Women in Ministry Conference Refreshes and Equips
By MaryAnn Hawkins
For twenty years the Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy organization has convened the international Come to the Water conference. This year’s conference gathered at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado, April 11–14, 2013. The theme of the conference was “Rise Up.”
More than 460 women clergy, including denominational leaders from the seven sponsoring denominations, gathered for four days of inspiring preaching, educational workshops, and peer networking. Featured speakers included Dr. Carla Sunberg (Church of the Nazarene), Col. Janet Munn (The Salvation Army), Rev. Joanne Solis-Walker (The Wesleyan Church), and Rev. Lucia Delamarter (Free Methodist Church).
Each sponsoring denomination was represented: Brethren in Christ, the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana), Church of the Nazarene, Evangelical Friends, Free Methodist Church, the Salvation Army, and the Wesleyan Church. Nineteen percent of those attending were students! A special offering of more than $6,000 was given to establish scholarship funds to help students attend future conferences.
Those attending identified themselves as church planters (11), educators (58), missionaries (23), lead pastors (127), associate pastors (114), state agencies (25), national agencies (18), students (88), other areas of ministry (153).
Past President Carla Sunberg, who passed the leadership baton to President Lucia Delamarter at the conclusion of the conference, summed up the theme of the conference: “We believe that God is calling his daughters in this faith to rise up and be a voice for him in this world in amazing ways.” Rev. MaryAnn Hawkins of the Church of God, convener of Qara: Church of God Women in Ministry, is the new vice president of the Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy organization.
The mission of the Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy is to encourage and equip women called by God to vocational Christian ministry within the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition for the advancement of God’s kingdom. For more information, or to join the membership, visit wesleyanholinesswomenclergy.org. For video highlights of the 2013 conference, go to www.graceandpeacemagazine.com/videos/mediaitem/283-2013-come-to-the-water-highlight.
This article was originally published in the May 2013 edition of Qara: Church of God Women in Ministry.