Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Shepastor: – WTIM 2012 Conference Plenary Session: “Woman to Woman: Breaking the Cycles of Dysfunction in Our Relationships”

Abram replied, "Look, she is your servant, so deal with her as you see fit." Then Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away. Genesis 16:6 NLT
Pause, reflect and think about that! Plenary Speaker, Rev. Marie Onwubuariri, Director of Admissions, American Baptist Seminary of the West, led us down through the ages of antiquity to the ancient house hold of Abram, Sarai and Hagar. Rev. Marie asked us to listen to that familiar passage of scripture three times. After each reading, she asked us to consider which woman we identified with the most – Sarai or Hagar.
Afterwards, we were asked to think about why we identified with the woman we selected. In a powerful, soul-searching, revealing session, women shared with one another and then the entire group how they may have thought of themselves more closely related to one, but after listening to the passage three separate times, could actually see themselves in the other. Women who originally readily identified with Hagar, began to see how they possessed some of the same struggles, insecurities, jealousies and doubts as Sarai. Women who originally identified with Sarai, began to see how they have also experienced looking with contempt upon another for various reasons.
Rev. Marie’s powerful and thought provoking message encouraged us to grapple with the following:
- Learn the “platinum rule”: Do unto others as they would have you do unto them. Instead of treating people the way you would like to be treated, strive to treat people the way that they desire to be treated. What works for you may not be the best for them
- Recognize when something is not quite right within yourself: Sometimes we are actually projecting how we feel onto others and assigning those feelings arbitrarily to them
- Learn how to suspend judgment: Be sensitive to the other person’s situation and the factors that may be contributing to their behaviors
- Spend time reflecting upon your own feelings: Be aware of what you bring to the situation
- Walk in God’s Grace: Don’t be too hard on yourself or others! Spend time understanding why you operate the way that you do and how that relates to the way you relate to others
- Be aware of power dynamics in mentor/mentee relationships: Understand the role you play in relationships and the unspoken dynamics attached to the role.
What an awesome time of reflection, introspection, conviction and enlightenment Rev. Marie led us through! Next week, we will reflect upon the Panel’s responses to the plenary session and their insights regarding, “Women in Ministry Identifying and Breaking Dysfunctional Relationship Patterns ”
You can view the 2012 “Empowering and Encouraging Women in Ministry” Conference photo album by visiting the WTIM website home page,
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Until next Wednesday, In faith, hope and perseverance, Pastor Chris

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