Women's Center for Ministry Newsletter 
April 2020, Part 1
In this issue:
-Summer 2020 Women's Transformational Leadership Class!
  Learn how you can audit WL503
-Thank you for joining us at ARISE Ignite Compassion!
  check out comments and pictures from ARISE Ignite Compassion
-Your Story Matters! 
  an article by Trish Bussey Jeter
-The Way of Love
  a poem by Becky James
-From Abundance of Guilt to Abundance. Period.
  an article by Heidi Sellick
Special CoronaVirus Devotionals starting Monday, for those interested 
Women's Transformational Leadership (WL) Summer 2020 Class!
Learn more about WL503

Longing to be connected to other women during the Coronavirus crisis and be growing in your faith?  Here’s a great alternative! This class will be taught by ZOOM, right from the comfort of your own home.  Don’t miss out on this golden opportunity! 

WL 503 // Women in Pain, Part 2
Revisiting additional aspects of emotional pain in women’s lives, this course enables an increased awareness of pain through biblical experience and the lives of women today. Students will identify tools of compassionate, effective, and strategic pastoral care. They will learn about local resources for those in pain and/or their caregivers, how to make appropriate referrals, and how to understand empathic listening and presence. Issues discussed will include miscarriage, child death, infertility, parents in pain, religious abuse, physical disabilities, chronic pain, and homelessness. In addition to the in-class topics, other issues students may choose to explore via a reflection/research paper could include terminal illness, military families, and incarcerated women. 1 credit.
  • Graduate Credit Application Deadline: March 1
  • Graduate Credit Class Registration Deadline: March 30
  • Cost for Graduate Credit: $600
  • Application: If you have not yet applied to Western Seminary, you can do so on our website, or by clicking this link here 

  • Prerequisite: High school diploma or GED
  • Application and Registration due: the week before class starts.
  • Cost to Audit: $130
  • To Enroll: Click Here! (This option allows you to take classes for audit OR to earn a certificate).
Instructor:  Marie Dezellem
Location:  Western Seminary Portland Campus
                   5511 SE Hawthorne Blvd
                   Portland, OR 97215
Dates:   June 5 & 6, 2020
              9:00am - 4:30pm
Thanks for Joining Us at ARISE Ignite Compassion!
check out some comments and photos below!

"Everything! Worship team was amazing! Joy of Dance was amazing and Bethany gave a wonderful message!"

"So good to spend a “retreat” day focused on serving and being used in the world, reminded me I have the power of the Holy Spirit, and my responsibility in the great commission."

"Worship! Lunchtime with the ladies! The focus on the Bible – ALL OF IT!"

"Every moment! I truly love hearing from biblical, passionate women and hearing the beautiful worship in prayer, music and dance. I am truly impressed!"

"Bethany! – Amazing! Loved the expository straight from the Bible, verse by verse and application. Incredible! I have so many takeaways."

"Quality topics, genuine leaders and professional conference."

"Thank you sweet sisters for wonderful teaching and a quality conference."

Your Story Matters!
an article by Trish Bussey Jeter
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Matthew 28:19-20
Many of us are familiar with this passage in Scripture where Jesus commands and empowers us to share the Gospel.  According to a study by the Barna Group, 73% of Christians agree that they should share the gospel, but only 52% say that have done so within the last year. If we know that we’re supposed to share our faith, and Jesus has commanded us to do so, why don’t we?  A common reason is because we just don’t know what to say.  The good news is that as Christians, each of us has a testimony—a story of how we came to know Jesus and the difference He has made in our lives.  
  • Your story matters!  God is the Author of our stories.  We are a part of His story and He wants us to share Him with others. Someone is waiting and needs to hear your story. Your story matters because it brings glory to God.
  • Your story is powerful! God’s Spirit lives inside us and gives us the power to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8).  Please don’t let fear or shame stop you from sharing your story. Your story is meant to be told – there are many people who will be touched when they hear of how God is working in your life.
  • God wants to use your story!  God can use our stories to transform lives. Your story might help connect someone to Jesus and give them hope in Christ. Your life has been transformed by Jesus and that’s worth talking about!
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15). One way to be prepared is to write out your spiritual story.  Paul in Acts 26 lays out a great example of how to tell your story.  Paul spoke simply, logically, and clearly about his life before salvation, how he met Christ, and what his life was like after knowing Christ.  No one can argue with what God has done in your life!
Here are three key elements to help you write and share your story:
  1. BEFORE - Share about what your life was like before you came to Christ.
  2. WHY - Give the details about why and how you decided to follow Jesus.
  3. DIFFERENCE - Share some of the changes and differences that Christ has made in your life.
Pray before you write your story, and ask God for an opportunity to share it. Pray before you share your story, and leave the results to God. Will you take time today to write and share your story?  Allow God to use you to share the greatest story ever told!

Trish Bussey Jeter is passionate about teaching, mentoring, and discipling others to help them discover who they are in Christ and how to thrive in their relationship with God. Her desire is to see people grow spiritually, and live abundant joyful lives in Him!  Trish is a graduate of Western Seminary with a Masters in Ministry and Leadership, and has an MBA from Baruch College in NYC. Trish serves as Community Pastor for the 11 am gathering at Vancouver Church.  She enjoys teaching as a member of the Women’s Transformational Leadership team at Western Seminary. Trish has been happily married to Pete for six years, and they love to travel, admiring the beauty of God’s creation.

