Beginnings are great! They give us fresh new hope for what’s to come.
Every year I start the New Year with much anticipation of the year to come. The task-oriented side of my personality begins to make plans. Typically, they would be things like: improve prayer life, read Scripture daily, lose some weight, etc., and the list goes on. Some years I keep up these resolutions longer than others, but most years I drop each resolution at some point in the year, usually in the earlier part of the year.
Each year I ask myself, “Why do I bother making resolutions?” I begin with conviction and determination to make it work, but the resolve eventually pitters out and disappears for another year. It’s kind of like, there is no ending—it just goes away from my life and comes back another year.
So, I ask myself, why do I bother starting again and again? Why bother starting something new unless I know I am going to finish it? Why? Because new beginnings give us hope, regardless of whether we successfully end it or not. It is better to try than not trying at all.
The best time for new beginnings is, of course, January 1st, the beginning of the New Year. But new beginnings don’t have to come at the beginning of the year; they can come at any time of the year. And maybe it is better to make new beginnings when one is ready to start something new, whenever that is.
The WMS is ready to start something new. We are starting now, not because the New Year is the best time, but because it is highly overdue and high time. The New Year timing is just coincidence. We are launching WTW (Women To Women) and The Hub. This is the first time that the WMS has done outreach using social media. We hope that The Hub will be a place where women can come together in cyberspace, from across Canada (and perhaps globally) and share ideas and be in solidarity with each other.
This idea did not come overnight. The WMS struggled with how to reach out to women in our church for many years. By the grace of God, we have finally received the vision to reach out to women; that would be part of our mission. For over a hundred years, the WMS served God and the Presbyterian Church by doing mission, sending missionaries in many parts of the world and also in Canada. They gave in resources, time, and energy to the mission work of our church. But today, we have come to a time in our history where much of the mission work is being done by other mission arms of the church; the WMS continues in mission by supporting the church’s missions, but we have stopped sending missionaries over 40 years ago.
Today, our membership is declining because the faithful members are aging and new members are not joining as quickly. Also, younger women don’t seem to find what they need in an organization like the WMS. We have heard so often how much the church appreciates the WMS; the younger women have also said how much they appreciate and respect what the WMS does, but they see the WMS as their mothers’ or grandmothers’ organization and not for them.
This challenge has been before the WMS for several decades, but not much was done to change the status quo. Recently, we realized that we had to do outreach to women before we could grow as an organization. In our denomination, many churches and national arms of the church like PWS&D and International Ministries, do mission, but nobody is doing ministry with the women of our church. Looking at our global partners, many of them have a national women’s organization (or a women’s desk) in their church; the Presbyterian Church in Canada is one of the few that does not. The WMS is the closest to a national women’s organization in the PCC. So, we are probably the best organization to do outreach ministry to the women of our church.
We also realized that the best way to reach out to women of all ages is through the internet; that is the reality of being a small national organization in a geographically large country. From that end, I am hopeful and optimistic about The HUB, that it will serve and minister to the women of our church into the long future.
And, this is just the beginning!
by Sarah Kim