Women Biblical Leadership
By Women of Wonder (WOW!), Inc.
Women Biblical LeadershipJan 01, 2023
Longing in the Pilgrimage of Promises
Rev. Milly Silencio border crossing pilgrimage started when she was 3. Her mom made an audacious decision to cross over from Peru to the US to protect her child. Abraham and Sarah made an audacious decision to pack up and take the whole clan to move across borders. Jesus himself made an audacious decision to cross over to our broken, corrupt world which did not welcome him. Listen to each of their stories and discover your calling as a faithful ezer. See the pain, the corruption, and the needs. Be the empowering ezer presence assisting them to have their longings met.
What has been your pilgrimage/ journey with God?
How is it similar or different to Abraham or Sarah’s story?
Miluska E. (Milly) Silencio is many things. As an educator, a spiritual advisor, a mentor, and a Dreamer. She founded Hoping Greatly, where she uplifts others through her story of resilience as an undocumented immigrant and co-founder of IVCF alumni of the Mentor Movement. Milly is a licensed clergy with the Evangelical Covenant Church and the former Executive Pastor at Reconcile Brooklyn. As a writer, she contributed her story Restaurando Esperanza in “Keeping the Faith: Reflections on Politics & Christianity in the Era of Trump & Beyond.” She is also an active contributor to My UndocuLife. She is a board member of WOW! In her free time, she can be found catching up on shows with her hubby, having piña colada cheers with friends, and coaching over a delicious NYC meal discovery. More about her journey can be found at hopinggreatly.com.
The Persistent Widow Speaking Truth to Power
The Persistent Widow Speaking Truth to Power
What do you imagine the widow to be like? Young? Old? Frail? Bold? In this episode, Bonnie Lin highlights how widows have been an important part of Jesus' life and ministry. In this parable, Jesus features a widow to emulate the fullness of the Kingdom of God as she boldly speaks up, speaks out, and speaks truth to power. The widow represents those without power, without status, without a voice, and neglected by the governing system. She is pitched against a powerful judicial system that does not fear God nor upholds justice. Have you at times felt too weak, too small, too scared, and powerless in the face of justice?
One of the examples Bonnie Lin brought up was the growing Anti-Asian hate crimes, we find that as bystanders can make a difference by speaking truth to power. In living out the ezer community, Bonnie Lin introduces us to the 5Ds bystanders can do when witnessing a hate crime. Applying the widow’s experience, Bonnie Lin takes us deep into Jesus' parable to explore how the persistent widow caused the powerful unjust judge to feel like he was about to be KO'd in a boxing match.
Bonnie Lin is a PhD Candidate in Practical Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, where she has developed and taught a course on educational strategy in conflictual contexts, co-led the Asian American Theology and Ministry Colloquium, and directed research and designed learning tools for ministry innovation and antiracist initiatives. Her work brings together biblical hospitality, culturally responsive pedagogies, and restorative practices.
What does economic justice look like in ezer communities? How is it described in the bible? Erika Dayle Siu describes it with one word, koinonia. Koinonia is identifying neighbors as those in need of your help. It is contributing, participating, and sacrificing oneself for another in tangible ways such as sharing resources, time, and energy. It is about expanding our social circles to people of different religions or traditions, caring for animals and nature. In what ways is our world designed according to the principle of koinonia? In what ways is it designed to exclude and foster inequality? How can we be different and live within this world in the spirit of koinonia?
Erika Siu is the Deputy Director of the Think Tanks project at the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She most recently served as Secretariat Director of the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation. She has an interest in fiscal policy and sustainable development. Erika is a graduate of Florida State University (BS, JD), Yale University (MDiv), and New York University Law School’s Graduate Tax Program (LLM). Erika lives with her husband Simon and two children in Chicago, Illinois and loves a good swim in Lake Michigan.
Hagar - Her Cry in the Wilderness
Hagar, legacy or troublemaker? In the history of storytelling, Hagar has been highlighted as a troublemaker, quarrelsome, home wrecker, and mother of evil. However, upon in-depth study of Hagar’s journey, Krystin Bruan finds a rich portrait of Hagar for us to ponder and celebrate. Hagar models important biblical themes and prophecies of OT and NT. Her voice in the wilderness unveils God’s heart and guidance for the vulnerable. Hagar comes out of the wilderness armed with hope, God’s promises, protection, and courage. Trusting in God's leading, she returns and remains in a community where God is her ezer and is ultimately sent out in blessing with her son Ishmael.
