The Women at the Well
“Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11: 25b)
On 2 September 2017, the International Church of Zürich saw a relaunch of its women’s ministry, together with a new name. In an international church, the feeling of community can be challenging to achieve with people living further away from each other, often meeting only briefly after church on Sundays.
In biblical times, women would meet together at the well as they refilled their water jugs, where no doubt they would talk and fellowship with one another, sharing their troubles and worries as well as their good news and joy. So, in the same spirit “The Women at the Well” ministry group was formed. The aim of this fellowship is to encourage women to come together and to grow, share, support, and encourage each other in their Christian walk.
For the first event, approximately 30 women gathered together at the church for a morning of fellowship. Following an opening time of prayer, the women were treated to a very interesting and thought-provoking devotional by Anne McVicar (wife of our interim pastor). Anne encouraged the women to consider how the Bible shows God moving in the lives of men and women to fulfil His purpose and plan. Moving through a number of books of the Bible and reading various passages, Anne highlighted examples of God working in the lives of Abraham, Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel, Cyrus, and Esther. As with the men and women of biblical times, everyone was reminded of the call to step out of their comfort zone in faith and to rely on God.
This was followed by worship through singing and a pause for some tasty refreshments. Next, in small groups, the women took some time to complete questionnaires and discuss what everyone wanted from the women’s ministry, what their priorities were, and how best to communicate with one another. One outcome from this activity has been the setting up of a WhatsApp group to be used primarily for prayer requests, and this is already being put to good use.
To complete the morning, all of the women had the opportunity to decorate their own ‘water scoop’ to mark the beginning of what will hopefully be many returns to the well for fellowship. These ‘water scoops’ – actually plant pot holders – were decorated using various materials, and a plant was chosen by everyone to put in it and take away with them.
Following on from the success of this first event, the women met together again in December, this time at the restaurant of one of the members of the group, for a festive meal. Dubbed “Christmas Around the World,” the women had a fantastic time learning about Christmas traditions from Hungary, Romania, Germany, and Russia, where some of the women come from. In between courses of delectable food prepared by IBCZ’s gem of a chef, Debbie Serodio, everyone took part in a quiz that challenged them on their knowledge of Christmas facts versus Christmas customs and traditions. The evening was brought to a close with the singing of Christmas carols.
The women’s ministry leadership team came together again in January 2018 to seek the Lord in prayer for the year’s events and ministries that would best serve the women of IBCZ. The next event was held on 7 April, when once again the women of IBCZ gathered at the well, for fellowship and with their figurative water pots ready to be filled.