Women’s Ministry: Our Future Plans
Elisabeth Smyth, FIEC’s longest serving member of staff, will retire in September as our Women’s Ministry Coordinator. In God’s goodness we have now been able to appoint Rachel Sloan as her successor.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Prov 16:9
This has been a verse I have held onto as I have seen the Lord overrule in my own life and circumstances. For me, opportunities for service with women in ministry have changed and grown over the last number of years. I am grateful to the Lord for enabling me to serve alongside Elisabeth Smyth as Women’s Ministry Coordinator with FIEC.
This summer there will be changes to our women’s ministry team as Elisabeth will retire at the end of September.
Elisabeth has pioneered the role as the FIEC’s Women’s Ministry Coordinator, and has ably, graciously, and prayerfully helped both women’s workers and ministry wives, and under her care much has been established. In particular, annual conferences for women’s workers (Thrive) and the Ministry Wives Retreat.
I started working with Elisabeth in January 2019 and my main focus is to support ministry wives. I will miss Elisabeth’s knowledge, wisdom and the fellowship we enjoy as we serve together. Various opportunities are planned, in person, over Zoom and in print to express our gratitude, under God, for all that Elisabeth has done in service to God at FIEC.
As Elisabeth retires, we are thankful that we have appointed a successor. Rachel Sloan is to be the new FIEC Women’s Ministry Coordinator from 1 September 2020. She will focus on supporting women’s workers in our churches and encourage churches to think through biblical women’s ministry.
Currently Rachel is Women’s Ministry Coordinator at Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh, a role she will continue part-time. Rachel will build on the excellent work that Elisabeth has done for FIEC over many years and work alongside myself as we share the FIEC Women’s Ministry Coordinator role. Rachel will enjoy a month of transition with Elisabeth before Elisabeth’s retirement.
I am very grateful to the Lord for his kindness in Rachel’s appointment. The interview process was rigorous, and it was great to hear from excellent candidates, each passionate about and committed to women’s ministry.
Rachel’s blend of experience and practice as a women’s worker and her robust theological training will be of great benefit. She is fully committed to FIEC’s complementarian position and articulates that carefully and wisely. She has had experience of church life in England, in a Housing Scheme in Scotland, as well as Charlotte Chapel, where the women’s work has grown as she has worked with the staff and elders.
Rachel has advised leaders of other churches on how to encourage women’s ministry and support women in ministry. She is an able Bible teacher and we are keen that there are further opportunities to train women in ministry in areas where they might need development, for example in Bible handling or approaching pastoral issues. Rachel and I will also encourage and extend networks of women in ministry.
As Rachel works part-time for both Charlotte Chapel and FIEC, she will be able to relate her own ministry experience to the support and advice she gives to other women in ministry.
I am very much looking forward to working with Rachel as we seek, along with Johnny Prime, and the other FIEC Directors, to grasp the opportunities God gives us to further develop the support, training and contribution of women in ministry, both women’s workers and ministry wives as we seek to reach Britain with the gospel of Christ.
You can watch an interview with Rachel, published on 4 August, below.