This past Wednesday evening, Baptist Women in Ministry celebrated thirty years of educating, advocating, and connecting for women called to ministry. It has been a constructive movement, and more work remains to be done. As one of the 33 “mothers” of the organization, I was privileged to share in the overflowing service of worship. Here is my prayer of thanksgiving:
We give you thanks, O Holy Triune God, for your inclusive grace. You have dreamed a world in which your Spirit is poured out on all. We are here this evening because of your invitation to participate with you in creating a more just world.
We are grateful for the iconic women of the faith: Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Huldah—Mary, Phoebe, Lydia, and Priscilla. You used them to transgress boundaries, and they strengthened your people. We are here because of them.
We are grateful for those sisters who demonstrated exemplary faith and service: Lottie Moon, Annie Armstrong, Joanna Moore, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Harriett Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Anne Thomas Neill—and so many others. We are here because of them.
We are so grateful for our forebears, faithful women and men who offered their witness to us. They were our GA leaders, our SS teachers, and our youth ministers—all who endured our youthful mischief along the way. We are here because of them.
Giving thanks for the past 30 years, we look to the future, laying claim in faith to what is yet to come. We give thanks for women in congregations and seminaries who have heard your voice. Place open doors before them, we pray. We are here for them.
For all that has been we are grateful and for the resources to continue the important mission of BWIM, we offer thanks in the name of Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one Triune God forever and ever. Amen.
Witnessing former students now serving as excellent pastors, I was filled with gratitude for what has transpired over these years. I trust that more churches will receive the ministries of God’s gifted daughters, upon whom the Spirit is amply poured out.
Molly T. Marshall
Central will be launching a selective initiative in leadership development for women in the Fall of 2014. Keep visiting our website to learn more!