By Rev. Dr. Linda Hollies
In the year that I mother died, I head God speak! Talk about a difficult time to listen to God. With the death of my mother, I and my siblings were "officially orphans!" I didn’t want to talk to God! Yet, the year that Mama died, I heard God speak!
Hurting, in agony, troubled and grieving, I had asked God, "How do I survive this loss?" And, God answered, "Call out to your sisters!" So, almost twenty years ago, in the city of Lansing, Michigan, Woman to Woman Ministries was incorporated as part of God’s vision to offer training in every area of the pastoral, teaching and counseling ministry to women (and men bold enough to attend!) who had either no means or desire to attain professional seminary education, yet felt a call or desire to official ministry within their local congregation.
It was my simple intention to utilize professional, seminary trained women to pass along their knowledge, education and wisdom to assist others in their continuing stages of development. The model was established in a series of ADVANCE CONFERENCES, and School Day classes. We have evolved, over the years, into the WOMAN TO WOMAN ACADEMY. The concept of utilizing, saved, seminary trained female leadership to offer their sage nuggets remains at our foundation.
Because of spiritual gifts, life experiences, exposure to and utilization of, there are many "untrained" women who have resources that we need in the academy of life. Woman to Woman Ministries, Inc. is not deceived into believing that formal education is “the only way” to God’s anointing! However, the ancient adage remains true: For a woman answer a call to ministry and then, to be accepted in ministry, she must be three times as smart, without showing her untold stress and inner wounds! Therefore, our teaching-learning-growing-stretching self-development model is well rounded, like a mature woman’s body. It’s as generous as a woman’s nature and it is a shared concept where education is both a give and take, learn and teach process!
All of us bring our life’s story to the table. All of us bring the rich and various backgrounds that have shaped us. All of us bring rich histories that have brought us this far along the journey. All of us have something to teach and all of us have something new to learn. Wisdom and knowledge flow in and out, through each of us. And, each of us is a broken vessel, hopefully, willing to be poured out into and upon the world. Among us we have a wealth of information. The Academy’s task is to offer a place where critical thinking, excellent resources and quality practices are placed upon the table for us to share together.
The concept of “the table” is one drawn from the place where women reign. We are the planters, harvesters and growers of most table foods around the world. Women do most of the tending to and shopping for their tables. Women do the preparing, serving and cleaning of most of our tables. For it’s at the tables of our lives where news is shared, information is processed, coffee, milk and tea is sipped as life is looked at for its “best practices” to be discovered. So, The Academy values and invites all who are listening to God for excellence in their ministry, to the Woman To Woman Academy "table" where a virtual feast has been planned.
"Let anyone with ears listen", demands our Memory Verse for the week, from Matthew 13: 9. In the midst of life’s varying circumstances we are called to provide hopeful answers for God’s people all around us. A call to ministry is not simply a call to a pulpit! A call to ministry is a call to pass The Bread of Life and The Well That Will Not Run Dry in all the places that we are!
This message might not be for YOU! But, please pass it along to a sister that you know is wrestling with how to advance her spiritual gifts in a professional manner. Plus, I invite you to personally consider sponsoring a woman from your local congregation! Or you can pay for a sister, and offer a scholarship in your name! Perhaps, your local Mission Group will send a sister and ask her to teach monthly, all she has learned.
The Academy begins September 15th (6:30-9:30 pm) and ends Saturday, May 20th with a graduation. The full fee for the nine month course is only $450.00. We do honor and accept all major credit cards. The monthly fee is only $55.00. There is a personal interview required, a non-refundable, pre-registration fee of $25.00 (This helps me to pay for printing, stamps and mailings) and a Covenant to be signed before September 1, 2005. All classes are scheduled for WomanSpace, downtown, Grand Rapids. Call me today and schedule your personal interview time. (616) 776-9706 is the number at WomanSpace.
I also continue to offer consulting/counseling/spiritual direction services to both individuals, couples and local congregations; along with pre-marital and post- marital counseling at the lowest fees in town as a non-profit. However, I can be of service to you in the coming months, don’t hesitate to call me. Please have The Academy announced during your Sunday worships. I’m listening to hear from you! On the journey with ya!
Let’s live holy; laugh often; and let’s love with flair and with extravagance! Shalom! Sista Linda
WomanSpace: 820 Monroe, NW Suite 323
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503
Saving Sisters, one woman at a time!
Join us! Shalom!