By Delores McDonald
ARP Women’s Ministries’ President Elaine Reed began her address to Synod by focusing on the impact Women’s Ministries is making on the lives of women across the ARP denomination. Sharing a page from the life of a WM board member, she told how the woman came to know Christ as a young girl, but turned her back on the church in her late teens, after she was deeply hurt by members of her local congregation.
￼In her late 30s, the Lord placed a woman in her life who made it her mission to pray for reconciliation. She was brought back into fellowship with Christ and began attending an ARP church. Again, the Lord put a woman in her life to be her spiritual mentor and then a third woman encouraged her to study the Bible.
“The Lord used these three women through one-on-one ministry to set in motion an explosion of spiritual growth, which gave birth to her passion for women’s ministries,” Mrs. Reed said. “This experience exemplifies the article, “Why Women’s Ministries?” in the May/June issue of The Associate Reformed Presbyterian. The article lays out the biblical foundation for woman- to-woman ministry. Our Board appreci- ated the note received from Pastor Allen Derrick, who encouraged the elders, deacons, and women of his churches to read this article.
“When I think of impact and its rippling effect, I go back to my child- hood, when my dad and my grandfather showed me how to skip rocks. The ideal stone was made smooth by the influence of its environment, it seemed the best results occurred when I took the time to wash the stone off in the water—almost allowing the stone to become familiar with the water—with a slight step back and a smooth release of the wrist the stone bounced off the water causing ripples.
“I have the same image of The ARP Women’s Ministries Board. The Board is standing at the edge of our com- munity. We send out encouragement through resources and training, which skip along like stones across the water. The ripples of impact spread far and wide as lives are touched.”
What does this impact look like? For Sharon Carr of Church of the Atonement, it’s ensuring an accurate bibli-al perspective. After attending a WM event this year she wrote, “Thanks for making the Word very prominent in your talks.”
For Diane Speights of Scots Kirk ARP, impact is realized through weekly Bible Study. “I have learned so much from the Women’s Bible studies at our church through the years and truly feel that through them, I have grown in my knowledge of and love for the Lord and His Word.”
Our prayer for the women of the ARP Church is to touch their lives in such a way they will “know Jesus intimately, love Jesus faithfully, and serve Jesus fruitfully” (ARP Women’s Ministries Website).