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A Note from our Director

August 2019

Dear sisters of Second Presbyterian,

What a joy to have a fresh opportunity to express my love and appreciation for each and every one of you! It’s also a joy to share a few details about Second’s ministry among women for our upcoming “ministry year” (August 2019–July 2020). I hope you’ll join us for our Women in Ministry Launch Party on August 21, where we’ll enjoy fellowship with one another and  be able to see the various ways women can get plugged in at Second. Please also plan to invite your friends who don’t have a local-church home, as this will be a great venue for welcoming newcomers and spending time together.

You’ve received with this letter our scheduled events for the next year. I’d value explaining how Women in Ministry is aiming to advance our mission of helping sisters of Second make progress in knowing Christ, becoming like him, and making him known in each of our various callings and contexts. Let me begin by articulating some of the fundamental convictions that govern how your WIM team is going after this mission. 

First, we take seriously your daily need for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Scriptures that proclaim him. The Bible is God’s personal speech to you, his beloved child. In it, he mercifully reveals his eternal purpose to redeem his people through his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s why God’s Word is at the heart of all our ministry among women at Second. We believers mature personally and corporately as we let God’s Word do its work in our hearts.

Second, we take you seriously as Christ’s ambassador in your various relationships and contexts And just like every other ambassador for Christ, you need the peculiar refreshment and equipping that God provides his beloved children in his Word. Our WIM Word-gatherings aim to facilitate the fellowship and training that each of us needs.

Do you want to grow in your understanding of God’s love for you? Do you want to grow in your love for God? Do you want to grow in your usefulness as Christ’s servant — in your workplace, in your home, in your everyday interactions with your neighbors? God’s Word makes you ready for the particular good work he’s prepared for you (II Timothy 3:16–17). Women who truly desire to participate in advancing God’s kingdom here and now are women who commit themselves to growing as Word-filled women, in glad reliance on their Father who loves them.

Third, we take you seriously as a vital member of Christ’s body, the church. God has given you special gifts of grace so that you can help build up the whole body in love (Ephesians 4:15–16). What an enormous privilege to belong to this local-church family with you! Our family at Second includes believers from various generations, life stages, and backgrounds, and your WIM team is working hard to shape programs that strengthen our unity in the gospel amidst our diversity.

Now that I’ve mentioned a few of WIM’s governing convictions, I’ll highlight one theme that will show up again and again in this year’s WIM programs: story and storytelling. Stories have peculiar power to capture our imagination and stir our affections, don’t they? And the Bible is filled with them! God has inspired storyteller after storyteller to record stories in the Bible for the sake of later generations (see I Corinthians 10:11). And God intends to transform us by these stories, especially as they point us to his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. 

So how does this theme of story and storytelling unfold in our programming? In September we’ll offer a Word-Filled Women Workshop, during which we’ll focus on the book of Ruth. This workshop is designed to help us each grow in hearing, doing/applying, and retelling Old Testament stories. You may notice that a number of our WIM weekly Bible studies will focus on Old-Testament-story books. That means that those of you who participate in the September workshop will be able to apply what you learn immediately in your weekly Bible studies. (Of course, anyone can apply the workshop content even if her weekly Bible study isn’t specifically focusing on Old Testament narrative.)

But there’s more. As we dip into Old Testament stories, we not only want to listen carefully to what those storytellers say (their message), but how they say it (their method). That is, we want to learn from the way Old Testament narrators tell their stories so that we too can grow in God-centered storytelling. We want to be equipped to retell the Bible’s stories in a God-centered manner. We also want to be helped in viewing our smaller life-stories in the context of God’s one big story of redemption in Christ.

Just think about all the stories we women tell others in the course of a day: at the grocery store, around the dinner table, in a text message. Imagine the plentiful harvest waiting to be reaped, if each of us commits to making progress in using our everyday habits of storytelling to commend God’s matchless character and works (Psalm 145)! So as we look to the Bible’s stories this year, we’re hoping that their message and method will shape our message and method.

That’s why we’ll host a special women’s luncheon and dinner on Tuesday, October 22, during which we’ll each aim to hone the practical skill of God-centered storytelling. Irene Sun and our very own Margaret Thompson will help lead this event. These dear sisters will remind us of the peculiar power of God-centered storytelling and its usefulness in our discipleship and evangelism.

Our equipping forums each semester also aim to encourage us in our discipleship and evangelistic relationships. Our Fall forum will help us understand and embrace the biblical category of lament. Our Winter forum will help us understand and embrace a biblical vision for civics and civility as followers of Christ and citizens of heaven. The issue of civility is an urgent one, not least due to the upcoming U.S. presidential election and the opportunities we’ll have to put the gospel on display in our cultural moment.

Sisters, you and I have the privilege of “working hard in the Lord” today — by God’s grace, pressing on to know Christ, become like him, and make him known. We do this knowing that one day very soon, we shall see face to face. And when we see him, we shall be like him. Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Your sister servant,

Mary Willson
Director of Women in Ministry