Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
Fort Leavenworth Protestant Women of the Chapel officially kicked-off their fall Bible studies with a special event Aug. 25 in the parking lot of Frontier Chapel.
During the event, participants could park in the chapel parking lot and tune in to the chapel radio station or watch live at home on Facebook. Song leaders and PWOC board members gathered in front of the chapel for the broadcast.
Following prayer and the music selections, Jodi Billquist, PWOC president, addressed the ladies and announced the semester’s theme, “Arise, Shine, Glorify,” based on Isaiah 60:1: “Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.”
Billquist used the process of how a diamond is created by intense heat and pressure under the earth’s surface, and its value and worth to compare each person’s value and worth to God.
“Sometimes life experiences, heated situations, enormous amounts of anger can lead us to destruction and depression, anger, hurt, fear and even sin,” Billquist said. “By placing our lives fully in the hands of God, this same heat and pressure molds us and shapes us, forming us into a beautiful creation, a creation highly sought by God and placed in a position of great value in the creator’s heart.
“Our worth is not determined by man or man’s alterations but only through the eyes of God. God’s light shines upon his creation and is reflected back to him,” she said. “The rainbow of colors reflected back are a reminder of his promise to his creation. …God fills us with his Holy Spirit, a fire burning brightly in our souls, shining like a beacon to the nations. Others are drawn to this light. It ignites a desire to receive a piece of this light for themselves. Ladies, we are as diamonds, yet more valuable than diamonds could ever be.”
The adapted kick-off was just the start of the virtual semester to come, said Rachel Ernest, PWOC vice president of spiritual life.
“Right now, we’ve planned for the semester to be virtual per chapel guidance … until we can offer childcare for everyone,” Ernest said.
The eight fall studies officially begin Sept. 15. Every Tuesday at 9 a.m., Ernest said PWOC members will meet for a large virtual session to go over announcements and pray before breaking out into their individual studies.
The studies include “Zeal: Titus for Women” by Kerrie Folmer; “Seamless: Understanding the Bible as One Complete Story” by Angie Smith; “Better: A Study of Hebrews” by Jen Wilkin; “Identity Theft: Reclaiming the Truth of Our Identity in Christ” by Melissa Kruger; “7 Feasts” by Erin Davis; “Get Out of Your Head: A Study in Philippians” by Jennie Allen; “Know that You Know” by PWOC instructor Rose McConnell; and “Intentional Living” by PWOC instructor Tracy Dougherty, which is also available from 7-8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.
Although the fall studies are being done differently, Ernest said it’s even more important to offer them.
“You always need Jesus. We understand that this is a really challenging time, and this is especially a good time where we need to focus on the mountain mover and not the mountain,” Ernest said. “I felt like if we gave up, we weren’t focusing on that. We’re going to build this airplane midflight, figure it out and do it with lots and lots of grace. If we need to change things, we’ll adapt.”
Members said they appreciated that PWOC found a way to continue.
“Anything that gets us together, so we can be together in fellowship even if it’s at a distance, that’s wonderful. It’s nice to see each other’s faces,” said Maureen Lee, PWOC member. “Our faith is important all the time, but especially so now because we can’t necessarily get strength from ourselves, but strength from God is always there.”
McConnell said community is key aspect of Christianity.
“Christianity is all about Jesus, and the context of our faith is lived out in community,” McConnell said. “Staying connected is even more important in this season because we have been, in many ways, forced into our homes, so we’ve had to find creative ways to continue to build community.”
For more information on how to register for the fall studies and to view the full kick-off event, visit the PWOC Fort Leavenworth Facebook page.
To register for the second half of PWOC’s kickoff at 9 a.m. Sept. 1, visit https://facebook.com /events/s/fall-2020-virtual-kick-off/2123092884488537/?ti=cl&tn=R-R.