We, the women’s ministry team at UFC — Jamie Harms (director), Jaime Sherman (blog), Brianna Hines (Bible study), and Joanna Sheppard (mom’s group) — gathered with intentionality this past weekend to plan and to pray for the year ahead. We were joined by Aubrey Slaeker, the children’s ministry director at UFC, for one day. As we worked, we spent time in prayer for each other and for you, our women whom we dearly love and desire to see grow closer to God and to one another in the months ahead. We reviewed our theme verses for the past year from Jeremiah 17:7-8:
Blessed is the woman who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. She will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
We were drawn back to I Thessalonians, including 2:4 as we read: So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
We worshipped our Creator and enjoyed time on the banks of Odell Lake. We shared our faith stories and savored yummy food. We spent time digging into Scripture for study ideas, and we reviewed the highlights from the past 12 months, including the blog and Bible study offerings throughout the year:
June-August 2020: Psalms, book discussion groups, park dates, and evening gatherings
September: Proverbs and moms’ group kickoff
October: Old Testament women
November: Abiding and Thanksgiving
December: A Light Dwelling (advent) and Psalm 1
January-February 2021: Embracing God’s Rest
March-April: Galatians (beta test group), John, and Easter week
We also looked at what comes next for the women of UFC, including reviewing a vision to reconnect women in the church community to encourage and be encouraged in the gospel together. We used sticky notes and markers to create a calendar for the year. The summer schedule includes evening gatherings in July and August, summertime discussion groups of Ten Words to Live By by Jen Wilkins, and park dates. Sign up here to join one of the coffee and conversation groups. Park dates and other registration links will be posted on the blog in the coming days.
We will join forces with the rest of the church ministry teams for a fall discipleship series the weeks of September 26 through November 14. Weekly Bible study, moms’, and prayer groups will be organized throughout the season to compliment what we will learn on Sunday mornings.
While we met at the lake, we encouraged each other in our specific areas of ministry. Brianna began planning a Bible study to lead us through in early 2022, while Joanna hashed out plans for moms’ group. Jaime and Jamie reviewed Scriptures for future study questions and prayer prompts for the blog and Bible study groups. We also spent time reviewing plans and teaching themes for the fall retreat — September 24-26.
We are excited for what God is going to do in and through us in the coming months as we seek to bring women together to love God, love their neighbors, and make disciples. Please pray for us this summer as take time to rest and invest in our marriages and families, as we spend time studying and writing material for the summer weeks and the coming school year, and as we connect women of UFC.