..."There is truly something for everyone."
2017 Church of God Women's Convention - Women Changing the World - 2017 Connection ~ Newsletter of Christian Women Connection
Be Bold Convention ~ Christian Women Connection Luncheon ~ Advance purchase of tickets available until June 1st. Limited seats!
You can also call the office to purchase your ticket over the phone using a credit card. 1-866-778-0804
By Mary Stephens
As the day declined, the Twelve said, “Dismiss the crowd so they can go to the farms or villages around here and get a room for the night and a bite to eat…“You feed them,” Jesus said.
They said, “We couldn’t scrape up more than five loaves of bread and a couple of fish…He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread and fish to the disciples to hand out to the crowd. After the people had all eaten their fill, twelve baskets of leftovers were gathered up. Luke 12-17 (The Message)
When we read the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand, we often focus on the miracle of Jesus multiplying five loaves and couple of fish. Sometimes we forget that one of the central themes of this story is that when hungry people encounter Jesus, they are fed.
Hunger and food insecurity are still huge issues for many people in the world. In the United States alone, 14.5 percent of households struggle to put enough food on the table. More than 48 million Americans, including 15.9 million children live in this condition. That means one in five children in the United States is at risk of hunger.
The hunger experienced by these families is not just a rumbling tummy from missing one meal. Chronic hunger means these families are malnourished. They lack the strength and energy for everyday activities. They experience fatigue and an inability to concentrate. Others face food insecurity which means they do not have regular access to safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development.
The children and families who are facing hunger live in our communities. They are our neighbors. We must ask, what happens when hungry people encounter us? What happens when they encounter the church? Are they fed?
Thanks to the You Feed Them grant, we can say that yes! When hungry people in Glendale, Arizona encountered the West Side Church of God, they were fed. Through the help of a You Feed Them grant, the West Side Church food pantry was able to feed 398 families with a total of 1,992 individuals! That is 1,992 children, women, and men who were shown the love of God through nutritional food. That is 1,992 people who were able to have satisfying meals because of the church.
The You Feed Them grant started as a finance project which Christian Women Connection groups were asked to financially support. With those collected funds, the Christian Women Connection national office is able to give direct aid to churches like West Side Church of God through grants. It’s a great way to dollars and cents into fruits and vegetables.
You may be asking, “What can I do?” You Feed Them provides the plan, resources, and connections to multiply “the loaves and fishes” we all have to feed the hungry people in our communities. Check out www.christianwomenconnection.org/you-feed-them for steps, instructions, and grant applications.
Jesus told his disciples to feed the hungry. Jesus is telling us to feed the hungry. Let’s work together and feed them!
 Source: Household Food Security in the United States, 2010. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, September 2011. (Table 1A, Table 1B)
Mary Stephens is the Senior Ministry Coordinator at Christian Women Connection.
This past weekend, the Church of God in Harvey, Illinois sponsored a mission Sunday. The church sponsors missionaries like Phyllis Newby in Haiti and the Beverly's in Southeast Asia. Rev. Dr. Arnetta McNeese Bailey was the speaker and preached on the theme "Trust in the Lord." Thanks to Rev. Charles W. Johnson and all the ladies for your support of Christian Women Connection and the mission work of the Church of God.
What's happening in your congregation? We would like to hear all about it! Send us your story at email@example.com
by Rev. Dr. Arnetta McNeese Bailey
“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:7).
We are living at a time when everyone is searching for their ancestries. Commercials on television share the stories of many individuals who thought their origin begin with one nationality and later after DNA testing found that they were actually something else. My brother, Wes, is the historian in our family and he is very serious about this role. He has had his DNA tested and requested that my only living aunt (my mother’s sister) be tested as well; he is looking for accuracy. Before Wes declares our point of origin during the next family reunion, he is doing his due diligence. He is searching for truth!
There was a mini-series in 1977 called Roots. It was a hard movie for many to watch, no matter who your ancestors were. Yet, as difficult and controversial as this movie was for our nation, it was transformative for millions. For truth seekers this movie was not a divide, but a time of healing and reconciliation. Those who felt marginalized and disconnected, now walked with a sense of pride. Many walked away with a greater appreciation for the shared struggles and a renewed understanding for the journey of those who had gone before them.
So it is for people of faith. Our search for identity became more clear when we found Christ. While God continues to reveal Himself to us, we now walk in the confidence of knowing we were a part of God’s plan at creation and His thoughts concerning us are for good. God’s love for us is without measure, so much so that he sent us Jesus to reconcile us back to Him. Everything Christ endured was for our sake. He was constantly affirming our identity, our spiritual DNA. I am the vine, you are the branches; I came that you might have life; My sheep know my voice. The search is over; our identity is found in God.