Krystin is passionate about cultivating creative vibrant communities for the greater social good. She loves working with artists, college students, and young professionals to develop healthy spirituality. A creative producer and communicator by trade, she has launched startups, guided social enterprises, served local churches, and led nonprofits in Madrid, Shanghai, and NYC. You can typically find her gathering people around a table, obsessing over stationary, or dancing salsa. She is currently pursuing her graduate studies at Fuller Theological Seminary and is the Chair of WOW!'s Board of Directors.
Naomi & Ruth: Mentoring, Mourning & Movement
The story of Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz is not a story about romance, dating or marriage. It is an inspirational story about acknowledging disruptions of life and grieving together the loss, pain and anger we face. Victoria Chu shows us how the three movements of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz inspire an outpour of self-giving hesed love that impacts their community as they move through the grief process together. Currently, in our world, we are seeing pain in the pandemic, violence, polarization, and various tragedies. Where do you see a hesed movement?
Victoria Chiu has an MA in Counseling from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She is a Bilingual (Mandarin, Cantonese) play therapist for children and families experiencing grief, trauma, neglect, and attachment issues. She is currently seeing clients through Redeemer Counseling Services in Manhattan and is working towards her doctorate in marriage and family therapy (MFT). Victoria loves hiking, biking, puppies, and the cello.
Mentoring: A Personal Journey of Decolonization
Biblical womanhood as subordinate or inferior is not what we find in the bible. Through a long journey with the women of Exodus these past two years, Drea Hairston now highlights Miriam’s place of honor among the Patriarchs. Through Miriam, we can see how her presence in Moses' life reminded him of his true identity, enabling Moses the bold faith to oppose the Pharaoh. Drea shares from her own journey the challenges and various resources both she and her community have engaged with the search for God's wisdom in aspects of decolonization such as gender equality and the equality of all people. What does the ezer mentorship of Miriam reveal to you in your journey? What are some areas we need greater liberation in our own lives? What could you do to be in communion with those whom the world has not liberated?
Drea Hairston is a pastor at Church! of Park Slope, a small community church in Brooklyn striving to be a collective body learning and following Christ together. She is a wife and mother of four children and received her MA degree from City Seminary in the midst of the pandemic. Listen to her previous teachings: Shiphrah & Puah: Midwives of Justice and Partnership Across the River.
Jethro the Priest: Transformational Discipleship in Individualistic Cultures
How does the way we know and understand the attributes of God help us be a community of ezers? In this podcast, Jessica Brooks introduces us to the Reader-Response Theory revealing the difference in how our interpretation of God's word through the western cultural context is very different from the ancient Hebrew context of seeing and ascribing value to the 'ezer' attribute of God. Jessica helps us to see how Moses went through spiritual formation, protection and accountability through his ezer (helper) community. Zipporah's ezer actions protected and propelled Moses into his calling as a prophet of God while Jethro and his community were a model for his priestly calling. Who are you protecting, guiding, and holding accountable in your ezer community?
Jessica Brooks graduated with an M.Div. from Nyack College's Alliance Theological Seminary in 2017, with a focus on Bible, Theology, and the Hebrew Bible. She completed ThM in Church History from Princeton Theological Seminary. Currently, she is pursuing a PhD in Intercultural Studies at Columbia International University focusing on church history. Her undergraduate work was at Howard University, where became a disciple of Jesus.
Reimagining Community Through Mentoring
We are in the midst of a community crisis where significant disruptions to our way of doing life together have traumatically impacted on our sense and definition of community. How can mentoring be one way to intentionally reimagine community? As Rachelle Verdier walks us through 3 pairs of mentoring relationships: Ruth and Naomi, Elijah and Elisha, Mary and Jesus, we see how God tethers people together in various mentoring relationships for their good and his greater redemptive narrative. These relationships of grace, reciprocity, and redemption opened the way of returning to, realization of, and redefinition of community. How can the mutual dedication expressed in these intentional friendships help us bring about the power, impact, and blessings of a vibrant ezer community?
Rachelle Verdier is a lifelong learner and educator. Rachelle has been teaching in NYC public schools, coaching educators, creating resources for adult learners, and providing professional development opportunities for over 20 years. She has aspirations to use her skillset to help people discover and excavate their authentic identities. Listen to her previous WOW! teaching- Lydia: The Power of Choice from October 2021.
