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Photo: mifemFSRT

Swiss Romande and Ticino Conference Women’s Ministries News

First in-person meeting of the Women’s Ministries leaders of the local churches in the church of Clarence-Montreux

Swiss Romande and Ticino Conference Women’s Ministries News

On Sunday, June 6th, it was finally time for the long-awaited in-person meeting of the Women’s Ministries leaders of the local churches. During the last year, we had met per zoom three times. Six of the ten leaders of active WM groups showed up in the morning. Together with them, our Conference Women’s Ministries team, consisting of Bernadette Fogliani, director, Karin Sbarzella, associate director, and assistant Adriana Stasi shared a joyful welcome breakfast.
After that Bernadette presented a meditation on "Having an Open Heart." She began by analyzing the different aspects of an open and closed heart. Then she focused on our ultimate confidant, the Lord Jesus to whom we can open our hearts completely. As a practical example, she related a personal experience. In a moment of discouragement, after she asked for help in prayer, the Lord intervened in just a few minutes. How many of us have experienced moments when we were dejected and in difficulty? Then, having asked the Lord to help, a few moments later someone calls us with whom we can find comfort! Sometimes we find the right verse at the right time! Or any other answer according to our needs!  How many times has it happened that after we asked God for help, we feel peace, calm, and warmth in our hearts! Like the story of Hanna, mother of Samuel, in 1.Sam.1:10-18. That is a great example of how the Lord hears the prayer of those who are afflicted, discouraged, and in need.
After the meditation and guided by Karin and Adriana, we experienced some very intense and profound moments during the workshop "How God speaks to us". Each person took a random card with a verse. One after the other we commented on our cards: What does it mean to me, what does it arouse in me, what have I experienced about it? There were some amazing experiences about how God has acted and acts in our lives. Several times the phrase, "God knows how to surprise me," was uttered. "God speaks clearly to me." One stunning example is what one sister shared. She was undecided whether to come to this meeting or not, so she prayed to the Lord that He would let her find a verse that would help her decide what she should do. And she found exactly the right verse that convinced her to come to this meeting. But that was not the end of the story! Right in our group she "by accident" picked up the same verse she had read the day before. This reinforced her conviction that it was definitely God’s will for her to come. This experience had a very deep meaning. She needed to be assured that God was "really" speaking to her. She received the answer not once but twice! These "trials" touched her very much.  We truly have a fantastic God who always knows how to surprise us!
During lunch, we had more time to talk and a nice atmosphere of friendship and sharing was created.
The afternoon program led by the team started with a joyful song that elevated our spirits even more. After that, there was an "open heart" discussion. We talked about different aspects of Women’s Ministries, issues, ways of seeing, and clarifications. There are churches where there are so many activities that it becomes difficult to organize activities for women. Perhaps they are not even necessary. Each church has its own particularity and we must ask the Lord to find the best solutions to meet the needs of women and beyond. There was no lack of exchange of ideas and suggestions. It was a very intense, enriching, and inspiring moment.
We truly lived moments that were rich in intensity, depth, and where we perceived the presence of the Lord. Yes, the Spirit of the Lord was present. Everyone left happy, enriched, especially spiritually, and with a sense of unity among these leaders. This is what we wanted to achieve. To be more united in the Lord and among us WM leaders, to work together better for the accomplishment of the mission that the Lord has entrusted to us, the Women’s Ministries department!
I thank and praise the Lord who guided everything, who touched hearts, and united us! May He guide all WM leaders within this conference and at all levels.
Reported by Bernadette Fogliani, WM director for the FSRT conference