Knowing who we are also brings a greater responsibility to always honor the one in whose image we were made:
Let our roots grow down in Him – Yes, we often celebrate with pride the knowledge of who our ancestors were and what they accomplished. Yes, be grateful for the legacy of faith that you may have received from a parent, aunt, uncle, neighbor, Sunday school teacher, and so on. However, never forget that, “It is in Him that we live and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
Let our lives be built on Him - Follow truth! If we proclaim to be Christians we must be Christlike! “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”; and, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10: 27).
Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught - Live truth! Live your faith out loud! By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35).
And you will overflow with thankfulness - Share truth! When my life overflows it is because I have reached my capacity to contain my blessings. I must be a blessing. All that I have received from God was not for me alone...it was given to share with others. “By the grace of God I am what I am” (Corinthians 15:10).
Christian Woman Connection is pleased to announce the promotion of Mary Stephens to Senior Ministry Coordinator.
Mary Stephens, is a gifted servant with a heart for Social Justice and a vision for constructive change. Mary joined the staff of Women of the Church of God in 2002. She was promoted to Ministry Coordinator in 2005 and has served with distinction in that capacity.
Mary currently provides leadership in the areas of programming, marketing and communications. In 2012 May was chosen to be a Hunger Justice Leader through Bread for the World, a collective voice striving to end hunger at home and abroad, and in 2016 she was honored as an Agent of Change by Rejuvenate Faith Based Meeting Planners and featured in the Connect Faith Magazine.
“As Executive Director, it has been my joy to work with this gifted servant leader. Mary has served well and deserves the privilege of being named Senior Ministry Coordinator. She has the ministry of Christian Women Connection at heart and is constantly seeking ways to improve systems and expand our breath and span of influence.”
Mary has prepared herself well as a student of the Word earning her Masters of Divinity from Anderson University School of Theology and her Master of Business Administration from the Falls School of Business.
Please join the Christian Women Connection & Council in congratulating Mary Stephens as Senior Ministry Coordinator!
By Faye Goode
On October 25 - 27 Executive Director Arnetta Bailey, Ministry Coordinator Mary Stephens and National Vice-President Faye Goode attended the annual conference and trade show of Connect Faith in Orlando Florida. Connect Faith is an annual conference and appointment-only trade show that “connects” faith-based meeting and event planners with meeting and event suppliers/experts from around the country. This annual conference of Connect Faith puts both meeting planners and event suppliers in one place at one time allowing each the opportunity to network and understand the needs of the other. There were morning devotions, educational workshops, conference speakers, trade show appointments and a community service project. Throughout the three days they were at Connect Faith, Arnetta, Mary and Faye met with over 80 meeting/event suppliers along with attending several workshops focused on planning and holding successful conferences/events. They also participated in the community service project for “No Child Hungry”, a feeding program which distributes nutritional meals in the United States and abroad. Connect Faith attendees packed over 83,000 meals for “No Child Hungry”! Connect Faith was truly an enlightening experience and provided CWC the opportunity to make vital contacts that will assist us in planning our national meetings and conventions.
By Kirsten Harmon
Imagine being trapped in a foreign country, unable to speak the language, forced to do a job that is unclean and dangerous. Perhaps you want to change your life, but your every moment, choice, and penny is controlled by a person that could easily beat you - even take your life. Say you somehow did escape, and made your way to a new neighborhood or town. You now have no home, no money, no life or job skills, no friends or family. There is a constant fear of being found. The only way you can think of to make a living would take you right back to the very life you’ve just fled. You feel powerless, helpless, worthless.
Human trafficking is no longer an issue "over there," or "in that group," or "with that kind of people." It's urban and rural, rich and poor, among families and orphans. In fact, some parents even offer their own children up to this life out of greed and desperation. I will never forget hearing the testimony of a woman forced into sexual slavery by her own mother and step-father. At the age of five, she was earning money for them using her body for sex acts and “pictures.” As an adult, she truly thought that her lifestyle was normal, and her only road in life. Through a prison ministry, she gave her life to the Lord, and is now using that story to reach others. This is happening in the house across the street, in your quiet neighborhood. It's happening in your hotel while you're on vacation. We can't not talk about it anymore. We must talk about it.
