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Worship service celebrates the many gifts women bring

 

Fortunately for us, God’s grace has no boundaries

May 13, 2019

The Church observed Celebrate the Gifts of Women Sunday on March 3, honoring women who exhibit grace that knows no boundaries.

During chapel service at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville, worshipers gathered to hear the Rev. Dr. Rhashell Hunter, director of Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries, preach in observance of the special day. The theme for the 2019 Celebrate the Gifts of Women Sunday was “The Grace of God Has No Boundaries.”

Video URL:
https://vimeo.com/320328107

A chapel service at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville featured the theme “Celebrate the Gifts of Women.” Worship included a message from the Rev. Dr. Rhashell Hunter and music by Sheila O’Bannon. (Photo by Rich Copley)

And while women have faced what seemed like insurmountable boundaries throughout the history of the church and society in general, Hunter reminded those in attendance that “God is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.”

With Eph. 3:16–21 as her basis — I pray that God, out of the riches of divine glory, will strengthen you inwardly with power through the working of the Spirit. Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. To God — whose power now at work in us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to God be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.

Amen. — Hunter preached on “When you are Blessed Beyond your Imagination.”

“We can imagine 20,000 new thoughts and ideas a day,” said Hunter. “A scientist floated the idea that we have thoughts in windows of three seconds. There are 60 seconds in a minute times 60 minutes in an hour equaling 3,600 seconds in an hour times 16 waking hours, divided by three seconds per thought, equaling almost 20,000 thoughts you have per day.”

The communion table during the Celebrate the Gifts of Women worship at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville. (Photo by Rich Copley)

There’s even more time for producing thoughts for those of us who don’t sleep eight hours nightly, she noted.

Though we can form those 20,000 or so thoughts every day, she said there are not enough numbers on the calculator to show “the infinite number of ways that God is able to bless you.”

The problem, Hunter said, is that we don’t ask. “We limit God. We won’t allow ourselves to think of all that God can do for us. We put God on the shelf and handle our own problems.”

Reminding worshipers that God gives us blessings beyond anything we could ask for, Hunter said we seek just enough to get by. But God thinks, “I want to give you abundance,” she said. “We ask to live through the day, but God wants to give eternal life; we ask for forgiveness and God wants to create you anew; we want to manage the situation, but God wants to give us abundant life.”

Drawing from the lyrics of “Dayenu,” a Passover song with lyrics that translate to “It would have been enough,” Hunter reinforced the point that whatever God gives us is enough, but God can bless us well beyond what we can imagine.

“Being blessed beyond your imagination means having superabundance, being happy beyond happy, pep in your step, joy in your heart, that every day is a holiday and that every meal is a feast,” she said.

In her closing prayer, Hunter said, “Even though we’ve suffered and been wounded, beaten down and sometimes in despair, we can be blessed beyond our imaginations. We can have much, much more than anything we can think of and have exceedingly abundantly above what we can ask.”

“God is always with us,” she said. “God won’t let even our own low expectations limit us. We are resurrection people. God’s love is strong, and it never ends.”

Your congregation or women’s group may use this resource on any day that you choose.

 Gail Strange, Director of Church and Mid Council Communications, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Today’s Focus:  2019 Celebrate the Gifts of Women Sunday

Let us join in prayer for: 

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Melody Smith, PMA
Natalie Smith, PPC

Let us pray:

Loving God, thank you for faithful women who lead us to Christ through their love, ministry, proclamation and service. Amen.

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