Empowering Women in Urban Mission
Empowering Women in Urban Mission:
A Transformative Training Workshop at Victory SDA Church, Bronx, NY
On a dreary morning with rain persisting from the night before, a beacon of warmth and inspiration awaited within the walls of Victory Seventh-day Adventist Church in Bronx, NY. Despite the challenging weather, the Greater New York Conference Women’s Ministries Training Workshop unfolded with unwavering enthusiasm and a commitment to the theme, “Women in Urban Mission.” Led by Lisa D. González, Women’s Ministries Director, and supported by Myrna Harris, local women’s ministries leader, and Associate Pastor Dorrage Stephens and his dedicated technical crew, the event promised to be an enlightening and empowering experience.
The day commenced with a touching devotional titled “I Believe,” delivered by Maria Elena Godoy Siciliano, a registered dietitian and member of Hartsdale SDA Church. Her words resonated, emphasizing that every believer is a representative of Jesus Christ in God’s family and kingdom. In a delightful transition from the insightful presentations, the GNYC Children’s Ministries Coordinator, Michelle Broomfield, skillfully orchestrated an engaging ice breaker. With warmth and enthusiasm, she encouraged all participants to invite the Holy Spirit to impress upon them a key word—a guiding theme for the year concerning their ministry or service.
Lisa D. González, the GNYC Women’s Ministries Director, provided insightful presentations on the multifaceted role of women in ministry and the broader scope of urban mission. The workshop continued with compelling contributions from Michelle Odinma, pastor of Community Life at Church of the Advent Hope, and Racquel Pierre, Community Services Director of the same church. Their discussions on homelessness, literacy, migrants, and food insecurity in New York City were not just informative but also highlighted the importance of understanding the root causes before addressing the problems.
A standout example was shared, demonstrating the power of proactive community engagement. Michelle Odinma and Racquel Pierre’s team, upon discovering a literacy issue at the Robert F Kennedy School, not only volunteered and provided volunteers to read to the children but also secured a grant to rebuild the library, providing brand-new books. This tangible expression of love echoed the words of Matthew 25:40, emphasizing the transformative impact of helping those in need.
Della Patton, Women’s Ministries Evangelism Advisory member, and Personal Ministries Director for North Bronx SDA Church, introduced an exciting Street Ministry initiative. Collaborating with women’s ministry leaders across the conference, we aim to win souls through major events, starting with the WM Evangelistic Series on March 8-16, 2024, featuring Pastor Peggy Filossaint from Maranatha Haitian Seventh-day Adventist Church. The rallying call was clear: united for His cause, there are no limits to what the Lord can achieve through us. We closed out this segment with a prayer of commitment from Pastor Lloyd Scharffenberg and Dr. Bianel Lara.
The program concluded with an inspiring talk from Dr. Bianel Lara, the conference Personal Ministries Director GNYC, urging attendees not to be “Passive Christians” and emphasizing the importance of seizing every opportunity to share the gospel.
Despite the weather challenges, the Greater New York Conference Women’s Ministries Training Workshop at Victory SDA Church was a resounding success, marking the largest in-person gathering since before the pandemic. The gratitude extended to Victory SDA Church pastors, members, presenters, committee members, interpreters, and participants reflects the spirit of unity and collaboration that will undoubtedly propel the mission of winning souls for the Kingdom. May we continue to be His hands and feet, making a lasting impact in our communities.
Lisa D. González,
GNYC Women’s Ministries Director
Editor Pastor Clavour R. Tucker