watched the pieces fall into place, even down to filling every single seat, it was wonderful to see God’s hand at work,” said Lisa. She continued, “Always we want our events to be an outworking of God’s will. Our mission statement is: For the women of Gashland to experience the fullness of Christ by equipping them for a vibrant relationship with Him and each other. When we plan something we ask: how does this support our mission? What is God saying about continuing a program? Some of the most encouraging moments in this ministry have been when the synergy of the moment leads to a new event, to a theme for an event, etc., all clearly supplied by the Lord!” 

Each of the events and ministries put on by this team are going strong, even though the format of some of them has changed. The Equipping Ministries, which are meant to help women get in the Word and teach them how to better interact with it, have been faithfully meeting since the fall. These include Martha Circle, Morning Circle, the Precepts Studies, and the Thursday evening study, as well as a few virtual studies as well. Coffee Talk and Around the Table are consistently bringing women together for fellowship, and Apples of Gold, a way of encouraging one another, is starting back up in February.