Produced by Disciples Women of the National Convocation
of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Fall 2016
From our President 
Blessings Disciple Women of the National Convocation. We have experienced some wonderful conventions, retreats, and the National Convocation, over the summer. God has given us vision to move forward and do the work that He has assigned our hands to do and I am extremely excited.
As we gather together this fall please pray for those who are going through bereavement, sickness, financial distress, family issues, mental health issues, and the everyday stresses of this world. God has a plan for us my Sisters and the enemy desires that we not complete His work. So let us unite together, wherever we are on every Tuesday morning at 8 am, in your own time zone, and thank God for His mercies and grace. Because without these we will do nothing but fail. Also ask Him to guide and bless your Disciple Women Ministry Sisters as
they do the work He has assigned to them. 
I Love you my Sister,
Wanona
National Youth Event

Chesla Nickelson, Program Director for Disciples Women, working with youth from the United Church
of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) at the National Youth Event in Florida.
Hello my Sisters,
 Who would have thunk it!  It's been two years since my team and I stood before the Assembly in Atlanta being confirmed to serve as the new IDWM -Executive Committee of Disciples Women Ministries; the journey seems so much longer than two years. The scripture that was quoted and read in the hearing of those gathered on that day has become our guide, my guide, "For being called for such a time as this...I vowed to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God." (Micah 6:8)  The task set before me has been daunting, and yet I glean from the words of God spoken in Isaiah 43:1. I know He has formed me, He has called me and I will not be afraid, He has redeemed me and called me by name, so as I pass through the waters and rivers of this journey, He will be with me. I will not drown in despair, and as I walk through the fiery darts of words and innuendos for decisions made, those flames will not set me ablaze, because the Lord, whom I serve, is with me.  The words of Jesus in St. John 15:16 resonate within me also, and I've made them personal "you did not choose me Marilyn; I chose you and appointed you for this journey. Therefore go where I send you, and bear fruit, fruit that will last, knowing whatever you ask in my name, the Father will give you."
The manifestations of God and Jesus are seen daily on this journey, often times through the smiles, hellos and hugs, and in faces of women all over this region and the U.S. and Canada.  By using the gifts and talents given to me, more people are finally seeing and hearing the Bible story with new eyes and ears. My goal is to regenerate the passion and excitement about the work of Disciples Women through mission, leadership, and service. There is a new look, a new approach, and a new awakening, but with the same purpose: to empower, engage and strengthen. My travels to many regions for retreats, workshops, luncheons and the preaching of the Gospel all have been ordained by God and He has allowed me to "Be me, Do me" in rightly dividing the word of truth in ways that all can understand.
This journey is made step by step. And even though the way seems hard, I know that I'm not alone for my trust is in God.  I have an awesome team of praying women. Thank God for them. Many thanks to the staff of the Office of Disciple Women, without them handling the daily grind of service and publications, I could not function in this leadership role. Because it is a volunteer position, many meetings and conferences are not conducive to my work schedule.  Thank God for the staff. Many thanks to the DHM board for their understanding and consideration of my work as well.  I am often asked, "How do you keep your professional job?" My reply is, "God's grace and favor." So many thanks to my office and staff members at Atlantic Family Dental in Raleigh, NC. Bills have to be paid. (LOL)
There are so many blessings received along this journey and I'd like to thank the women of St. Louis, Mo, the regions of Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan, Virginia, Florida, North and South Carolina and West Virginia for allowing me to share God's gift with them in my own unique way.
 My schedule is filled with meetings, conferences, retreats, workshops and preaching the Gospel, and I must say I love it.  God has a plan and I have said yes to His will.
This has been an exciting journey thus far for me, and l could not have survived without my family. So many thanks to them for their continuous love and support in my call to serve God and His Church. This ministry is truly a conduit for diverse connections empowering each woman to find her voice and live out her call. Hope to see you at National Convocation in Kansas City.
Many Blessings and Shalom to you,
Marilyn F. Williams,  IDWM President

Photos from National Convocation 2016

Service Spotlight - The Orchard Project

The Orchid Project exists to invest in the lives of girls in Ghana by meeting a basic need to promote healthy personal hygiene and cultivate positive self-esteem in order to prepare them to be leaders in their schools and in our global community. The Orchid Project was developed out of a compassion for girls who did not have access or could not afford feminine hygiene products and were not going to school for the equivalent of at least two months because of it.
 
