Lydia Women's Fellowship
Lydia Women’s Fellowship
Lydia Women’s Fellowship was started on 12th April 2004 based on the vision of our Bishop President Dr. Ezra Sargunam and late Bishop Amma Mrs. Mangalam Ezra’s prayers and guidance. It emphasized the major role of women in ECI Churches in supporting the ministry. LWF was founded to provide opportunities to widows and oppressed destitute women to make them self sufficient. Following these, pastors’ wives and few lay women joined together, planned and enforced the following suggestions.
· Every week women will come together and pray.
· To share their testimonies about what the Lord has done in their lives.
· To collect offertory and maintain financial accounts.
· To meet the sick and suffering people and pray for them.
· To involve women in ministry who have different talents.
In continuance, Lydia Women’s Fellowship was functioning excellently under the leadership of Bishop Amma Mrs. Mangalam Ezra. The second annual conference of the Lydia Women’s Fellowship was held on 15th January 2005 at the Billy Graham Auditorium in a remarkable way. After this, women joined together in Churches to pray. Meetings were conducted at the area levels effectively. After the sudden demise of Bishop Amma Mrs. Mangalam Ezra, the ministry was regenerated by the efforts of Rev. Kathiroli Manickam and is progressing towards a bright future.
Annual Conference 2009
The third annual conference of Lydia Women’s Fellowship was held on 22nd August 2009 at the Madras Theological Seminary & College campus. Our Lord, who does great things beyond our comprehension, enabled more than 2000 women to participate in the conference on that day. On that occasion, Sister Stella Dhinakaran and Sister Shanthi Solomon shared the Lord’s message on the theme “Don’t be afraid, Go and tell my brethren” (Mt 28:10). Our Bishop-President the Most Rt. Rev. Dr. M Ezra Sargunam and the Chennai Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. D Sundar Singh participated in it and encouraged us.
Annual Conference 2010
The annual conference of Lydia Women’s fellowship for the year 2010 was held on 14th August 2010 at the auditorium of Madras Christian College Hr. Sec. School. More than 3000 women of the ECI Churches participated in it enthusiastically by wearing uniform sarees. This conference was presided by Bishop Amma Mrs. Jayarani Sundarsingh and held under the leadership of the Chairperson of LWF Rev. Mrs Kathiroli Manickam, having its theme, “Arise, shine, for your light has come”( Isaiah 60:1). Mrs. Hannah Thomson participated in it as a special guest and delivered the Lord’s message. Sister Padma Mudaliar shared the Word of God and led the people into a spirit of revival. Mrs. Ezhil Kirubakaran challenged the gathering by her missionary message. Mrs. Janet Rex compiled and conducted the program. Our Bishop-President the Most Rev. Dr. M. Ezra Sargunam and the then Bishop Associate of Chennai Diocese Rt. Rev. Appadurai participated in it and gave a message of greeting.
A book named ‘WINGS’ was published and released for the counseling course. LWF has trained 15 women through this course.
Annual Conference 2011
Lydia Women’s Fellowship Annual conference 2011 was held at the auditorium of Madras Christian College Hr. Sec. School. Around 3200 women who took part in this fellowship wore uniquely designed sarees. The theme for the year was, “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5). Diploma Degrees were awarded for those who had completed WINGS course successfully. Sister Nalini Wilson and Sister Chitra Amalraj shared God’s Word and encouraged the women to grow more in their spiritual lives. It was a blessing to have women from Andaman, Gujarat and Mumbai participate in this conference. The participants of 2011 LWF conference vowed to bring a new member along with them every year to this fellowship, save a minimum of one rupee every day for LWF, share God’s Word every month without fail and to pray for at least a minute every day for this ministry.
Visit to the Jharkhand Mission Field and Annual Conference 2012
In February 2012, a group of 40 women on behalf of Lydia Women’s Fellowship traveled to Jharkhand to dedicate the Church constructed through the precious offering raised by Lydia Women’s Fellowship. This was a divine opportunity given to us.
The 2012 Annual Conference was held at Jesus Calls campus at Vanagaram. The theme for this year was “Jharkhand in Chennai”. The conference was a great success and it was a privilege to have women missionaries from Jharkhand. ‘A Rupee a day’ offering was collected on this occasion. A sewing training centre was inaugurated at ECI Ayyapakkam church to train the women in sewing. Mrs. Nalini Selvaraj shared God’s Word and more than 4000 women participated in this fellowship. The women pledged to support a Malto child from every Church through Lydia Women’s Fellowship.
Ministry of Lydia Women
I am very glad to share with you that in every Church we have regular prayer every week. Area level meetings are also organized thus giving a chance for the LWF women to meet at the Area level. Our LWF volunteers use their skills and energy in raising funds for Church construction in their local Churches and other different needs in whichever capacity they are able to contribute. Through Lydia Women’s Fellowship, Rupees 35 lakhs was raised for ECI Hope City.
Impact of Lydia Women’s Fellowship
· Created a burden among women to pray and support our ECI ministries earnestly
· Women who have realized the importance of education eagerly come forward to educate themselves and help others
· There is awareness among women about health care and nutrition
· Offertory collected through the fellowship is spent for Gospel ministry
· Women have started participating in large numbers in all programs, which reveals the success of the fellowship
· Involve women who are interested in evangelism in the Church ministry
· To create self employment programs for the destitute women who are neglected by the society in order to uplift them economically and help them to lead respectable lives
· To gather all women of the ECI Churches under one umbrella and use them for the growth of the Church
· To strengthen Lydia Women’s Fellowship started in Andaman, Jharkhand, Allahabad and Karnataka
· To conduct Lydia Women’s Fellowship Conference at the National level.