Welcome and Introduction of Theme
(Women’s Ministries Secretary or other Leader)
Remembering the Past
Song # SB 47/113
“O God, Our Help in Ages Past”
1st Course—Salad (pre–set)
Table Talk 1
Sharing about the Goodness of God
Poem or Special Song
2nd Course—Hot Dishes (Served Family Style)
Enjoying the Present
Table Talk 2
Game: Napkin Toss
Women’s Ministries Leadership Recognition by Corps Officer
Devotional — “Good God, Good Service,” Psalm 145:7 (NIV)
“They will celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness.”
Corps Officer, Women’s Ministries Chaplain or Guest Speaker
Anticipating the Future
Annual Report and Vision for the Future by the corps officer and women’s ministries leader
Psalms 71:15–16 NLT
I will tell everyone about Your righteousness.
All day long I will proclaim Your saving power,
though I am not skilled with words.
I will praise Your mighty deeds, O Sovereign Lord.
I will tell everyone that You alone are just.
Serving and Praising a Good God
in the Past, Present and Future!
Create invitations including the color scheme of the event with a few pictures of the women’s ministries in the past and the present. Send the invitations to all the women of the corps and encourage them to invite other women to attend. Include an RSVP so you can have a rough estimate of how many women to plan for. Hold the event right after the Women’s Sunday Celebration or even the day before Women’s Sunday. Invite the young girls from Girl Guards to be a part of this brunch as well. Make sure to secure childcare so that young mothers can attend without concerns. The RSVP will also help with planning for child care needs.
Centerpieces picture frames: Find pictures of the starting years of the women’s ministries group. Ask some of the members to see if they have older pictures of the group or check in the corps library for pictures. Scan these and place the pictures in three various sized frames. Place the frames on the tables with a short flower vase with forget–me–nots and baby’s breath.
Use real china or “looks like real china” for the table setting, tablecloth and napkins. Coordinate the color scheme based on what will accentuate the picture frames, chinaware and the flower arrangement.
Create a display of pictures of various women’s ministries activities throughout the year. Use some of the pictures that are being used as centerpieces and enlarge them so they give the appearance of an art show room. If you have a number of women’s groups, display photos that represent each group.
Serve a family-style simple lunch. Preset the tables with the salad and then bring out hot dishes after the poem or special music. Recruit the men of the corps to serve the women. This could be a men’s ministry project. Get a caterer or a cook to prepare the meal. An easy meal could be a berry spinach salad, choice of bacon and ham quiche, fruit bowl, mini pastries or French toast, coffee, tea and citrus punch.
Invite a musician, pianist or violinists from the corps to provide background music during the event.
Table Talk One
Invite the women to share personal stories of God’s goodness to them in the past by answering the following questions:
- Share a time when you felt God’s goodness in your life when you needed Him the most?
- How do you explain the goodness of God to others when they have a hard time seeing anything good around them?
- Have you experienced or know of a person who has demonstrated the goodness of God that sets them apart from others?
Place table talk cards at each setting or assign a hostess at each table to pose the questions giving the opportunity for each woman to share.
Poem or Special Song Selection
“The Goodness of God” by Robert Alfveby. Have someone read the words as a poem or ask someone to sing it as a special number. For the music see page_____
The Goodness of God
I’m praising the Lord for all His goodness to me,
For paying sin’s penalty that I might go free,
For sharing His love divine, for giving me peace of mind,
Just think of all the goodness of God.
I look back and marvel at the goodness of God,
To think how He’s guided in ways I have trod,
The past has been glorious, marvelous,
Victorious. Just think of all the goodness of God!
I’m praising the Lord for it gets sweeter each day,
I find now in serving Him that it really pays,
He blesses me more and more, and still there is more in store,
Just think of all the goodness of God!
And someday when life is o’er and I enter in,
The place He’s prepared for me to dwell there with Him.
And share there with heavens throng,
In singing the heav’nly song,
Just think of all the goodness of God.
Laminate the words of this song making them into bookmarks. Place them at each table setting for the women to take home.
Table Talk Two
Napkin Toss: Have an extra napkin at each table. Ask the hostess to toss the napkin to one of the women, who answers the following question before tossing it to another woman: Because of His Goodness I am … The idea is for the women to describe how God has been affecting their lives. For example: Because of His Goodness I am saved, my family life is better, I have been healed, I’ve learned more about Him and have a closer relationship to Him. I’ve made some new friends here as part of this women’s group.
Research the meaning of each of the Women’s Ministries Leaders’ names. Use that information to recognize each leader and highlight their gifts and attributes. As gifts, purchase from a craft store wooden letters of their first names and present them as gifts. Or frame certificates of their names with the definitions tied to their leadership gifts and contributions to the women’s group. For Example: Cheryl: This name is a combination of names Cherie and Beryl. The name Cherie is a French name that signifies darling and Beryl, which is an English name, is the name of a green mineral, which are varieties of precious stones. Cheryl, you are a precious leader to our group. The time, passion and care you invest in hosting our various meetings allow for each of the participants to feel treasured and valued. An analysis of your name is associated with hardworking, protective, rich and humble. You display these characteristics, not only in your duties as the Hospitality Chair, but also in your role as one of our Focus Group leaders as you mentor women each month. (Visit https://www.themeaningofname.com to search for definitions of names.)
Annual Report and Vision for the Future
Include activities that took place throughout the year—fundraisers, World Services projects, special trips—in the annual report and share with the group. Use the women’s ministries report form as a guide. Take this opportunity to include information about the various groups and women’s ministries’ activities that will be taking place in the future and invite the women to join any of the programs. Use this opportunity to appeal for more leaders and share the various goals and visions for the coming year.
“Good God, Good Service”
Major Johanna Pook
Psalm 145:7 (NIV) “They will celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness.”
About ten years ago, The Salvation Army in the United States searched for a new brand slogan that would identify us to the public. I remember being part of discussion groups about this new slogan and being asked to share my feelings and ideas on how we could promote it in our respective communities. There were some mixed feelings about stating that we were an Army that was “Doing the Most Good.” Only in recent years have I begun to connect my own application and heart with these words. In being part of a Christian organization, whose head and commander is a good God, why should I not be challenged with doing my part by “Doing the Most Good” in the service I render to Him? After all, He has done more than “the most good.” He has done the ultimate good.
I have come to realize that everything we do has a consequence. That consequence can be good or bad. This result can be seen in the service that we perform in every aspect of our lives. As Christ’s followers and especially those in The Salvation Army, we are called to serve. On the Army uniform there are two Ss which stand for “Saved to Serve.” We are not saved by good works, but we are “Created to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:10). As women’s ministries members, volunteers and friends, service is an important part of our ministry. No matter what we are called to do or where we are called to serve, our lives should reflect who we are and whose we are. Everything we do in service should point people to God and His goodness to us. We have seen His goodness in past. We can see His goodness today, even amidst turmoil, hate and darkness. We can anticipate His goodness in the future. So why not claim that accountability? Let us continue to be challenged to “Do the Most Good” in the name and strength of God.
In Matthew 5:16, Jesus sums this service principle up very nicely in the Sermon on the Mount: “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.” When we serve in the name of Jesus, it points people to Jesus and celebrates the goodness of God. I thank God for doing His part and I thank each of you for doing your part. Let us continue to strive to do more good, not only in our women’s ministries group but also in our local corps, community, division, territory and around the world. May you serve faithfully and joyfully in His name.