A Note from our State President Jackie –
In recent years the Presbyterian Women’s Association has faced a number of challenges and 2019 will be no different. With many new church plants and Christ College graduates going into full time ministry in churches throughout the state I felt it is the perfect time to update everyone on what we are all about.
Our Aim is to unite women of the Presbyterian Church, throughout the State, in fellowship for worship, mutual help and inspiration and for united service to Christ and the Church.
In New South Wales we have 78 Branches with approximately 800 members and 90 associates. Branches are grouped by Presbyteries and each group has a Presbytery Group Representative on State Council which meets monthly at Church Offices.
Within our Council we have four Standing Committees which are aligned with Assembly Committees of our Church. Each Committee has its own Convener and executive.
Christian Education Committee assists members in presenting the gospel to others and nurturing their own faith. A Time Out Study is compiled and launched for use by Presbytery Groups throughout the year. Opening Devotions for use at meetings and Letter Box Lessens for use by small Sunday schools and children living in isolated areas are also printed and distributed. Barbara Clark is the Convener.
Dorcas Committee promotes the social outreach of the Church and reinforces the work of Presbyterian Social Services in it’s caring for those in need in the community.
Support is given to Allowah Children’s Hospital, Chaplaincy – both hospital and prison and Women’s Refuges. Many of you would have learnt more about Park Patrol and Aged Care in a previous edition of Pulse. As Dorcas Convener, Joan Thuaux is on the Social Services Committee.
Home Mission and Church Extension Committee seeks to encourage prayerfully and give support to all ministers and congregations. Financial support is also provided for those in need. Some assistance takes the form of book or computer tokens for theological students and school uniform allowances for children of graduating students and Home Missionaries who are required to move schools. The Convener, Evelyn Mill attends Ministry and Mission Committee Meetings.
Presbyterian Women’s Missionary Union Committee is concerned with World Mission and seeks to keep in touch with missionaries. A regular Newsletter provides branches with updates on each missionary family and prayer points. Annually funds, provided by branches and members, are given to each family prior to Christmas.
Missionaries, home on leave, are invited to speak at meetings through the year.
The Convener, Laurel Benn and two other committee members attend Australian Presbyterian World Mission Committee meetings.
Special Committees under the authority of State Council are:
Heritage Committee oversee the collection, preservation and restoration of church memorabilia, clothing, bric-a-brac and embroidery and is co-ordinated by Ann Ball and a small committee. Displays of items are held throughout the year, on request, to enhance fundraising activities.
Market Committee organises members through the state in fundraising for a specified project. Previously a Market Day was held in October each year. Availability of suitable venues (parking and easy access) proved difficult so it was decided Presbytery Groups, Branches and individuals would fundraise in their local churches and communities. This change in format has been embraced by members. As a result, our 2018 Project to assist Mick Alley working with the Samburu people in Northern Kenya will receive in excess of $20,000. These funds will enable Mick to employ 4 Samburu Women to work as part of his ministry team. Jeannette Norton is the current Market Convener.
State Council has a Presbyterian Inland Mission Committee Representative, Marilyn Wilkin and Wendy Dillon, our Social Issue Representative, who keeps abreast of issues and presents a Christian view on behalf of PWA.
Our quarterly magazine SPAN (Service, Prayer and News) provides great updates on all PWA Committees and includes devotions, book reviews and news on special events held by branches. It is a great read and I would encourage you to order a copy for your congregation.
PWA is a ministry of the Presbyterian Church. Over many years our members have committed their lives in service to our Lord and shared their faith with young and old alike. Prayer and passion for God’s word are the foundations of our organisation.
Our members teach scripture in schools and fill rosters for Sunday worship, volunteer in nursing homes and contribute to Committee of Management Committees through out the state.
Yes I am waving the flag for PWA. Please continue to support our organisation in prayer that God will direct our path and help us to manage change.
May we remain true to God’s word and reach out to women of all ages in love.
I’ll leave you with my theme verse from Col 3:16,17 “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly and whatever you do, in word and deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Jackie Reiner, PWA President (Wollondilly Parish) Illawarra Presbytery.