How to Love a Stranger Even in Times of Danger
Bruce Feffer is a lawyer and Jewish Christian whose work with various churches includes leading bible study groups, discipleship training, and teaching classes on topics such as public speaking and finance from a biblical perspective. He recently served as interim English Congregation Pastor at New York Christian Mission Church in New York City. He maintains a full-time law practice in the area of real estate and commercial transactions.
The Power of Personal Agency
Bottoms Up! God does not operate in a top-down down institution of justice, but bottom-up. His justice comes through His mercy, love, and righteousness. Rev. Ajung Sojwal takes us to the public space where the Syrophoenician mother and Bartimaeus engage with Jesus in a conversation revealing their deep sense of personal agency in partnership with God to bring about the work of justice that blesses others. Listen to this episode and see how faith plays a role in opening our imaginations to a world of restorative justice that is bottoms up!
Rev. Ajung Sojwal is the rector of St. George’s Church, Hempstead, in the Diocese of Long Island. Ajung was ordained in the Episcopal Diocese of NY in 2006. She is particularly interested in understanding what radical hospitality means for the Church today. Her home is open for fellowship with home-cooked meals. Ajung is married to Milind, an ordained minister from India, they have two adult children.
Paul and His Friends
Some people say, “Jesus I like, Paul not so much.” Paul is much misunderstood when it comes to his theology about women. Lisa Mathews gives us an inside look at Paul’s relationship with his ezer community. He considered these men and women as his brothers and sisters, bringing in a new social reality to the house churches. Lisa explores distinctive words Paul used to express honor to the 10 women he named in Romans 16. He exhorts the church to welcome them all with respect, honor and dignity. With this understanding, how can we bring our church relationships into a new social reality of ezer communities?
Lisa is currently investigating new opportunities to serve and support city transformation leaders. She previously served as the USA City Movement Catalyst with Movement.org. She has a passion for leadership development, strategic planning, team building and seeing those around her empowered to utilize their God given gifts to their fullest potential. She was widowed in 2017 and lives in Holland, MI with her daughter's family where she loves daily life with her two grandsons. Follow her on Facebook @Lisa.Ann.Mathews
Esther - Empowered by Her Ezer Community
How did Esther come to be a significant biblical historic leader of the Jews? What was it that transformed an orphaned girl to become a woman of courage and rescued a nation from being wiped out? Esther responded to the kairos moment “for such a time as this” through the involvement of her community. Ezer warriors are cultivated over time in community. Joyce Dalrymple identifies Esther’s community offering care, counsel, commitment and celebration. How can you invest in your communities to raise ezers?
Joyce Koo Dalrymple served as the Pastor of Discipleship and Connections at Wellspring Alliance Church. The consistent theme throughout Joyce’s several careers has been a biblically informed passion for discipling and lifting up those on the margins, including working moms, widows, children, immigrants, and helping those seeking adoption. Joyce received a BA from Stanford University, her JD from Boston College and her MDiv from Metro Atlanta Seminary. She and her husband Tim live in Wheaton, Illinois with their three daughters, including one they adopted from China.
Mary: Birth on a Battlefield
Cindy Comiso gives a rich wrap up of our Exploration of Ezer series highlighting ezers as a warrior in the battlefield rescuing and delivering victory to people in need. Mary lives out the ezer warrior in womanish fashion allowing God to use her womb to protect and give birth to the Savior. How does living in humility, holy indifference, and participation lead Mary to proclaim “my soul magnifies the Lord” in the Magnificat? What is God inviting you to birth that others might be saved? What will it take to protect that “pregnancy” on the battlefield you find yourself in?
Cindy Comiso is an ordained minister of Word and Sacrament with the Evangelical Covenant Church as well as a certified Spiritual Director. She married Glen in 2005 and has three children. A native New Englander and cancer-survivor, Cindy has a big heart to bring God's hope and love to the many amazing people whom she calls “neighbor” and “friend.”
