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Presbyterian Mission Agency celebrates Women of Faith Awards recipients for their gifts and courage

Three women are honored during a ceremony filled with kind words, music, scripture and prayers

by Darla Carter | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — The three recipients of this year’s Women of Faith Awards were honored Thursday in a virtual ceremony hosted by Racial Equity and Women’s Intercultural Ministries and Presbyterian Women.

Two ministers, the Rev. abby mohaupt and the Rev. Lauren Jacobs, were recognized along with Tamara Williams, Stated Clerk for the Presbytery of Charlotte, during an afternoon celebration centered on the theme “Women Leading Movements for Positive Change.”

mohaupt was selected for her environmental justice work with Fossil Free PCUSA and Jacobs was lauded for her work as the co-founder of Treasured Inheritance Ministry, which focuses on theological education, the training of church leaders and the advocation against gender-based violence.

The Rev. Lauren Jacobs (Contributed photo)

Williams was honored for her faithful service as Stated Clerk and Administrative Coordinator for her presbytery, where she’s well-respected for her dedication, wealth of knowledge and affable demeanor. (Read more about the selection process here.)

The Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, gave brief remarks at the ceremony, congratulating the winners and blessing their ministries.

“We recognize your labor,” she said. “We acknowledge your gifts. We lift up your courage. We celebrate your persistence. We honor your vision. We extoll your faith. We applaud your hope. We praise God for your love and your prophetic imagination to dare, dream a different world, free of violence against women, free of toxins and chemicals that pollute the air and ground and harm the people and planet we’re called to steward, filled with educational enrichment and learning opportunities for women and girls and all human siblings.”

During the ceremony hosted by the Rev. Denise Anderson, former acting director of RE&WIM, and Susan Jackson Dowd, executive director of Presbyterian Women, mohaupt was credited for working to make the world a better place by moving the denomination toward divesting from five fossil fuel companies, a move approved by the 225th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) last summer.

The Rev. abby mohaupt (Contributed photo)

“Those of us with privilege must continue to listen to people who have been marginalized and then to use that privilege to be in solidarity,” mohaupt said during her acceptance speech in which she noted the upcoming COP27 global climate conference. “There is much more work to do for the climate. … We must boldly demand an end to the fossil fuel industry. We must demand a phase out of current fossil fuels, and we must demand a more just energy transition.”

Williams was praised for her wonderful sense of humor and compassion and for making life easier for her colleagues in the Presbytery of Charlotte, where she’s been on staff for 20 years. “It has truly been a pleasure to work and serve with each and every one of you,” she said.

Tamara Williams (Photo courtesy of the Presbytery of Charlotte)

She also noted that she’s had the chance to gain much knowledge and insight by serving on the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board and as a volunteer during general assemblies and on the executive board of the Association of Stated Clerks. Turning her attention to her fellow nominees, she said, “I pray that each of you will continue to find joy in your missions and ministries and will continue to inspire others through the marvelous work that you do.”

Praised as a great warrior woman of God, Jacobs took the time to say how humbled, grateful and touched she is to receive the Women of Faith Award and noted that it has encouraged and revived her.

“Sometimes you touch people’s lives and you don’t even know,” said Jacobs, who praised all women working for positive change, including the women of Iran, where there have been recent protests, the women of Syria, and the women of war-torn Ukraine.

View more videos and background on the winners at https://www.facebook.com/RacialEquityPCUSA.


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