Single-mindedly focused on God’s call

May 2, 2011 11:19 AM

By Pastor Linda Bell and Delores Gray


Saturday, March 19 was a beautiful spring day in New York City. But to add to the beauty and warmth, a great gathering of women took place at Advent Lutheran Church in Manhattan. Metro New York Synod Women of Color hosted the gathering that included over 100 women from a variety of nationalities, hailing from a variety of places: all five boroughs, Long Island, and different parts of the state.


Based on Esther 4:14, the focus of the day was how to use our individual gifts and talents in the church “for such a time as this.” The day included morning devotion, a delicious lunch delivered in individual picnic baskets, and a raffle of fun gifts. During fellowship time, participants were encouraged to get to know sisters from other congregations.


Synod leader Deacon Ingrid Compton and Valora Starr from Women of the ELCA led us in a workshop on “Opening Your Spiritual Gifts–Empowered by the Sabbath.” The workshop offered surprising and affirming results as we explored how to serve our God and church. “I left the workshop with new awareness,” said Beryl Lowe-Rocque from Holy Redeemer, Brooklyn. “I am using my gifts in my ministry now.”


The event concluded with a powerful worship service. Our preacher was Pastor Regina Goodrich from Philadelphia. “So what was Esther’s secret? Why could she respond to diversion in such a healthy way?” Pastor Goodrich asked us. “I think it is simply this: that Esther was single-mindedly focused on God’s call. She had an overwhelming appreciation for her God-ordained task of bringing security to people who felt insecure, whose lives were in some cases broken down and about to be destroyed. She was focused on what would count forever, for eternity. Now let me ask: What is our task as believers? What is our task as a church? We know one answer: to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.”


We left spirit-filled and ready to do what God would have us do. “It was great to see other women from different congregations working for God,” said Yanet Rojas from St. Luke’s, Brooklyn. “It was a day well-spent!”