India conference aims to support, equip women in ministry
The Eurasia Region recently announced it is hosting a women’s conference 29-30 January 2020 themed “Women as History Makers” in Hyderabad, India, immediately following the previously announced regional conference.
Women play a prominent role in Nazarene pastoral ministry in India and across South Asia. Some are ordained elders, and one serves as a district superintendent. Others are local or district-licensed pastors. Many women pastors are responsible for more than one church, while others support ministries alongside their pastoring husbands.
“Many times, being in India or in South Asian countries, women don’t share as much,” said Shradha Saraf, co-pastor at Chikhli Church of the Nazarene in Central Maharashtra, India. “We [Annemarie Snijders and I] had been thinking that there should be a place where women can be out of their home atmosphere and feel welcome to share. We felt that women needed a place where they can refresh their minds and boost their spirit. We are happy that the conference will be able to offer this.”
Saraf is a part of a seven-woman planning team organizing the conference. They hope women already attending the regional conference will stay two more days to attend the women’s conference.
Speakers and workshops will center on what it means to be women in ministry, what the Bible says about women in ministry, and how women are called to ministry just as men are.
“Every lady, whether she is in a ministry or in a supporting role as a minister’s wife, is making history by standing firm in the ministry or by standing firm next to their husbands,” Saraf said.
Because not every calling looks the same, participants will be able to attend workshops that best suit their calling.
“Each day, there will be two ministry tracks with regards to the workshops,” Saraf said. “One will aim at women in ministry — those who are or would like to become elders, deacons, or missionaries in the Church of the Nazarene. The other will be for women who are in a supporting role in ministry, like district superintendents’ and pastors’ wives, or even for women who support their pastor in the local church through prayer or other roles.”
Saraf and the rest of the conference committee have been praying for all the women they hope will attend the event.
“We pray that this may be a place that women will come, have a time just for them and be spiritually refreshed,” Saraf said.