Women of Uncertainty
Uncertainty has become a constant companion in our daily journey. What can the experiences of Abigail, the Syrophoenician/Canaanite woman, and the Captive Little Maid offer us in times of uncertainty? How does Abigail's quick-wittedness, the Syrophonecian woman's decision to continue pressing in with faith and humility, and the Captive Little Maid speaking life in captivity help us adapt and discern the course of action God is calling us to take today? Milly Silencio shares her story of how these 3 women in the bible who lived in uncertainty became her ezer mentor in showing compassion for our neighbors. How do you believe God is inviting you to respond as an ezer kenegdo in times of uncertainty?
Milly is an educator, a spiritual advisor, a mentor, and a Dreamer. She is a licensed clergy and serves as the Discipleship Pastor with Reconcile Brooklyn. She is the founder of Hoping Greatly, where she uplifts others through her story of resilience as an undocumented immigrant and an active contributor in My UndocuLife. She is also currently serving as Chaplain of the WOW! board. More about her journey can be found at hopinggreatly.com.
Lydia: the Power of Choice
Within 4 verses, Rachelle Verdier unfolds a multi-dimensional portrait of Lydia with life and color. How did Lydia, a Greek Jewish woman become a game changer? Rachelle points out that “the average adult makes more than 35,000 decisions per day. All of this decision fatigue can lead to a perceived loss of power.” Lydia’s attentiveness to the Holy Spirit, her environment, politics, her trade, and conversations, enabled her to make decisions that led to powerful impact. She became an ezer of trust to Paul and his missions team, impacting the start of the church in Philippi where her legacy is remembered till this day. How can you turn your choices into powerful impact in the community and be an ezer that people can trust?
Rachelle Verdier is a lifelong learner and educator and has been teaching in NYC public schools, coaching educators, creating resources for adult learners and providing professional development opportunities for over 20 years. She leads the New Visions Black Educators network and is a founding member of Every Nation Church NYC. Her joy is to help people discover and excavate their authentic identities.
Listen to the untold story of Rahab and her enduring faith. What did her relationship with God look like? How did Rahab, a woman who only heard about God from afar, come to participate in a personal relationship with God that led her to be named among the faithful in the book of Hebrews? Christy Chia helps us to pause, observe and reflect on many broad strokes of Rahab's faith which have rarely been brought to the surface. Watch how God emboldened the ezer in her. What can we learn from her faith that was undeterred in a period of indefinite waiting and delayed deliverance?
Christy Chia is a third-year MDiv student at Fuller Theological Seminary. She is passionate about creating safe spaces for building community and empowering women and people of color in the church. Christy is currently serving with Fuller’s Center for Asian American Theology and Ministry, and also as a representative on the Fuller Student Council. Christy served at WOW! for a year before she began her MDiv studies at Fuller.
Partnership Across the River: Jochebed, Miriam, and Pharaoh’s daughter
Pastor Drea Hairston takes the term ezer out of the confinement of the patriarchal definition and leads us to a deeper dive into the biblical context of the term. Ezer was not designed by God as a gender divide, nor a hierarchical structure, nor a patriarchal ideology. Ezer was a description of partnership and wholeness in reflection of humanity as created by God. How was ezer portrayed through the partnership of Jochebed, Miriam, and Pharaoh’s daughter that would seemingly be impossible to the human mindset? How did seeing each other across social locations rescue them from isolation, ultimately becoming a story of defiance and deliverance? They were a team of ezers. How can this story of partnership inspire hope to our world that is divided and filled with hostility and violence?
Drea Hairston is a pastor at Church! of Park Slope. She recently received her MA degree from City Seminary in Harlem. She is a wife and mother of four children under 12. Although growing up as a Midwestern Lutheran, she has lived in Brooklyn and been a part of her non-denominational community church for the last 15 years. She is grateful to be a part of a church that is striving to be a collective body learning and following Christ together.
Single Hearted Devotion
The story of Anna's prophetic witness is often told alongside Simeon's in the temple. Similar to a piece of classical music, Victoria Chiu tells the story of Anna's personhood, single-hearted devotion, and prophetic witness as revealed in these 3 verses through 3 movements. Although she is sidelined by society due to her social location as a woman, widow, and a senior at 84 years old, God gave her a public platform, emboldened with a prophetic voice to spread the message of redemption and the work of mutuality in partnership with Simeon. She indeed is an ezer. In fact, she is named a prophetess! How can Anna's story offer you insight about living in the fullness of life that Jesus offers through the social location you find yourself? What is God's invitation to grow in and express single-hearted devotion to Jesus in this stage of your life?
