ACLC-Minneapolis Women In Ministry Ignites Hearts
A very moving ACLC Women In Ministry (WIM) inaugural program was held June 28 with 51 participants, including many young people who energized the spirit of the evening. Our speaker, Bishop Carolyn Arnette, is our new Women In Ministry coordinator. In addition to her message, Bishop Arnette shared with us about her experience at the national WIM convocation in Washington D.C. June 9-11.
Rev. Jim Borer introduced Bishop Arnette. In part he said, “Bishop Arnette went to Washington D.C. and along with other women of faith visited the halls of government to guide and inform our decision makers. She went there to oppose and expose a terrible wrong, the persecution and kidnapping of believers in Japan, and to enlist the support of lawmakers in bringing this injustice to an end. I have known Bishop Arnette for quite some time. Over the years I have learned several things about her. When things are looking down she always looks up. When there is a chill in the room she warms things up. She embraces everyone she meets. She is a great woman of faith. Wherever she goes and whoever she meets she brings the love of Christ with her. Please join me in welcoming Bishop Carolyn Arnette.”
Bishop Arnette then spoke about her experience in Washington: “First of all I want to say what an honor it was to work with the other women on my team. They were all strong, clear and deeply committed. We weren't there to go sightseeing. We had a purpose. We were there to call attention to the terrible abuse of religious freedom taking place in Japan. (Bishop Arnette held up some pictures of the victims of the Japanese deprogrammers for everyone to see.) These are our brothers and sisters. We can't allow this to happen. I know that Reverend Moon is a Man of God. You only have to read His speeches. All He talks about is God .... God's Will, God's Truth, God's heart and God's Love. (Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks ..... Matthew 12:34) In any event no one has a right to deprive another human being of the opportunity to approach and worship God in the way he feels called. We should never allow this kind of evil to go unopposed. Our silence is consent. We must speak up. We must call upon those who represent us to speak up on the issues of our time.”
When the audience was invited to respond to these comments, a Muslim woman indicated her desire to respond to Bishop Arnette's testimony. We invited her to come to the front. She said, " I am inspired by what I heard and saw here today. I would like to be a part of this. As you can see, I am a Muslim. Would you accept me?" Bishop Arnette stood up, opened her arms wide, smiled and said, " We would be honored. We would love to have you. Thank you." A lot of applause followed. Mrs. Hunter, a pastor herself and the wife of Reverend Hunter, stood up and came to the podium. She said, "I am so inspired tonight. These women aren't just talking. They are doing something. We need to talk less and do more. Jesus said to his disciples, "Go out and make disciples of all the nations." (Matthew 28:19) We need to go out. We spend too much time hanging around the hurch.. We should cleanse ourselves and refresh ourselves in church and we should make a plan. And then we should go out. You can't raise a crop sitting in the farmhouse. You need to get out in the field. You need to get your hands dirty. Bishop Arnette, whatever is happening in October, I want to be a part of it. Thank you so much.”
Bishop Arnett delivering keynote address
The essence of Bishop Arnett’s sermon included, “There is a sickness afflicting the church today. The sickness is sin. The word responsibility is virtually absent from the vocabulary of the church today. It's good that I received Christ twenty or thirty years ago. Did I receive Him today? It's good that I fell to my knees and repented twenty or thirty years ago. Have I repented since? We are supposed to receive Christ every day. Repentance is not supposed to be a once in a lifetime and never again experience. Don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2) In order to receive the new we must pour out the old. We are not supposed to sit on our hands and wait for the end. We're not supposed to stand on the sidelines and wave pom poms like a bunch of cheerleaders. We're supposed to take the field and play the game with all we've got.
“If the church forgets about sin, what comes next? Will we forget about the One Who shed His blood to save us from our sins? If you deny sin, you deny salvation. Only sinners need to be saved. Only the unwell need a physician. If you deny sin, you deny the need for repentance. How can we face God without repentance? How can we rejoice in our salvation without understanding the gravity of sin?”
Rev. Arthur Agnew gave the closing prayer for a very meaningful gathering.
Afterward when I apologized to Bishop Arnette for not having a program prepared, she said, "I don't really like programs. For me the Spirit is the program. I know why I'm here. You know why you're here. We know what we have to do. And the Spirit knows what we have to do.. So let's just do it." She is a remarkable woman of faith and I'm sure she will be an excellent coordinator for Women In Ministry.
Submitted by Min. Bruno Borer