The Way of Love
a poem by Becky James


His love is an anchor

His word is our guide



Think of Him every day 

Think of Him every night 



His path is the right one

He is our guiding light



When we are afraid

Know He is by our side



He is the way, the truth

God is Love, He is life


John 14:6

Becky James has a heart for God and loves helping people connect to purpose. During a sabbatical from her corporate career in legal technology, she discovered a calling to serve through writing and music. Becky writes faith inspired pieces to encourage hope, tell truth in love, and remember the gone. She also collaborates on studio recording projects.

From Abundance of Guilt to Abundance. Period.
an article by Heidi Sellick

America’s value of busyness, and Western Christianity’s emphasis on good works and missions, fill me with guilt when taking even a much-needed break. But what if you just want to take a vacation? I’ve never allowed myself to even conceive of more pleasure than buying myself Arby’s curly fries after a hard day. Yet lately, God has been calling me to enjoy His abundance in life and to see my value. The truth is I don’t really believe I’m worth receiving pleasure when there’s so much suffering in the world. So, when joyful opportunities present themselves to me, I turn them down with a mix of piety and resentment.

I’m not expounding Sabbath, arguing “blessing” theologies, or even exegeting Ecclesiastes 2:24, but I am sharing how God has stretched and spoken to me this year.

Last October I was feeling extremely envious; it seemed everyone was travelling to foreign countries. Travel is a value to me and my family, but I had nothing planned. As I complained to a friend, he piped up, “Why don’t you go on a trip for your birthday in January?” I immediately dismissed it. He looked at me quizzically, “Why not?” I realized that I had no good reason for not travelling.

Since the thought of spending so much money on myself seemed exorbitant, I set a limit on the amount I would spend and told the LORD, ‘If you want me to go, give me a flight deal less than $_______.’ Even with these lingering feelings of guilt God blessed me with a cheaper flight than expected and arranged the times my friends in the UK could see me. Before I knew it, I had booked an adventure just for my pleasure. I couldn’t believe it.

What astounded me was that everywhere I went and everyone I spoke to, including my flight mates, were either encouraged by me or encouraging me with spiritual advice. Conversations about the LORD, Church, and Christian life abounded as I adventured.

Upon reflection, the LORD spoke to me: ‘Heidi, you don’t have to be on a mission’s trip to be on mission.’ Delights such as reconnecting with old friends, sight-seeing, or summiting an alp don’t have to be separate from ministry.

We know we are ministers everywhere we go, carrying the Holy Spirit within us, but it’s freeing to realize that we can indulge some of our desires and enjoy an adventure without the explicit intent to evangelize or serve. God is always working in and through us if we are sensitive to His leading.

Let God bless you so that you can better bless those you encounter. God wants to give us an abundant life. Like Abraham, God blesses us to be a blessing (Gen. 12:1-3). We can enjoy the good things He presents us with and sacrificially serve others. There is no more sacred and secular division – the curtain was torn. All of life is now holy ground. Enjoy the mission every moment.

***Post note:  We who know and love Heidi rejoice with her that God gave her this wonderful trip, knowing that global shutdown was awaiting all of us!  Perhaps your January was filled with final “out and about” blessings too!  "Thank you Jesus, for every good gift and perfect gift you provide for us as your children!"  ***

Heidi Sellick: I am a lover of Jesus, a walking contradiction, and a beautiful mess. But, God uses the shattered despite our brokenness. By God’s grace, I have remained His tottering child, clasping tightly to His hand. Though flawed, God has allowed me to interim as a Youth Pastor, emcee conferences, and serve on Greater Portland Bible Church’s youth leadership team. I currently attend Western Seminary, teach adult classes at my church (Abraham: A Founding Father’s Faith & Folly and Redefining Singleness in the Church), and pursue writing and speaking. Will you join me in seeking God’s captivating work of restoration amid life’s devastation?

Special Coronavirus Devotionals Starting Monday 
We would like to bless you! Two gifted women in our city are writing/speaking daily blessings for their own church women’s Bible Studies:

Michelle Ruetschle, senior pastor’s wife at Sunset Presbyterian Church has felt called to write a M-F daily devotional for her church family to bring them hope during these unprecedented days. She is delighted to share them with our WCM reading audience.  

Mary Ann Noack, Pastor to Women at River West Church, is speaking 15 minutes daily (M-F) on the nature of God to steady her flock during these trying days.  She too, is eager to share the links with us. 

Lisa Reiff, our IGNITE worship team leader is eager to share links to her live FB page.  Amanda Zentz will add other songs so we can worship daily as a community.

We pray these will be a great blessing each day, helping you to pause, to be still and know that He is God!  If you prefer to unsubscribe from the daily devotionals, you can do so without unsubscribing from our monthly newsletters, as they will be separate emails.  

Contact us! We'd love to hear from you!

Women's Center for Ministry at Western Seminary

Phyllis Bennett, Director
Amanda Zentz, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 503.517.1931
Fax: 503.517.1889

5511 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97215

The opinions expressed by the various authors in this newsletter do not necessarily represent those of Western Seminary. We provide information on an as-is basis. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog, nor will we be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its use.
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