Justice of Jubilee
The concept of jubilee stirs promise, hope, and relief. As we re-engage in this season, how has the pandemic prepared us to re-enter the world with God’s vision of Jubilee? Krystin Bruan invites us to envision what it is to put justice back into God's hands. She gives a Biblical overview of jubilee connecting it to Jesus, the ezer described as the one who rides across the heavens to put into motion a full economic and spiritual reset. How are you experiencing the rest, restoration and freedom of Jubilee? What are some new ways you can embody the principles of Jubilee as an ezer?
Krystin Bruan aims to raise the collective volume of marginalized voices through cultivating compelling narratives. She loves working with artists, college students, and young professionals to uncover biblical truth and develop healthy spirituality. She is serving her second term as WOW! board chair and making adjustments to pursue her Masters of Divinity at Fuller Seminary.
Song of Songs: The Female Body - Desired of God
Rev. Ajung Sojwal’s approach to Song of Songs challenges the common notion that the physical is somehow inferior to the spiritual. This cultural mindset has led to the objectifying and controlling the female body. She lays out 5 themes of mutuality with a number of surprises to ponder in wonder. The book features a woman’s voice which becomes bolder as she faces societal disapproval. She takes control of her own body, recognizes her own beauty, and proclaims that she has only one vineyard and she decides who to give it to. The Shulammite woman is an excellent place to redeem womanhood, marriage, sexuality, spirituality, identity and our inner desire for relationships that are safe, mutual, honest, and deep.
How do you see the Shulammite woman reflecting the role of the ezer?
Rev. Ajung Sojwal immigrated from India in 1994. She was ordained by the Episcopal Diocese of NY and is now the rector of St. George's Church in Hempstead Long Island. She is married to Milind, an ordained minister; they have 2 adult daughters.
Always Winter, Never Christmas: The Story of the Samaritan Woman at the Well
Jesus' meeting with the woman at the well takes place in the long winter season of not just her personal life, but in Jewish history. Rev. Jasmine Flores provides historical, cultural, and spiritual context to help us see Jesus is not just bringing salvation to her, but to an entire nation in this encounter. This radical conversation directly challenges and seeks to dismantle the prejudices and culture of the time, an example we can seek to follow today. Jesus restores her life and dignity by revealing to her that he is the living water she has been thirsting for, freeing her to enter a new way of living and worshipping God. Rev. Jasmine Flores highlights the Samaritan Woman's ezer likeness as the first evangelist, helping birth a new nation that will worship in spirit and in truth. Jasmine currently teaches Chinese in public middle school and is the founding pastor of Ignite Prayer Church. Jasmine and her husband, Rev. Tom Hui, are both ordained pastors. Together they parent and homeschool their three China-Rican children.
To Give and Sustain Life
We often hear masculine metaphors to describe God. In her teaching, Dr. Amy Davis Abdallah shows us throughout the Bible there are many seldomly used metaphors highlighting the role of women that reveal the image of God. Ezer-kenegdo is a metaphor used to describe God as one who gives life and sustains life. The giving life aspect is not limited to a biological reference, but describes salvation, triumph and blessings. Sustaining life describes the work of sabbath, conservation and co-creativity. Regardless of your own gender or life stage, what ways are you giving life and sustaining life as an ezer? Dr. Amy Davis Abdallah is a Professor of Theology and Bible at Nyack College Alliance Theological Seminary. She preaches and teaches internationally and is the author of The Book of Womanhood. Find her at amyfdavisabdallah.com or Twitter @amyfdavisa.
The Notorious DOZ
What can we learn about being Ezers from 5 sisters born in a time where women were seen as property rather than having the right to own property? This month, Bruce Feffer leads us into the story of the DOZ (Daughters of Zelophehad): a fatherless group of 5 sisters who notoriously fought for their land. He unpacks how three different types of community became the salvation of these sisters, arming them with faith to confront a legal system that favors men and bringing about new societal laws that include women. In what ways is God inviting you into community during this time of social distancing and isolation? How are our current communities reflecting God's character to bring about a more just society? Bruce Feffer is a lawyer, practicing full time in the area of real estate and commercial transactions. He is a Jewish Christian, and recently served as interim English Congregation Pastor at New York Christian Mission Church in New York City.
