Women's Ministries Report 2016–2020

What a privilege it is to serve as a "liaison" for women’s ministry in the North Pacific Union. I remember way back to the late 1980s when women’s ministry was not a department of the GC, NAD, unions or conferences. I remember when a group of Northwest women (Ruthie Jacobson, Ginny Allen, Barbara Nelson, … ), concerned by the direction of the feminist movement, prayerfully considered the ways in which God's desire for women could be supported by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

That was the beginning, a grassroots movement that quickly spread throughout the NPUC, then eastward. Eventually, women's ministry had roots around the globe. It is now a department at the General Conference, in every division, each union and every conference around the world. But the action is still where it has always been: at the grassroots. Its purpose was, and still is, to call women — especially those who have not yet put their spiritual gifts to use — to rise out of their comfort zones and become “pew fillers” instead of “pew warmers.” In women's ministry, there is a ministry for EVERY woman, and I am honored and blessed to serve with them.

To model Jesus Christ in our sphere of influence through meaningful relationships and effective ministries.

Mission

Objectives:

  • Provide opportunities for women to deepen their faith through spiritual growth and renewal
  • Address concerns unique to women 
  • Build networks of meaningful relationships among women
  • Provide servant-leadership lifestyle training to inspire women to recognize their spiritual gifts and actively use them in the home, church and community.
  • Promote and provide service opportunities
  • Mentor young women

To see pew “warmers” become pew “fillers.”

Vision

Accomplishments

  • Small group Bible studies, conference and church spiritual retreats, women’s Sabbath School classes and an annual women’s devotional book
  • Annual Summit on Abuse, seminars targeting specific needs (i.e. single moms, widows, women’s health, etc.)
  • Retreats, local church activities, support of deaf women’s ministries, NAD, NPUC and conference women’s ministry websites
  • Leadership workshops, directors’ advisories, NAD ministries convention and NAD women’s ministry convention
  • Camp meeting “God in Shoes” activities, retreat outreach opportunities and community-impact opportunities
  • Gorgeous2God Instagram & Facebook pages, young women’s retreats, Adventist university scholarship program

Opportunities:

  • COVID-19 has given us an opportunity to grow in ways we did not foresee. Virtual seminars and retreats have allowed us to reach far beyond our NW borders, and the numbers of “attendees” have far surpassed expectations. But of course, nothing can replace in-person fellowship. In the future, our objective will be to provide both. 
  • Sadly, there are still small voices who believe that women’s ministry is all about tea parties, dividing families, ordaining women, husband-bashing or belaboring the woes of the woman’s plight. They have not yet recognized the beauty in seeing a woman finally “get" that she was created in God’s image, and to be like Him is to live a lifestyle of servant-leadership, as Christ did. We want to continue to inspire, educate and motivate!
  • More can be done to mentor and involve young women. We will continue to broaden our focus.
  • We want to be open to and watch for new possibilities — to see a “shut door” as God’s opportunity.

Featured in: Constituency Report 2022

Author

Sue Patzer

North Pacific Union Conference women's ministry director
Section