In 2014, after reading an article about young girls in Africa being unable to attend school due to the lack of feminine hygiene products, Jennifer Rice felt the urge to do something. In May 2016, when one of Jennifer's couponing customers asked to purchase all of her feminine hygiene products, she learned of the perfect way to assist young girls in Africa. Jennifer's 
customer visited Johannesburg, South Africa where she met a lady mentoring and providing feminine hygiene products to assist school-aged girls. Jennifer was thankful that God provided her a way to actually make an impact.  She posted her testimony on social media. It was the type of impact she had envisioned two years ago and was grateful that this opportunity to help had come.
 
In February 2016, Delesslyn Kennebrew read an article on Flipagram about girls in Kenya that missed weeks of school because they were menstruating. They missed school because they would not have the appropriate feminine hygiene products during their cycle.  Either they could not afford them or they had no access to the products they needed. Delesslyn shared this article with her sister, Dorcas, and they both felt compelled to do something to address this issue.
 
When Delesslyn saw Jennifer's social media post about her couponing experience, she reached out to develop a partnership. At their first meeting to discuss the potential of partnering, they felt that God had brought them together to help shape and change the lives of young girls in Africa.  Although they originally read about the plights of the girls at different times and in different spaces, they were confident that God was bringing them together to show love, bring dignity, and support the educational pursuits of girls in Africa.
 
So, The Orchid Project was born!
 
By June 2016, Delesslyn and Jennifer began to set in motion their desire to help. They began to research, brainstorm and plan specific ways that they could meet the needs of these girls and garner support from friends, families, strangers, and neighbors. One primary goal was to initiate contact with someone that was closer to the situation than they were. So, they reached out to Missionary Lillian Brown of the World Mission Board for the Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A. who was already planning a trip to Ghana in August 2016. She was excited to hear the vision of The Orchid Project and felt that it was an answer to her prayers. Thus, quickly offering a few suggestions for how to provide healthy and cost effective solutions for the long term support of these girls.
 
Through the summer, Jennifer and Delesslyn invited individual and church partners to support this effort and by the end of the summer they were able to provide enough gifts for 50 school aged girls!  The missionaries delivered their gifts and shared many pictures, emails, stories about their gratitude.
 
In the future, the Orchid Project will continue to:
  • provide feminine hygiene products to middle school and high school girls
  • connect mentors and lead workshops to promote self-esteem
  • raise awareness about this human and public health concern as well as secure financial support to sustain our efforts
 
For more information and if you would like to support this worthwhile investment, please email talktous@theorchidproject.com  or visit The Orchid Project at   www.TheOrchidProject.com.
 
Kindest Regards,
Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div.
Legacy: An Open Letter to My Sisters

Dear Sisters,  
Scripture places so much emphasis on genealogy, family lineage and heirs, it sometimes makes for an awkward state of "being" for women who have no children. We can recount the Biblical stories of the stigma, torment, and a seeming sense of shame for those women who did not have children.
 
Sadly, while there have been radical social and cultural changes, many women who don't have children by choice or biological circumstances, still encounter the sympathetic look or the attitude that they are somehow less valuable in the grand scope of the human family.
 
Having wrestled with this personally, one day in a moment of meditation and prayer this is what was revealed to me. "It is possible to be childless but barrenness is inconsistent with the nature of God. You can be childless but you are not BARREN because whatever God forms, God fills. By its very nature that which is of God PRODUCES something."
 
This was a transformative revelation for me. The Spirit of the living God, which dwells in us compels us to produce the fruits of that relationship; childless, perhaps, but not barren. The lives that we touch, the words of hope that we offer, the service that we give in the name of Jesus Christ are the produce of that relationship.
 
We have a legacy and we have an opportunity as women of faith, to pour into the lives of those around us. We may under estimate the power of what we do but those who receive are well aware of our gifts. Recently, I had such an encounter while doing a genealogy presentation. After 
tracing over 2 centuries of my family's presence in this country I stated, "when I die, I end. I have no heirs, no legacy". A classmate walked towards me with tears in her eyes and said, "But I'm your legacy. My daughters are your legacy".
 
As a person who helps others with legacy plans of their tangible resources, I also want to encourage all of us to consider how we pass along these great gifts to those coming after us. How do we provide opportunities and resources for them to become the best of whom God intends? We have a legacy, let's prepare for it.

- Marilyn S. Fiddmont


Upcoming Events

2017 General Assembly is coming to Indianapolis!
Find out more and register here.

Link by Link
Human Trafficking is the social action emphasis of Disciples Women from 2014-2018. 

Take a look at the Interfaith Toolkit on Human Trafficking here
Just Women Magazine
Just Women is the official study guide
for Disciples Women. New this year,
the Bible study will be offered in the
winter instead of the spring. Order
your copy before December 1 to get
free shipping. A single issue Bible
study is $12.


 
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