United Church of God

Women’s Enrichment Sabbath Provides Encouragement for All

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Women’s Enrichment Sabbath Provides Encouragement for All

Morning services began with inspiring special music (a flute/piano duet by Karen Buchkowski and Sylvia Kennedy, vocal solo by Tiffany Christianson and vocal duet by Maggie DeVenny and Sylvia Kennedy). Mark Welch presented the sermon titled, “Encouragement Leads to Greater Courage and Faith,” to the combined Phoenix East and Phoenix Northwest congregations. He focused on the biblical perspective of finding great power in encouragement.

After services, the men were gently encouraged to exit the building. Kay Schreiber then welcomed the ladies before all enjoyed a catered lunch of boxed sandwiches and beverages. Our anchor scripture, Colossians 2:2 (ESV) “that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ” was woven into the sessions. 

Kelli Ferrier set the stage for the remainder of the afternoon by reviewing the agenda and announcing the gift for the ladies—a journal focused on strength and courage, along with a bookmark inscribed with Joshua 1:9. She spoke on encouragement’s impact and shared that it takes courage to do many things in our daily lives. When we pray for God to encourage someone, we become a part of His plan for that person and we become intimately connected to them.

Barbara Welch was the keynote speaker and expanded on the theme by bringing us “The Courage in Encouragement: A Surprising Building Block.” She took us on a journey through her life and shared with us that surprising building block—fear. Seeing God work in our lives builds courage and takes away the fear. Resisting fear builds spiritual muscle. An encourager is someone who empowers you to move ahead when you’re ready to give in to that fear. Choose life and encourage others to do the same.

Manuela Brill, Roma Camerata and Anne Gabbard comprised a panel segment in which they shared trials they had come through and the ways they were encouraged by others and God. The reason for the trial may not be understood by us, but God knows. Encouraging others is a way of healing. The panel was moderated by Tina Fogelson.

The last presentation, “Take on the Challenge” was presented by Kelli Ferrier. She explained that there are times we can’t pull people out of trials but can encourage them to stay close to God. We can ask Him to give them strength to trust Him and provide hope, because He knows the good the trial will produce.

The closing comments and farewell were presented by Kay Schreiber. The ladies departed inspired to have the courage to encourage.