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Thank You!

Posted by Joyce Wachsmuth on

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

About two months ago it was announced at the end of the morning worship gathering that I was retiring from being Women’s Ministry Director after 33 years. There were many wonderful words of affirmation shared that morning and I was thankful and overwhelmed. I was so surprised by the elder’s gift of two tickets to my “home” Hawaii that I was speechless for a few minutes – I felt so blessed. However, I really wanted to express what a joy it has been to serve the Lord and serve in my community. I was so glad to have Lynn Kent, our former pastor, in attendance at the service. I was able to thank him for all he has done to teach and guide me as a leader. I was glad to acknowledge Wayne Williams, who has been an affirming and authentic pastor for me to emulate. Looking back I have been under the leadership of several wonderful elders and partnering under the leadership of Jon Sturm, Todd Morrison and Gil Harder. Gil Harder was the one that asked me to coordinate women’s ministry in 1982.

Early years…
In the 80’s women’s ministry was hardly mentioned at all in churches, other than that women were involved in missions and Bible studies. Women’s was not coordinated as a ministry. After praying about this new position, the Lord gave me the idea to call other churches and find out what they were doing in women’s ministry. A meeting was coordinated and 12 women from eight different churches gathered at West Hills Covenant Church on March 5, 1984. It was at that meeting that I found the treasure of connecting with other churches for support and ideas, for prayer, for training and equipping. For that past 31 years Multnomah Bible University and Western Seminary have provided leadership in church networking and I have learned so much. I have learned how other churches deal with ministry and leadership issues. Also, I have learned through other leaders in the city how to do ministry. I continue to meet quarterly with four other leaders in the city.

This last ten years…
I have had the privilege of ministering with women at Greater Portland as a part of my directors and coordinators teams; women who have blessed my life in how they have ministered and how they love our women here at GPBC. They have worked tirelessly behind the scenes. They are women who are faithful and available wherever and whatever the Lord leads. They are women who are willing to use their strong interpersonal skills to communicate the vision of women’s ministry and to work in healthy ways with others. They have been women who are teachable and open to being lifelong learners. I want to say thank you to all the women who served in leadership in the past 33 years. I wish I could take you all to Hawaii with me!

What’s next…
Women’s ministry will continue its legacy under the wonderful leadership of Susan Fleming, DiAne Dodge and Paulette Williams. I am so grateful for their leadership! I will continue to serve on our pastoral team overseeing the Adult Learning Communities on Sunday mornings as well as our Hospitality team.  Doug and I will continue to be available to help with the Marriage Mentoring ministry. I will continue to be a coordinator for the Food Pantry on the first Saturday of the month. My desire is to serve and be available to the Holy Spirit’s leading in whatever is necessary to strengthen the kingdom of God.


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