Visioning" is a worthwhile exercise. It is now a trend in institutions, businesses and corporations. "Visioning" results in growth and overall success. Remember, it is without a vision that the people perish (see Prov. 29:18). Since 1995 was the international year of the woman, yea, of the Adventist woman, and much more the Adventist clergy woman, let us engage in this valuable activity.
You ask, "What should we 'vision' about?" While it is true that you may have lofty visions of your own, you can add more to your list. Catch new visions of your role as wives. Catch new visions of the Shepherdess Club.
A new vision of our role
The sun has set on another year. At the dawn of the New Year, some would suggest that we look "back to the past," others that we "face the future." It would seem that the two-faced god, Janus, has brought resolution to the issue by facing both the past and the future.
With our faces to the past we see hundreds of notable women of spirit who have made significant contributions during the 150 years of Adventism. Literary ladies like Annie Smith, Minerva Chapman; persistent women like Anna Knight, Kate Lindsey; outspoken females like Mrs. Couch and Rachel Oakes Preston! The list is endless—many women have left their footprints in the Adventist sands of time.
With our faces to the past we see our joys and sorrows, our failures and victories, but with our faces to the future we can catch new visions of our roles. For some, that role might be team ministry. For others, it might be children's ministry, welfare ministry, women's ministry, youth ministry, family life ministry, Bible studies ministry to small groups of interested persons. Whatever ministry, let us envision the thrill we can experience when we lead souls to Christ.
New vision of Shepherdess Club
United we stand, divided we fall. I believe it is the devil's studied efforts to keep us from coming together as clergy wives. You see he can more easily get to us when we are separated. He can make us feel sorry for ourselves, he can tempt us with loss of identity and nag us with a feeling of low self worth. As these thoughts take root, we withdraw within ourselves, sink into despair and negate our usefulness. Then the devil stands back and laughs, he has won! It is high time for us to catch a new vision of the Shepherdess Club as a support system for us. Clergy wives need a forum where we can "let down our hair" and express our feelings and our frustrations with no fear of reprisals. We need to know we can trust each other, and that trust can only be developed as we interact with oneanother in the Shepherdess Clubs and work together in church and community outreach programs.
Under God, we coordinators are committed to the wholehearted support of the Shepherdess Clubs. What about you, dear sponsor, dear president? And what about you, dear shepherdess? Why not pray and work towards that end? "Up, for this is the day ..." is our watchword! May God bless you!*