Women in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have an opportunity to be part of a unique faith community of women. It is unique in the fact that the women who gather as Presbyterian Women (PW) form an organization that impacts its members as well as the world around them in some pretty amazing ways.
Showing determination and creativity, PW has initiated many programs that the wider church now supports, including The Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study and the Hunger Program. Through Thank and Birthday Offering grants and mission engagement, PW has helped improve the health and well-being of women, children and families around the world. Presbyterian Women continues to be a leader in the PC(USA) and a strong partner in the church’s ministry.
Being a part of Presbyterian Women means that we live out our call to the mission and ministry of the PW Purpose, wherever God leads us. That may take the form of offering prayers and studying the Bible (particularly with the PW/Horizons Bible studies), advocating for ending violence against women or working for peace and justice. Many people associate PW with mission because the organization’s predecessors were deeply rooted in mission. Mission work meets needs, but that need may spring from an injustice that requires advocacy, action and prayer to resolve it. Gathering for both mission and justice work leads to a caring community of women who give thanks to God for the courage, the gifts and the opportunity to make a positive impact together.
Presbyterian Women’s traditions run strong. Many PW circles meet monthly to share the PW/Horizons Bible study. There are “service circles” that have staffed their churches’ soup kitchens for years. Other PW groups are known as the cooks of the church, or the women who sew for mission recipients. Yes, these are Presbyterian Women. They continue long-standing commitments that align with where they feel called to “be” as Presbyterian Women. And new PW circles just like these are forming in congregations across the country. But there are also many women finding and creating new ways to “be” Presbyterian Women.