Christmas Joy Offering – Supporting our leaders: past, present and future.

Three Women of Faith to be honored during an online ceremony Nov. 3

Presbyterian Mission Agency Board approves awards for the Rev. Lauren Jacobs, the Rev. abby mohaupt and Tamara Williams

by Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries | Special to Presbyterian News Service

Photo by Shelby Miller via Unsplash

LOUISVILLE — Since 1986, the office of Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries along with Presbyterian Women has been awarding church and community leaders with the Women of Faith Award. This year, awardees have been selected by a committee for their faithful witness, service and leadership.

This year the theme is “Women Leading Movements for Positive Change.” The committee was asked to evaluate nominees on the ways they’ve led positive change in their communities and within the church. After reading over numerous nominations, these three leaders were chosen to receive this honor:

The Rev. Lauren Jacobs (Contributed photo)

The Rev. Lauren Jacobs is being nominated for her work as the co-founder of Treasured Inheritance Ministry, an organization that focuses on theological education, training church leaders, and advocating for the end to gender based violence across the world.

Here is how her nominator, Timothy Beukman, describes her ministry:

“Lauren researches, develops, creates and teaches theology that uplifts women! For many decades, women have largely been excluded from leadership within many denominations … Through correct and sound biblical doctrine, Lauren is helping women to be healed and to pursue their divine callings. She has also worked as a nonprofit gender-based violence (GBV) counselor for many years … She has conducted research for many organizations on GBV and faith, including the South African Faith and Family Institute. [She works] developing solutions to real experiences suffered by women within faith communities … Lauren’s conviction is that churches and faith communities worldwide need to be equipped, and women need to be empowered.”

The Rev. abby mohaupt (Contributed photo)

The Rev. abby mohaupt is being nominated for her leadership as moderator of Fossil Free PCUSA (FFPCUSA), an advocacy organization working to end the denomination’s relationship with both fossil fuels and the harmful effects of capitalism. Here is how her nominator, Bethany Benz-Whittington, describes her advocacy:

“abby is the moderator of FFPCUSA. She has led this movement from day one, giving it energy, raising money, educating Presbyterians across the country. In 2018, she organized a walk from Louisville, Kentucky, to St. Louis, Missouri, ahead of General Assembly, to raise awareness and engage with frontline communities. The main focus in her work has been those communities whose lives are most impacted by climate change and the abuses of fossil fuels and the fossil fuel industry. abby is deeply collaborative and works hard to bring marginalized voices to the table. In her world, everyone is welcome, and some voices need more attention than others. Her work has inspired so many women, from her own mentors to other grassroots organizers, and helped us to see what is possible in a world so stained by sin.”

Tamara Williams (Photo courtesy of the Presbytery of Charlotte)

Tamara Williams is being nominated for her work as Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Charlotte, one of the largest presbyteries in the PC(USA). Here is how her nominator, Rev. Dr. Jan Edmiston, describes her work:

“Tamara is universally respected by committee members, ruling elders, teaching elders, mid council leaders, the Presbyterian Mission Agency, and the Association of Stated Clerks. For the past 20 years she has served this presbytery while also being an active choir member and leader in her home church. Tamara is always called upon by the Office of the General Assembly to assist in GA meetings and when those meetings were held in person, Tamara was regularly called to serve from the dais. She has a lifelong love for the Presbyterian Church and her wisdom, good humor, common sense, vision, and spiritual maturity make her among the best (I would say the very best) of the Stated Clerks in the denomination. In these days when so many in our pews struggle with trusting Church leaders and especially Church leaders serving the broader denomination, Tamara Williams has shifted the culture of our Presbytery to one of utter trust and respect … Her personal integrity, her historical knowledge, her calm counsel, her ability to connect with every kind of person from the newest Clerk of Session to the angriest parishioner to those filing actual complaints with the Permanent Judicial Commission to the oldest of retired pastor have all made Tamara Williams both a regional and national treasure in the PC(USA).”

On behalf of RE&WIM and Presbyterian Women, we celebrate these great leaders and by honoring them. We also honor all the women leading movements for positive change within and beyond the church.

Everyone is invited to an online award ceremony at 4 p.m. Eastern Time on Nov. 3 on Facebook. Go here to learn more.


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