Women's Center for Ministry Newsletter 
April 2020, Part 2
In this issue:
-Summer 2020 Women's Transformational Leadership Class!
  Learn how you can audit WL503
-When Normal Returns
  an article by Kara Betzer
-The Via Delarosa
  a poem by Candace Crandall
-Stop Scaring Yourself
  an article by Poppy Smith
Special CoronaVirus Devotionals to receive these, sign up HERE
Women's Transformational Leadership (WL) Summer 2020 Class!
Learn more about WL503

Wondering how to invest your life for kingdom purposes during this pandemic? Why not join us for Women in Pain 2, a class that can equip you to minister more effectively to others struggling during this time of sheltering in place. Taught by Marie Dezellem, an ER nurse presently serving Christ and the Portland community on the front lines, no doubt Marie will bring to the classroom her own rich stories of how God is empowering her to minister to others during these trying times.  


Below is a description of the class to be taught by ZOOM, all from the comfort of your own home.  Don’t let technology hold you back. You’ll be sent a ZOOM link and be in class before you know it!  Here’s what it’s all about:  

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
When Normal Returns
an article by Kara Betzer

The last few weeks have been tough. I do not think it would be an overstatement to say that the whole world has felt mutual pains, loneliness, and fear during this worldwide pandemic. With one breath we have all prayed for the ending of this virus and for life to return to normal.


But after a worldwide pandemic, what is normal?


I have been drawn to the books of Ezra and Nehemiah at this time. While they did not live during a pandemic, they lived at the end of the Babylonian Captivity and initiated the rebuilding of the Temple and the Wall around Jerusalem. Like us, they lived in a time of uncertainty and fear. They were able to be assured that what they were doing was instructed by God, but they feared for their lives and the lives of the men, women, and children they brought back to Jerusalem from Babylon to rebuild. They were uncertain if they could finish the before invaders attacked, or if Cyrus king of Persia would revoke his permission of rebuilding and drag them back to captivity.


But, as the story goes, they finished the Temple and the Wall. And life returned, but to a new normal.


In Ezra 3, the rebuilding of the Temple begins. After the foundation is laid, long before the walls and roof are finished, there is a dedication to the Lord. With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: "He is good; His love toward Israel endures forever” (Ezra 3:11, NIV).


I imagine this is what we will experience, when the foundation of life post-Covid-19 begins. When the doors are opened, and small gatherings can take place again. When we can visit our favorite brunch spot, not for takeout, but for dine in. Or sit in a movie theater and laugh in unison with strangers around us. I imagine we will praise and thank the Lord for laying the foundation of life out of isolation.


But along with the praise and thanksgiving, there was weeping at the foundation of the temple. “Many of the older priests, Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise” (Ezra 3:12-13).


We don’t know when life will begin feeling normal, we don’t even know what the new normal will look like. I imagine there will be a cacophony of sounds, from shouts of joy to weeping, not just once, but for many months after as we grieve what we lost and as we navigate what we now have.


You have permission to grieve. You have permission to rejoice. Our lives will return, in one way or another, and change will have taken place. But God is constant. He is the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega who laid the foundation of the world. He will lay our new foundation as well.

Kara is passionate about teaching God's Word and helping others discover Jesus. She is in her last year at Western Seminary and will complete her Masters of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies in April. As a Pacific Northwest Native, she loves all things coffee, waffles, and rain. To read more of Kara's work, visit her blog at 

The Via Delarosa
a poem by Candace Crandall

Decades before I was called to be
He walked the Via Delarosa for me.
Agonizing, searing, pain
He took each step to save my name.
Torture was the Way of Grief
A long, lonely road to Calvary.
Metal and bone sink in deep
Tearing, slicing, lines that bleed.
More anguish each lash forged
As sinew was fiercely scored.
Mocked, spit on, hit was He
Before the Way of Grief was seen.
A crown of thorns pierced His brow
The curse of  sin reigning down.
Roman soldiers bowed maliciously
Pilot nailed “King of the Jews” on His tree.
Upon His back a cross He would take
With it the last journey He would make.
Body in agony, flesh exposed
Each step torment, suffering imposed.
From body and face crimson streamed
The Via Delerosa collected every bead seeped.
For a man carrying the cross
Half a mile uphill was mercilessly long.
Ceasing at Golgotha, the Via Delerosa behind
Naked on the cross He would lie.
Striking nails through hands and feet
Bone and muscle erupted attached to the tree.
Placed in the ground and raised
Heartbroken and tormented His life slowly waned.
Breathing labored and strained
Each hour His body, profoundly pained.
Covered in sin and shame
The Holiest of Holies looked away.
To His Father He did spake
“Why do you abandon and forsake?”
Life on earth drawing to its close
“It is finished,” was the last He spoke.
Death thought its victory won
Eradicated of life was the only Son.
The earth writhed in protest
The dark sky would attest.
Who is this man that earth should quake
Upon the last breath He should take?
In a tomb He was placed.
Wrapped in linen, fragrance, and grace
In the dark and cold He would lay.
Until the third day, creation again, would shake.
Good Friday the perfect, unblemished lamb was slayed
On Sunday, by His Father, He was raised!
The Lion roared His victory
Over sin, grave, and eternity.
Because of grace, mercy, and love
My sin and shame are washed in His blood.
My Jesus! My Jesus! He did save!
I give my life to His mercy and grace!
Because of love, He was faithful on the Way of Grief
And love kept Him bound to the crucifixion tree.
Love poured out on the road to Calvary
Took hold my heart and rescued me.


