The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

April 5, 2013

Event to honor, unite women

BY MARY WICOFF
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — Women who minister in the community — whether through churches or secular groups — don’t always get the recognition they deserve.

The first Ladies in Ministry brunch hopes to resolve that by bringing women together to hear and share words of encouragement. The event will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 13, at the Executive Plaza Banquet Center, 3550 N. Vermilion St., and will last about two and a half hours.

Nicole Green, who came up with the idea, said tickets are selling out quickly, but women can contact her about availability. Men also are welcomed.

The brunch honors all women in ministry in the Danville area, such as pastors, pastors’ wives, church administrators, lay ministers and those in religious orders, and those who minister at non-church places, such as the jail, prison or the Women’s Care Clinic.

Leslie Cunningham of Danville, who will attend the event, said, “I think this is a novel idea because women don’t always get noticed for their contributions inside or outside the church, and especially those who work behind the scenes in all areas of spiritual leadership.

“This is tough work and these women deserve recognition to fuel their spirits.”

One morning, Green woke up with the idea to honor women who minister. She thought about the senior pastor at her church — Linda Cooper at St. James Freewill Baptist, one of a handful of women spiritual leaders in the area.

“Having served in various ministry capacities over the course of 23 years,” Green said, “I am sensitive to the hearts of other ladies in ministry and have a passion to encourage them as they carry out the tasks the Lord has assigned to their hands.”

She said several denominations and para-church organizations will be represented at the event.

“It will be a celebration of ladies from Danville and the surrounding area who serve in ministry capacities within the local church and in their communities,” she said. “Our individual expressions of worship may be different but our mission is the same: to share the love and message of Jesus Christ with the people we come in contact with every day.”

Women don’t come together enough to celebrate and encourage each other, she said.

Green said the event will feature a professionally catered brunch menu in an elegant setting, and so attendees should dress accordingly.

The program will begin with Green sharing a brief word of encouragement and leading a time of intercession on behalf of the women, their families, and the work they are doing.

Natalie Grayson with Mount Calvary Holy Church of Columbus, Ohio, will lead the praise and worship. Other women will speak, too. There will be other gifts and surprises.

“The Lord has promised to meet us there,” Green said, “and I am sure we will all leave feeling blessed and refreshed after being in his presence.”

In the future, Green expects to have a Ladies in Ministry fellowship in mid or late August, which will be more casual than the upcoming brunch.

A native of New York, Green acknowledged the call to preaching ministry in 1991, and was ordained in the Mount Calvary Holy Churches of America in April 2008. Her husband, Damon, also is an ordained minister, and they serve on the Pastoral Team of St. James Free Will Baptist.

Nicole Green also writes a motivational column for Aya Eneli’s online magazine, “Xtraordinary You,” and homeschools their three children.

FYI