When I received the common reading from Christian Women Connection prior to our September/October trip to Germany, I saw that it was about social justice. My first thought was something of the "pull themselves up by their boot straps" variety. "Why can't they do x, y, or z?" In the months leading up to our trip, the Lord opened my eyes and my heart to these marginalized people. Through a local organization called Children's Lantern, and the loving work of Neustart Cafe and Pink Door Berlin, I have had my preconceived notions crushed and my attitude adjusted. Our trip to Berlin confirmed to me that Neustart and Pink Door show a kind of genuine love and concern for people that is unmistakably sincere and warm. They are pouring their lives into others in the same way that Jesus Christ did. Occasionally, their efforts are rewarded with a swift, positive outcome. Sometimes, they eventually reap the benefits of years of intentional investment in messy, complicated human lives. They are still patiently waiting for some to take that leap of faith. In the meantime, they are committed to walking through life with people. Many of these victims are groomed from a young age, or given no choice in the matter. There is also a small segment that choose this course. And what of it? They are just as deserving of love and redemption as I am.
Since returning to the United States, I have been asking the Lord what He wants me to take from this experience. What can I change? He has told me to step it up. To find where He is already at work and join Him there. The Lord has told us what he wants of us: "To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God," (Micah 6:8b) and "Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless..." (Isaiah 1:17). I offer myself to be changed. I offer myself to be an agent of love and change in others. What is He asking of you?
Kirsten Harmon, a veteran of Christian Women Connection immersion trips, is a Registered Nurse in Northwest Ohio. She worships and serves at Auglaize Chapel Church of God.
On September 26, a group of ten Christian Women Connection travelers set out for Berlin, Germany. While there, we learned about the Three Worlds Team and their work in Europe and the Middle East, the vital ministries of Cafe Neustart and Pink Door Berlin, and the blessings and challenges of cross cultural work.
The offices of Christian Women Connection are moving! Operations at the new location are scheduled to be up and running on Monday, October 10, 2016. Our phone and internet at the current location on E. 5th Street will be down starting Thursday, September 28. Our offices will be closed through Friday, October 7, to move furniture, boxes, phones, computers—and people—to the new location on Enterprise Drive.
This move is a considerable change, but we are excited to be a part of the collaborative work environment with our sister agencies: Church of God Ministries, Servant Solutions, and Warner Press.
Our mailing address remains:
Christian Women Connection
P.O. Box 2328
Anderson, IN 46018\
Our phone number remains:
Our NEW physical address is:
2902 Enterprise Drive
Anderson, IN 46013
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we relocate. And please, come visit us at our new location!
List of Books to buy online (2 copies per title) and to send the following address-
Rev. Dr. B. Nongpluh
Syiem General Store
Opposite Post Office
Rynjah, Shillong- 793006
Berryman, Phillip. Liberation Theology: The Essential Facts (1987)
Boff, Leonardo, Ecclesiogenesis: The Base Communities Reinvent the Church (1986)
Brown, Robert McAfee. Liberation Theology: an Introductory Guide (1993)
Christian Smith, The Emergence of Liberation Theology: Radical Religion and Social Movement Theory (1991)
Cleary, Edward L., Born of the Poor (1990)
Cleary, Edward L. Crisis and Change (1985)
Gutierrez, Gustavo, We Drink from Our own Wells (1984)
The Density of the Present (Part Three) (1999)
Hennelly, Alfred T. Liberation Theologies: The Global Pursuit of Justice (1995)
Liberation Theology: A Documentary History (1990)
Johnson, Elizabeth A., Consider Jesus: Waves of Renewal in Christology (1990)
Lohfink, Norbert F., Option for the Poor: The Basic Principle of Liberation Theology in the Light of the Bible (1987)
Segundo, Juan Luis. The Liberation of Theology (1976)
Jesus of Nazareth Yesterday and Today (1984-88)
Sobrino, John Christology at the Crossroads (1975)
Jesus in Latin America (1987)
Berry, Thomas. The Dream of the Earth, (1988)
Boff, Leonardo. Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor.
Hayden, Tom, The Lost Gospel of the Earth: A Call for Renewing nature, Spirit and Politics (2006)
Ruether, Rosemary Radford. Gaia and God: An Ecofeminist Theology of Earth Healing
Banner, Michael C. Christian Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems. Cambridge ;; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Bellinger, Charles K. The Genealogy of Violence : Reflections on Creation, Freedom, and Evil. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Blasi, Anthony J., Paul-André Turcotte, and Jean Duhaime. Handbook of Early Christianity : Social Science Approaches. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2002.
Bockmuehl, Markus N. A. Jewish Law in Gentile Churches : Halakhah and the Beginning of Christian Public Ethics. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 2000.
Brown, William P., ed. Character and Scripture : Moral Formation, Community, and Biblical Interpretation. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub., 2002.