Candace Crandall and her husband of 24 years live in the beautiful state of Washington. Beautifully blended, they have four kids and four grandkids and consider themselves abundantly blessed. She a certified personal coach, professional coach, and has a bachelor’s degree in psychology with an emphasis in life coaching. Her deepest desire and greatest passion is encouraging others, especially women, to walk in their genuine and authentic selves taking ownership of the good, bad, and the ugly. Candace believes that living joyfully consists of purposeful intention, honest evaluation, and a strong desire to let Jesus strip all facades.

Stop Scaring Yourself
an article by Poppy Smith

A simple man (woman) believes anything…” Proverbs 14:15.

I’m familiar with scaring myself.  Are you? Being a natural wimp, I’ve battled my scary self-talk for a long time:

  • Blessed with a vivid imagination, I once sat and cried in fear. Why? Because my husband and son (the pilot!) were flying over mountains and forests in southern Oregon in a small plane and I was convinced it would crash. It didn’t happen.     
  • When my daughter decided to go backpacking through Europe and would be traveling alone for a week, my fears put me in a panic. Springing into action, I eagerly offered to go with her. Me, who had never backpacked in my life! In this case, my scary thoughts had a positive outcome—I survived and grew!
  • Several times significant opportunities to speak into women’s lives reduced me to a quivering mass of tears. One was to a large conference in Michigan. Another was to speak in Australia for six weeks.  Each event is now a wonderful memory. 
With the coronavirus scaring so many, we need to learn to overcome the power of our fearful thoughts.  Here are ways we can experience this:
  1. Realize we scare ourselves by what we focus on.
  2. Recognize that rehearsing our fears to ourselves or to others only increases their power over us.
  3. Resist being held hostage by your scary thoughts.
  4. Refuse to cling to your fears; intentionally affirm, “God is with me!”
Train yourself to do the following:
  1. SPOT IT!  As soon as you feel anxious or stressed, ask God to help you know what’s causing it. David cried out, “I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears” Psalm 14:4. Keep praying and processing until you identify what’s prompting your concerns.  
  1. STOP IT! Once you’ve identified your scary self-talk, tell yourself, STOP IT!  You’re not a helpless victim of your thoughts or emotions.  “God did not give you a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love and self-discipline” 2 Peter 1:7.  In other words, stand up to your fears and say “this isn’t from God and I won’t let it control me.”
  1. SWOP IT! From obsessing about what might happen, switch to words of faith: I am God’s beloved, I am precious to Him, He never abandons me, He is for me.  Ask yourself, “Is this thought, fear, assumption coming from God, my Father?  Is this how He wants me to respond?”
  1. SPEAK IT!  Reinforce the truth of who you are and how God sees you by repeating Scriptures out loud. Write down words, phrases, and verses that strengthen your trust. Repeat to yourself, “I am His, He will guide me, and He is my Strength for all that lies ahead.

 For more help, check out, “Does it Matter What I Think?” from my book, I’m Too Human to be Like Jesus.


Poppy Smith is a former Bible Study Fellowship Teacher, has a Masters in Spiritual Formation and Direction, and loves to teach the Word. Her passion is helping women thrive spiritually, emotionally, and personally through her ministry of speaking wherever God leads, writing spiritually motivating books, and spending time supporting women as a spiritual director. She currently writes a twice-monthly blog, THRIVE, that is regularly read by 1,000 women across the globe. Her website can be found at:

Special Coronavirus Devotionals 
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.  


To receive these, sign up HERE !

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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