Drew Theological School Celebrates the First Anniversary of the Women’s Ministerial Alliance

The community gathered for a special service and words of encouragement

November 2023 – The Drew Theological School community gathered in person and online for a special chapel service celebrating the first anniversary of the Women’s Ministerial Alliance (WoMA) student-led caucus. 

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Althea Spencer-Miller with WoMA members Eulynis Matthias-Fridie, Roeline Ramirez, and Terry Deans-McFarlane.

WoMA is committed to social justice for all who self-identify as female, regardless of race, ethnicity, or religious affiliation. The caucus seeks to provide the Drew community with spiritual formation, leadership development, and general wellness support to transform, empower, and impact Drew as a whole community. 

WoMA uses spiritual formation and social justice to counter gender and race biases impacting its members and anyone in the Drew community who self-identifies as female.

The service featured a showing of support and encouragement from the Drew community. The theme of the service was “The Door That God Opens; No One Can Shut,” a passage from Revelations 3:7-13.

“We are grateful for the work you do and the leadership you provide,” said Theological School Dean Edwin David Aponte. “WoMA, thank you for being doers of the word and practitioners of pure religion. We are here to celebrate you.”

“WoMA was started with a dream of bringing women together to empower and stand together, to share a commonality,” said Associate Dean of Vocation and Formation Tanya Linn Bennett.

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Robert Seesengood reflected on first signers of Drew’s 150-year-old-matriculation book and the community that has evolved over time. “Knitting us together over time is the desire to have a vision that will audaciously escape our current imagination to change this room again and again in dynamic and powerful ways,” he said.

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The service was filled with song and celebration.

Professor of Hebrew Bible Kenneth Ngwa offered a reflection to the members of WoMA, stating, “You teach us how to hope, soar, and not be weary—even when it’s very difficult.”

James W. Pearsall Professor of Christian Ethics and African American Studies and WoMA faculty advisor Traci West read an excerpt of Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb,” a poem read at President Obama’s inauguration and now banned in Florida. “Anniversaries are about remembering, and remembering is justice work. Part of what WoMA does is justice work,” she said.

Assistant Professor of New Testament and WoMA faculty advisor Althea Spencer-Miller was invited to provide the sermon.Every group of ethnic color in the United States wants to speak our own histories, tell our own stories, find our own equitable place in this country and at Drew,” she said. Once a door is opened, nothing will ever be the same. Once a door is closed, then the God who loves all will help each to find their way to the open door.

WoMA’s leadership includes President Roeline Ramirez, Secretary Jacqualine Chiponga, Treasurer Chantel Makarawa, Chaplain Terry Deans-McFarlane, and Alumnae Advisor Eulynis Matthias-Fridie. The caucus is actively seeking new members, click here for more information or to get involved.

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