"I had no Bible, but could remember some passages. I knew, of course, that God was always with me… I had no cross, no outward sign of any religious things. I dared not make a sign of the cross in my room; someone might report me. The cross was in my mind. Jesus was in my mind" - Florence Li
Florence Tim Oi Li, a Chinese woman from Hong Kong, who was ordained as a priest in 1944—nearly 30 years before it was permitted in her province and 50 years before the ordination of the first woman priests in the Church of England.
She faithfully did the work of a priest before, during, and after her ordination. Ultimately, her dedication to her calling was greater than her dedication to her title, so much so that she humbly forfeited her title of “priest” to preserve Bishop Hall’s position.
I am angry and grieved that women have had to and still have to minimize themselves to protect “important men.” Li’s choice, while immensely admirable, is not the choice for everyone. I sit with the tension of prioritizing calling over title, while also firmly believing that titles affirm and honor God’s calling in women’s lives. Especially when these titles have historically been kept from them!
KATIE NGUYEN Middle School Ministry Lead -
South The Austin Stone Community Church
I'm incredibly thankful for the opportunity the Soul Care cohort provided me with being able to not only connect with other women in different ministry contexts across the nation, but also develop a true sense of connection and community.
Katie connected to WOW! last summer via IG, subsequently attended a seminar, joined our Fall Soul Care cohort, and is now part of the WOW! Mentoring Support Network!
How are you being invited to let your light shine in the darkness?
"For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ." - 2 Corinthians 4:6
art by Ana Maria Waaga-Gasser during
our recent Refresh Silent Retreat
GROWTH IN LOVE CAMPAIGN EXTENDED THROUGH APRIL 30TH
37 gifts have been given so far in celebration of Women's Month! We've been asked to extend this campaign into the Eastertide season and communicate the opportunity is open to men (as is the case with all WOW! ministries). These gifts provide spiritual & emotional care for the treasured women AND men in your life.
Consider these timely gifts for Mother's Day, Father's Day, graduation, or any day!
We launched The Table initiative as 2020 closed and in January of this year, we expressed the hope that at least 20 friends would commit to becoming monthly prayer and financial partners by April. 30 friends have taken a seat at The Table! In March, some of us joined our first quarterly gathering for a time of worship, sharing, prayer, and friendship around the Table. We would love to have you join us.
WOW! will be taking the week of April 19th off and will be back on April 26. We are convicted to model what we encourage others to do. In the midst of this difficult season and deep soul searching for Asian women inside and outside of the church, the staff will be using this time for their own soul care and well-being as we prepare for this next season of ministry. WOW! is a signatory of the AACC Statement on the Atlanta Massacre and Ongoing Anti-Asian Hate. We are committed to uphold these tenets along with Our Commitment to Solidarity. Would you pray alongside us as we continue to engage in conversations and discernment?
WHAT DID I DO ?
BY CHELSIA TAM
The first quarter of 2021 passed in the blink of an eye. It also marked that we have lived in this new normal for more than a year.
“What did I do?”
I have asked myself many times in the past year. I asked myself this question even more as the new year started, the “anniversary” of the start of this pandemic happened, and the email informing us to go back to the office showed up in my inbox.
Always winter, never Christmas: The story of the woman at the well
Jesus' meeting with the woman at the well takes place in the long winter season of not just her personal life, but in Jewish history. Rev. Jasmine Flores provides historical, cultural, and spiritual context to help us see Jesus is not just bringing salvation to her, but to an entire nation in this encounter. This radical conversation directly challenges and seeks to dismantle the prejudices and culture of the time, an example we can seek to follow today.
We learned that Jesus returns to the disciples to remind them of his invitation to come and follow him after his resurrection. To watch and learn, and to do likewise. What is Jesus' invitation to you this Easter season? Notice the small ways God is tugging on you. Let God's gentleness show you the depth of God's ongoing movement in your life. Come and join us Wednesday 4/28 at 12pm EST.
The role of an ezer is seldomly taught as a role for both men or women to pursue graciously or honorably for God’s redemptive work. It is often misused as a measure of secondary value or status for women. The word ezer/helper has been misunderstood using modern day context to define the word helper. It is time to unleash its true alignment with God as our ezer. Its implication is that all are called to be ezers.