Cahill, Lisa Sowle. Family : A Christian Social Perspective. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000.
Chung, Sueng Hoon. Spirituality and Social Ethics in John Calvin : A Pneumatological Perspective. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 2000.
Cosgrove, Charles H. Appealing to Scripture in Moral Debate : Five Hermeneutical Rules. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub., 2002.
Dempsey, Carol J. Hope Amid the Ruins : The Ethics of Israel's Prophets. St. Louis, Mo.: Chalice Press, 2000.
Forde, Gerhard O. The Captivation of the Will: Luther vs. Erasmus on Freedom and Bondage. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005.
Friedmann, Daniel. To Kill and Take Possession : Law, Morality, and Society in Biblical Stories. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 2002.
Gaca, Kathy L. The Making of Fornication: Eros, Ethics, and Political Reform in Greek Philosophy and Early Christianity. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.
Gill, Robin. Christian Ethics in Secular Worlds. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1991.
Graham, Gordon July. Evil and Christian Ethics. Cambridge, UK: New York NY, 2001.
Harrington, Daniel J., and James F. Keenan. Jesus and Virtue Ethics : Building Bridges between New Testament Studies and Moral Theology. Lanham, Md.: Sheed & Ward, 2002.
Horsley, Richard A. Jesus and Empire : The Kingdom of God and the New World Disorder. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003.
Jackson, Timothy P. The Priority of Love : Christian Charity and Social Justice. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2003.
Knust, Jennifer Wright. Abandoned to Lust: Sexual Slander and Ancient Christianity. New York: Columbia University Press, 2006.
Lebacqz, Karen, and Joseph D. Driskill. Ethics and Spiritual Care : A Guide for Pastors, Chaplains, and Spiritual Directors. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2000.
Marxsen, Willi. New Testament Foundations for Christian Ethics. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993.
Mills, Mary E. Biblical Morality : Moral Perspectives in Old Testament Narratives. Aldershot, Hants, England: Burlington Vt., 2001.
Novak, Ralph Martin. Christianity and the Roman Empire : Background Texts. Harrisburg, Pa.: Trinity Press International, 2001.
Salzman, Michele Renee. The Making of a Christian Aristocracy : Social and Religious Change in the Western Roman Empire. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2002.
Sedgwick, P. H. The Market Economy and Christian Ethics. Cambridge, U.K. ;; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Sedgwick, Timothy F. The Christian Moral Life : Practices of Piety. Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans Pub, 1999.
Stassen, Glen Harold, and David P. Gushee. Kingdom Ethics: Following Jesus in Contemporary Context. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003.
Twesigye, Emmanuel K. Religion & Ethics for a New Age : Evolutionist Approach. Lanham, Md: University Press of America, 2001.
Verhey, Allen. Remembering Jesus : Christian Community, Scripture, and the Moral Life. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans, 2002.
Wenham, Gordon J. Story as Torah: Reading the Old Testament Ethically. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2000.
Wheeler, Sondra Ely. Wealth as Peril and Obligation : The New Testament on Possessions. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub., 1995.
Wilken, Robert Louis. The Spirit of Early Christian Thought : Seeking the Face of God. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2003.
Williams, Rowan. Writing in the Dust : After September 11. Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 2002.
Wogaman, J. Philip. Christian Ethics : A Historical Introduction. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1993.
Christine Helmer and Christof Landmesser, eds., One Scripture or Many?: Canon from Biblical, Theological, and Philosophical Perspectives (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).
Charles E. Hill, Who Chose the Gospels? Probing the Great Gospel Conspiracy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010).
Charles E. Hill and Michael J. Kruger, eds., The Early Text of the New Testament (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).
Larry W. Hurtado, The Earliest Christian Artifacts: Manuscripts and Christian Origins (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2006).
Stanley E. Porter, How We Got the New Testament: Text, Transmission, Translation (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2013)
Paul M. Blowers, The Bible in Greek Christian Antiquity (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1997).
Harry Y. Gamble, Books and Readers in the Early Church: A History of Early Christian Texts (New Haven: Yale, 1995).
Frederick William Danker & William Arndt, ed., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Christian Literature, 4th edition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000).
Chrys C. Caragounis, The Development of Greek and the New Testament: Morphology, Syntax, Phonology, and Textual Transmission (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007).
James M. Efird, A Grammar for New Testament Greek (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1990).
William D. Mounce, Basics of Greek Grammar, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003).
J.W. Wenham, Jonathan Pennington & Norman Young, Elements of New Testament Greek, rev. ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).
Kitchen, Kenneth. On the Reliability of the Old Testament. GR. Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2003.