September 19, 2022 | Australia | Tracey Bridcutt | Source: Adventist Records
Women who feel called to pastoral ministry are encouraged to apply for the South Pacific Division (SPD) Fellowship.
The SPD Women in Ministry Scholarship Fund, administered by the SPD Department of Ministry, provides financial assistance to women who wish to enroll or are currently enrolled in ministerial/theological training in the division’s Adventist higher education institutions. This fund aims to affirm and encourage women throughout the Department to attend a course that would equip them for effective full-time ministry.
Currently, while more than 55% of SPD members are women, only 7% of SPD pastors are women.
“If we truly believe that men and women are made in the image of God, and that men and women reflect the image of God, even imperfectly, then the perspectives of both men and women need to reflect God’s love and grace to the world. he should know that,” said SPD assistant ministerial secretary Dr. Edyta Jankiewicz.
The SPD is following in the footsteps of the Australian Conference Union (AUC), which last year introduced the AUC Women in Pastoral Ministry Scholarship.
“We are thrilled with the quality of applicants in this first round and are pleased to be able to award five scholarships this year,” said Pastor Lyndelle Peterson, Assistant Ministerial Secretary and Sabbath School Director and Administrator at AUC.
“I have personally been encouraged to hear the stories of these women faithfully following the calling God has placed on their lives, and I look forward to seeing how God will use them for ministry as they complete their education, graduate, and serve in our local churches.” »
Senior church leaders reaffirmed their commitment to include more women in pastoral ministry.
“God is calling men and women to serve,” said SPD Chair Pastor Glenn Townend, “Because of what God is doing the church must respond and support women who hear God’s call. Women have unique pastoral gifts, and since more than half of SPD members are women, it is important to have other women in pastoral leadership to support them. They can serve in a way that men cannot. »
President of the New Zealand Pacific Conference Union, the Rev. Eddie Tupai, said the perspective and voice of women in ministry were crucial to conveying the fullness of God’s image and character.
“It’s another missing, muted and devalued contribution that requires intentionality from predominantly male leadership. The church and the community will be richly blessed by such a simple but significant change. »
AUC Chairman Pastor Terry Johnson said pastoring is often associated with men because the pastors we have traditionally seen are men.
“We are shaped by what we see and experience,” he said. “When women are given the opportunity to be effective pastors, with the unique purpose of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the beautiful grace-based end-time message, they model that the spiritual gifts of shepherding, leadership, evangelism, teaching, administration (among others) are open to all because service is equal to serving and God calls everyone to serve. »
According to dr. For Darius Jankiewicz, SPD field/ministerial officer, the lack of women’s participation in ministry hinders the fulfillment of God’s mission. “The means of accomplishing the great work are spiritual gifts given to believers at the discretion of the Holy Spirit, regardless of gender,” he said. “These spiritual gifts are the basis of the Protestant teaching on the priesthood of all believers — that all believers contribute to the realization of God’s mission in the world. »
You can find more information about the SPD Women in Ministry Scholarship Fund and how to apply for a scholarship here.
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