Conference to show 'God's plan for women'

( [email protected] ) Mar 06, 2004 02:31 PM EST

Women can be “Called, Connected, Contemporary” serving the Lord in ministry, as stated in the theme of this year’s Assemblies of God (A/G) Women in Ministry Conference, March 10-12, at the Central Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri.

The 3-day conference will give women a chance to see how ministry can be a potential path in their lives. This is a breakthrough to the involvement of women in church ministry years ago.

"The understanding that God has poured out His Spirit on all flesh is coming back," Sheri Benvenuti, an assistant professor of social ethics at Vanguard University (Costa Mesa, California).

In 1976, Benvenuti was one of the only two female youth pastors in the Southern California District of the Assemblies of God. Now, in addition to teaching, she serves as the vice president for student affairs.

"There is a new awareness of the call of God on women's lives, and it is being supported by pastors who are willing to mentor and let women take leadership positions in their churches."

"Women who feel called and whom God has gifted are going and serving in ministry," says Barbara Cavaness, visiting professor of missions at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. "God is still calling women today and the A/G affirms called women. Doors of opportunity are open, as observed by all the women in leadership roles, on mission fields, on the faculty of our schools and on local church staffs."

Cavaness is a co-author of the book "God's Women -- Then and Now," which takes a look at women’s roles in a Biblical context. The book was written to motivate women who are having doubts about entering ministry.

"This book deals with the issue of women in ministry from a biblical perspective," says Deborah M. Gill, A/G national director of the Division of Christian Education. "It approaches it in a way that is intellectually accessible and will assist women and men not only in dealing with the questions of particular passages, but will help them see the big picture of God's plan for women."

A variety of speakers and workshop leaders will be present at the conference to share their own experiences, including: Martha Tennison, Peggy Musgrove, Leann Sparks-Cherry, Maria Kahleel, Alicia Chole, Carolyn Tennant, Sheri Benvenuti, Damaris Carbaugh and many others.

Throughout the six sessions of the conference, participants will be able to listen, discuss and reflect on God’s calling.