Empower. It has simply spread like wildfire.
From the 2012 launch of the certificate program for women sponsored by Alliance Theological Seminary and the C&MA Metro District, the flame that ignites transformation is now bi-coastal and international. With three tracks—EmpowerOne, EmpowerEngage (2013) and EmpowerProclaim (2014)— this worldwide leadership development program is infusing women with an unrelenting hunger to deepen their relationship with the Lord and to serve as leaders in the church, the community and the worktplace.
Featured speakers at the January 10-12, 2020 West Coast Retreat, coordinated by Kin Kwong, included Dr. Wanda Walborn, Lisa Plunket, Catherine Cha, Rachael Williams, and Sandy Kang. Eleven leaders from the East Coast attended. Major milestones marked this first ever West Coast Empower Retreat for students of the originally live streamed classes. Held at the Happy Valley Conference Center in Santa Cruz, 52 women from San Jose, Sacramento, Bakersfield, CA and from the states of Colorado and Alaska were among the EmpowerOne, EmpowerEngage and EmpowerProclaim classes. Five live stream mentoring groups were finally able to meet in person. This gathering also included the first ever Chinese-language mentoring group.
Sandy Kang who supervised the Empower San Jose site retreat remarked, “West Coast Retreat 2020 was a historic and milestone weekend for Empower. ‘Equipping women worldwide’ was clearly evidenced by the gathering of 50+ live stream students and mentors across the West Coast of America. Live stream students met their mentors for the first time, exchanging heartfelt and healing hugs that were only shared online. The instant and divine connection shared among the women, who have worked through similar heart and soul issues through Empower lectures and assignments, were powerful. The West Coast retreat women, knowing they are part of a greater global community of women, expressed a deep desire to attend the East Coast and Europe retreats. The momentum of empowered women worldwide has only taken its first steps forward. What will the future hold for these powerful women around the globe?”
January 17-19, nearly 250 women from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Florida, Paris (France) and Taiwan attended the East Coast Retreat held at Harvey Cedars Bible Conference Center in Harvey Cedars, NJ where the same roster of speakers were featured. Six live stream mentoring groups were able to meet for the first time. Two East Coast mentors raised funds so that the EmpowerOne student from Paris, France could afford to come.
East Coast Retreat Coordinator Lisa Bortner commented, “Empower ’20 East Coast Retreat was a powerful experience for me personally. I could feel the Lord increasing my capacity as I was able to serve and attend to details plus minister relationally as opportunities arose. My tendency was to focus on details and I prayed that I wouldn’t miss the relational ministry in front of me. My prayers were answered and I believe I have stepped into a new season of greater ministry.”
The program’s core values of ministry and life in the Spirit, Kingdom justice and mercy, leadership development and soul care and missional living and global advance are central to the eight-month curriculum. Several churches so impressed by the undeniable impact of the program invest in their members by offering scholarships.
Not one women who experiences the program leaves it a best-kept secret. They can’t help but spread the good news: It’s fire!
PHOTO CREDIT: Kim Valenzuela, Christie Lau