Spring is right around the corner and so is our 2018 Ladies Spring Retreat.
I am so excited for you because our speaker, Susie Main, has a great sense of humor, and will use that humor to go deep into the word.
At the close of our day together we will have our annual business meeting so be sure and come prepared with any questions or concerns you may have and the board will answer them to the best of our abilities.
This is my second year as your president and I want each of you to know how much I appreciate your patience, understanding, and support as I continue to learn the responsibilities of leading the great women of Oregon. A special thanks goes out to ABW of Oregon
board for their dedication and help.
Our theme for this year is "Feel the hope". Do we not need to have hope? Our nation is so divined, families are becoming divided and at times we even see churches becoming divided.
We must remember that our hope is found in Jesus Christ and not in the things of this world. May we as Christian women be a pillar of hope and not division in this dark world.
So come away with me and retreat for a day, be refreshed, and drink in the water that flows from the throne!
In 2013 $2000 ABW state funds were given to Walda Reeder of Eastwood Baptist in Medford. These monies went into a fund to assist women "dancers" at a local club to further their education. In 2013 Eastwood Baptist, Medford gave $715 following a presentation on this fund and the ministry to the Office dancers. Another $919 was donated at an ABW women's gathering at Grace Baptist in May 2016. When the total amount reached $5000 a notice was hung inviting interested women to apply. Several did but for a variety of reasons did not follow through.
Then an application was received from Susan (not her real name). Walda has known Susan since March 2011 but was unaware of her ambitions. Susan left home at age 18 and did a variety of jobs including teaching ballet, vet technician and a horseback riding instructor. She is now 35 and submitted scholastic information and references from her professors that showed she was seriously on a path toward getting a BA degree in integrated health services plus an MD. She comes from a family with many in the "medical helping professions", including her mother and grandmother.
Susan is in her second year of college and making good grades even though it had been 15 years since she was last in school. Her professors used phrases like "hard working, dedicated, values her education, strong sense of accountability, determined, proactive in seeking help when needed, clear sense of purpose and desire to constantly improve". Once a week she meets with a small group who are all heading for medical professions and they study and encourage one another. I was most impressed with Susan's passion "to help people". Part of the training in the medical school in Portland, where she plans to apply, will include travelling overseas to several countries with the Doctors Without Borders program. She is very excited about that.
Up to now Susan has financed her education (plus all living expenses) by getting scholarships and financial aid (Pell grants). She has always worked as much as possible while being a full time student. Unfortunately she also has amassed $9700 in loans. Susan convinced me that getting help from us would help her to focus and succeed in her goals. She is confident in her abilities to "become a great doctor someday". I have committed to give her $1500 in funds for the next 3 terms contingent on her continuing to do well. The amount is paid directly to her school where it filters back to her after all school expenses are paid. Please pray for Susan's success. She has a lot of years ahead to accomplish her goals. She is aware of the source of this grant and the hard work by individual Baptist women to raise it. I want you all to know that it is being given to an exceptional woman. Thank you all for making this happen. Walda Reeder
SPRING RETREAT 2018
Saturday, April 28th, 2018
Emerald Community Church
9am to 4pm
Mark your calendar, invite a friend, get ready for an amazing day with friends celebrating the joy of the year and looking forward to HOPE!
Speaker: Susie Main, First Baptist Church of Coos Bay
"Hello……..I am Susie Main. I am excited to be your guest speaker at the ABW spring retreat 2018.
Let’s get acquainted! First and foremost, I am a child of the King, a mother, a sister, a daughter, and grandma PLUS great grandma. I have been happily married to my husband Dave for 39 years. Dave is a retired police officer and I am also retired.
I am the oldest of two sisters. Coos Bay is and has been my home most of my life except for after high school I served in the Navy for three years. There I worked in top security so I can’t tell you anything about this time of my life!! Anyway, this was my venture out of Coos Bay. Being born and raised in Coos Bay, I wanted to explore the world. I did, Norfolk, VA.
First Baptist Church of Coos Bay is my church family. My ministry there includes Vice Moderator, Good News Club, and “background person”. I enjoy being in the background encouraging others to lead and supporting whatever God has called them to do. I also enjoy visiting church members throughout the week who are not able to attend church. I feel like God has called me in particular to be a “mercy giver”.
At spring retreat we will be looking at Romans 15:3. I look forward to seeing you there and meeting each of you."
American Baptist Women's Ministries
Calls New Executive Director
released by American Baptist News Service
VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 1/23/18)- The national board of managers of American Baptist Women's Ministries (ABWM) announced on Tuesday, January 23, 2018, that the Rev. Gina C. Jacobs-Strain has accepted its invitation and call to the position of Executive Director and will lead the national organization following the retirement of Virginia R. Holmstrom on March 1. Jacobs-Strain will begin her employment on February 1 as executive director-elect, providing a month-long period of orientation with Holmstrom and the ABWM staff.