When the World was a Garden
'Ezer' was ascribed to the first woman of the earth by God. In doing so he doesn't limit her to only have babies and be a proud supporter of her husband on the sidelines. God himself has been referred to ‘ezer’ numerous times throughout Scripture. Erika Dayle Siu takes us back to the time when the world was a garden and uncovers how both male and female were given the same foundational calling to cultivate, protect, preserve and care for our earth. This is the backdrop where the role of ‘ezer’ takes center stage revealing the multi-dimensional relationship God has with his beloved people. How can you be a cultivator and preserver of life for generations to come? How are you 'encouraging life' as you live alongside others? Erika was instrumental in helping found WOW! and lives with her husband Simon and 2 children in Chicago, Illinois. She is the Deputy Director of Think Tanks project at the Institute for Health Research and Policy.
Empathetic Beyond Embarrassment
Elizabeth endured years of shame and embarrassment because she was labeled barren in a society that counted children as rewards for righteousness. Despite this, Amy Fortunato shows us how Elizabeth received Gabriel’s message with faith, while Zechariah was dumbfounded. Before a miracle even grew in her womb, it was Elizabeth’s hardships and hopes that developed and deepened her empathetic and emphatic faith, far outweighing her embarrassment. This prepared her to be a chosen companion to Mary, offering her acceptance, encouragement and safety when she was facing danger and uncertainty. What role has God called you to carry that requires a faith that is empathetic and emphatic beyond embarrassment especially in today’s pandemic, political and social ills? Amy Fortunato is a high energy grandmother, former WOW! board secretary, and is a pastor at the NY Philadelphia Presbyterian Church in Port Washington, LI.
Shining From the Inside Out: Leadership Lessons from Ruth
Ruth is one of only two women with a book in the Bible named after her and one of only four women who have the distinction of being named in Jesus’ genealogy. Author and speaker, Nancy Gavilanes helps us glean from Ruth's life, exploring the defining decisions she made throughout that shaped her character. Her decisions to receive and serve the God of Israel, work diligently, and remain teachable remind us that our decisions impact future generations. Even with an unknown future, what is the 'next right thing' God is calling you to at this time? Nancy has a heart for encouraging people as they walk by faith and live their God-given dreams. Find her books and more at AboundingFaith.com
Resourceful: Tapping into His Provision
Jesus Feeding the Five Thousand (Mark 6:33-44) is both miraculous and mysterious. It's not difficult for us to see the multitude of needs around us, but Pastor Cathy Bruce encourages us to go beyond the linear and limited solutions we often come to ourselves to meet these needs. Instead, we are invited to heed Jesus' words to 'Go look!' in verse 38. God can make what we think is 'nothing' into 'something'. This principle of tapping into His provision is not only life-changing but world-changing. What might be the simple and small offering we can bring to Jesus and trust Him to multiply today? Cathy is the lead pastor and planter of Hope NoMad Church in NYC. Connect with her at email@example.com
Huldah: Integrity & Speaking Truth to Power
A contemporary of Jeremiah, Zephaniah and Habakkuk, Huldah was a prophetess, scribe, teacher, intellectual, and wife powerfully used by God to change a nation. What is it that sets Huldah apart from her well-known contemporaries? Huldah's integrity was the bridge that took her from prophesying at the city gate to prophesying to the king! Rev. Annette Cutino highlights some modern day images of fearless women, but reminds us that God has called us to lead and speak into the leadership of leaders all throughout Scripture. Huldah’s life affirms we are called and able to speak truth to power in such a way that leads to repentance and lasting change in the spheres of influence He has placed us. Where are you intentionally confronting the truth? What is the personal cost to you? Annette loves preaching and teaching the Bible and facilitating workshops. She has served on the WOW! Board and is currently the Director of Advance at Lead NYC, the NYC arm of Movement.org and is Associate Pastor at Harvest Fields Community Church. Connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Shiphrah & Puah: Midwives of Justice
Shiphrah and Puah are the first two women named in the very beginning of Exodus, yet their significant role as deliverers in this Book of Deliverance is often overlooked. It was their act of resistance parallel with their commitment to bring forth life even amidst pain, slavery and hardship that paved the way for future deliverance. Pastor Drea Hairston expounds how the personal clarity in which they understood their roles as midwives in relation to the power structure of their day and the ensuing wisdom of their ways ensured that truth would not be veiled with deception and confusion. This would set the stage for many more necessary acts of resistance before the Israelites were delivered out of oppression. How are you called to 'fear God' and work toward justice in the very role and proximity to power you have in this season? Drea is a mother of four young children and co-pastor of Church! of Park Slope alongside her husband. You can contact Drea at email@example.com
Visionary for Transformation
The parables of the mustard seed and the leaven (Matthew 13:31-33) are two of the shortest Jesus tells in Scripture. Rev. Ajung Sojwal explores how these two illustrations are used by Jesus to depict the kingdom of heaven, inviting us to pay attention to the visionary work that can actually transform ourselves and our communities. How do these two parables invite us to engage spiritually and lead differently in our current climate of pandemic and racial injustice? Rev. Ajung is passionate about discovering and proclaiming God's kingdom on Earth, especially in seeking to understand what radical hospitality means for the Church today. She is Rector of St. George's Episcopal Church in Hempstead, NY and a former WOW! board member.
