About 1 month prior to Thanksgiving, I had the blessing and honor to be a small part of planning and attending our first Regional Conference for women in ministry. The conference name was “Called and Capable”, and the idea was to have an equipping conference for women who are in full-time ministry. Women attended the conference from all over the Region, from: England, India, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Russia, Moldova, Spain, the Netherlands, Albania, Kosovo, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, the Middle East, and I'm sure I'm missing a few countries, but you get the idea! We were a beautiful mix of personalities and cultures, all of us with different ministry experiences and stories to share. We came together from a few different organizations, as sisters in Christ, to learn from one another, to be an encouragement to one another, and to pray for one another. I loved being with women, meeting new women, and hearing how God is using them in their contexts in powerful ways. I was inspired by them, and felt supported by them.
The setting was in a beautiful city, Sighisoara, which is nestled in the middle of Romania in an area called Transylvania. It has a rich medieval history and one of the oldest and still remaining citadels in all of Europe. The people of Sighisoara greeted us with warmth and hospitality.
I also finally got to see Veritas, a Romania non-profit, which once had a partnership with my Alma Mater, and I got to see the fruits of years of students who have helped serve in Romania. Veritas is a community center that is doing amazing things in this little city, serving the youth, families, the disabled, and the elderly in a variety of beautiful ways!
Matthew 25:45, “…Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”
As it is with most conferences, I felt full at the end; full of amazing Romanian food, full from the amazing feeling of finding a new closeness with dear friends, full of joy of meeting new women, full of the Spirit who was working in us and through us. God met us there, and used the strength of the women gathered for the conference to encourage one another and lift one another up.
It was the first Nazarene Regional conference for women in ministry, and I know things will shift and grow as we have more Women Clergy conferences. I’m already looking forward to the next one, and will be the first to sign up! I’m also feeling full of gratitude that I am part of a church that fully supports women in their calling, fully in leadership, and fully on our journeys, as we seek to balance many things; some of us are students, some work full-time, some are mothers, some are wives, all of us are in ministry and all of us are children of God.