Board President Rev. Angel L. Sullivan, who chaired the search committee, said, "Gina entered into the interview with a sense of excitement and humility. In response to a question asked, Gina said, 'Sometimes you have to walk in front of people to help them to be their best selves and sometimes you have to walk in someone's shadow so you can become your best self. This is my hope for American Baptist Women's Ministries.' It became quickly apparent that Gina has a deep relationship with God and love for American Baptist women. After prayer and an invitation of the Holy Spirit to guide our decision, the national board unanimously called Gina to become our next Executive Director. I am truly excited to see how God will use her to continue the great legacy of leadership and kingdom building with American Baptist Women."
An ordained American Baptist minister, Jacobs-Strain brings a variety of professional expertise to the organization, including an 18-year career in banking before her call to professional ministry; higher education teaching and administration; local church pastoral leadership; and regional ministry experience. Jacobs-Strain served First Baptist Church -New Market (Piscataway, NJ) as its transitional pastor; is department chair of Division of Student Success at Nyack College (Nyack, NY); and supports women in ministry in American Baptist Churches of New Jersey as associate regional pastor for Women in Ministry. Prior to 2003, she was employed as senior credit deputy at JP Morgan Chase (Manhattan, NY), and for two years as assistant vice president of State Street Bank (Boston, MA).
Jacobs-Strain describes her call and transition into church-related leadership: "I am filled with awe and expectation as I join a sisterhood of women committed to build the body of Christ by intentionally following the movement of God, being fully engaged in the denomination's missional focus and by embracing the gifts and participation of all women and girls throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
Jacobs-Strain received a B.A. in Psychology/ Education from Rutgers University with certification to teach K-12 grades. She graduated from Drew University's Theological School (Madison, NJ) with a Master of Divinity Magna Cum Laude, and is currently completing a Doctorate of Ministry with a focus on leadership, from Duke Divinity School (Durham, NC). In 2016, she received a Certificate of Excellence from Palmer Theological Seminary and ABC-NJ Academy and in 2017 graduated from the Nehemiah Leadership Program.
Beyond the positions in which she has been employed, numerous churches and community agencies have benefited from Jacobs-Strain's volunteer involvements. She is a member of St. Paul Baptist Church, Montclair NJ where she has served as a Trustee, Deaconess, associate minister of Christian Education and she organized women's prayer retreats and conferences; she was a chaplain for North Jersey Chapter of Jack and Jill, Essex County, NJ; and she served on the advisory committee for City Harvest, New York, NY. She has championed and helped facilitate work on diversity at Far Brook School, Short Hills, NJ, Nyack College and Duke Divinity School. Jacobs-Strain has been a speaker, preacher, workshop leader, and organizer of a variety of regional events in New Jersey for lay and/or clergywomen.
Dr. Alejandrina Ortiz, search committee member and an alumna of the National ABWM board, remarked on the sacred and prayerful process of the committee's work: "Solicité a mis hermanas puertorriqueñas que me sostuvieran en sus oraciones porque era una gran responsabilidad el trabajo por realizar. El proceso fue claro, transparente y por consenso. Declaro que lleva la promesa del Salmo 32:8. Dios la ha escogido, la guiará y le dará la sabiduría. Oremos para que el Espíritu Santo la sostenga, consuele y aconseje, porque a través de ella, seremos bendecidas." ["I had asked my Puerto Rican sisters to support me in their prayers because the work to be done was a great responsibility. The search committee's process was clear, transparent, and by consensus. The end-result carries the promise of Psalm 32:8. God has chosen Rev. Gina Jacobs-Strain, and God will guide her and give her wisdom. Pray with us that the Holy Spirit will sustain, comfort, and counsel her, because through her we will be blessed."]
Jackie Arnold, search committee member and ABWM's coordinator of the Western Section, said of the interview, "Gina came across as a very caring person. She is kind and articulate. I look forward to working with her as she takes on her new role."
Having been raised in a holiness church in Manhattan, Jacobs-Strain said she had opportunities to experience rural Baptist church life in Virginia during summers with one set of grandparents, and an AME church in North Carolina with the other set of grandparents. She noted that her eclectic Christian experience has made her proud to be Baptist and aware that God is wherever God's people gather. "My passion is helping people connect the word of God to their daily choices so that the body of Christ individually and collectively lives a life that welcomes and expects the presence of the Holy Spirit," she said.
As executive director of American Baptist Women's Ministries, Jacobs-Strain will be responsible to AB Women's Ministries' 40-member board of managers. She will be a member of denomination-wide bodies, including the National Executive Council, the National Leadership Council, and the Mission Table of American Baptist Churches; and ecumenical councils that include the executive board of Baptist Women of North America (formerly known as North American Baptist Women's Union) and the common council of Church Women United.
Current ABWM Executive Director Virginia Holmstrom says, "I am profoundly thankful to God for gifting our ministry organization with an experienced leader who has a passion for ministries with women and for the Church. I wish for Gina all the best as she engages with the many constituencies that together comprise the beloved community of American Baptist Churches USA. May she experience the fantastic support from American Baptist women across the denomination that has blessed me again and again during my tenure as ABWM's executive director since 2001. I am leaving this ministry in good hands."