The Woman with the Issue of Blood: Perfect Image of Creativity and Faith
The story of the woman with the issue of blood is often told to inspire perseverance and hope for healing. Pastor Helen Cummings-Henry challenged us to contend with fear by creatively exercising our faith in her preaching about the Woman with the Issue of Blood (Mark 5:25-34). She highlighted the creative approach coupled with great faith this unnamed woman demonstrated in order to experience healing from Christ. Where do you sense God inviting you to creatively respond for your needs and healing? Pastor Helen has a passion for helping and empowering hurting people. She is the author of two books and co-founder of A&H Ministries. You can connect with Helen through her website www.helench.org
Esther: A Woman's Obedience Liberated and Preserved Generations
Queen Esther is known for her beauty and courage, but what leadership qualities allowed her to be used by God 'for such a time as this'? Minister Favour Ikome highlights how honor and obedience were the driving force behind her ability to earn the favor of the king. As we revisit the story of Esther's life, what area of our own life might God be calling us to trust and obey in? Favour's passion is to motivate and inspire people to know their identity, fulfill their life's purpose, and make a legacy-worthy impact on the world. She is the founder of Raising a Generation of Esthers Foundation and can be contacted in her various giftings and ministries at www.favourikome.com
Collaboration: A Partnership Between 2 Women and a Man
The difference in faith exhibited by Deborah as a judge, prophet and commander-in-chief compared to Barak's as a general of Israel's armies can cause tension between men and women in leadership. Listen as Rev. Dr. Grace May unpacks how God orchestrates the collaboration of Deborah, Barak and Jael to show God as Deliverer. How does this affect your understanding of leadership? Where would you like to see more collaborative leadership between men and women in today's society? Grace delights in showing how God has raised up women in the Bible to lead. She is the former Executive Director and one of the founders of WOW! Currently, she is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at William Carey International University (WCIU) and is launching an area of focus Global Women’s Empowerment and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tamar & Judah: Humility and Grace
Tamar is one of three women named in the genealogy of Jesus. Her role is often downplayed or even scandalized, yet the Bible records Judah saying, 'She is more righteous than I...' (Genesis 38:26). Pastor Jeff Truong challenges us to re-examine Tamar's actions through the lens of grace and humility; actions that created room for God's transformation of Judah and shifted the trajectory of his family for generations. Where might God be prompting you to give more grace in your life? Pastor Jeff is a WOW! board member and the director of connect groups at Every Nation NYC; his heart is about building intentional relationships and investing in other people's stories of God. You can connect with him at email@example.com
Priscilla & Aquila: Redemptive Power Couple
Priscilla & Aquila ministered alongside Paul in different cities, helping plant churches and make disciples: most notably, Apollos. WOW! board chair, Krystin Bruan, shows us how, together, they adapted to new environments and situations wherever the Holy Spirit led them. Drawn by the kingdom vision of unity and collaboration, they were able to spread the gospel powerfully, shaping first century Church growth. Have you ever considered how Priscilla and Aquila's partnership redeems the fractured relationship of Adam and Eve? Their marriage exemplifies how men and women can be equal partners in engaging with God's promise and mission. Krystin desires to see people thrive and experience the freedom of their God-given gifts. Along with her leadership at WOW!, she is currently doing this through her role at Generosity NY and her work with students at NYU. Connect with Krystin on Instagram @krystinbruan