We exist to serve all women of The Moody Church, encouraging and equipping them to know, love, and serve Jesus and others. We take seriously Paul’s admonitions in Titus 2:3-5, which instructs women to teach other women, encouraging one another, and training up young women to be strong in the faith.

 

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Join the Women's Community

Each Sunday morning at 8:30am, sisters in Christ gather to learn from the Word and worship the Lord. We are now meeting in person, and are blessed to be able to stay and view the morning service as well! Space is limited, but all women are invited. Find details/guidelines and register here.

 

You can also continue to join us via Zoom; click here for the Zoom login, or you can dial in if you prefer. The number is 312-626-6799.

Growing Together: A Discipleship Mentoring Ministry

The new discipleship ministry is part of the Women’s Ministry, and is headed by Mary Lowman and Bertie Kirchhofer.

 

Are you a Moody Church woman in her 20s or 30s eager to grow in Christlikeness? How would you like to do so through one-on-one discipleship with a seasoned woman of faith? With a flexible structure that meets you where you are in your faith journey, this program will challenge you toward spiritual maturity through biblical discussion, study, accountability, and prayer.

 

Complete the form below to apply!

Sundays beginning February 21, 11:30am in Room 303 and via Zoom

 

We’ve certainly missed our Sunday Women’s Book Study over the last year! We’re excited to announce that we’re re-launching this wonderful group, and all women are welcome.

 

On Sunday February 21 we’ll kick off a study of Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund. As Mary Lowman put it, “This is one of the most moving and inspiring books I have ever read, and I just had to share it with you. It lifts our eyes to see Christ’s compassion-filled heart for sinners and sufferers. As you read it, you’ll see the heart of Jesus as never before.”

 

Join Mary on Zoom or in person in Room 303 for a powerful discussion of this beautiful, transformative book.

 

Get your copy of Gentle and Lowly from Mary on Sundays ($13, cash or check), or order at 630.462.0552 ($16 includes shipping, CC orders only).

Moody Church Women Ministry

Being sisters in Christ is a blessing, but it carries with it a responsibility to care for, pray for, and love one another. We’d love to introduce you to some special women we love — and who we know you’ll love too! Once a month we’ll feature a different Moody Church woman; as you read their testimonies we encourage you to pray for them.

The best gifts

March 2021 Bio for AJA by CCSO EMPOWER Volunteer Chaplain for Staff, Linda Ahrens

 

Born in the Detroit area, I grew up in the ‘50s, when kids walked to school and home for lunch, and businesses closed on Sundays. In my ‘60s high school years, I loved Motown music, by genius Berry Gordy who applied his brief car assembly-line job experience to create an “artist development” system: providing choreography, costumes, brilliant lyrics and music to singers at his Hitsville studio, a few miles from my home.

 

My hard-working parents sacrificed for violin, piano, art, dancing, singing and typing lessons. I had friends and was healthy. Despite all this, I felt uneasy and discontent. To quell the feelings, I began drinking then added drugs in college while studying marketing and journalism. I still felt empty, so dabbled in various faiths, tried tarot, meditation — even witchcraft. I “believed in God,” but didn’t attend church or pray.

 

In the early ‘70s, I traveled parts of Europe and Asia, immigrating to Australia for 11 years where I did an MBA, was an editor at Reader’s Digest, and began a successful house renovation business. Various relationships with men went nowhere. Despite doing everything the world calls “freedom,” “fun,” and “success,” I remained unhappy.

 

Returning to the US in 1983, I tried Montana — split wood for heat, raised chickens and began two businesses. One failed, along with relationships; the other I sold (ironically, a dating service). I moved to Chicago and a good job, but – lonely — joined a wallyball club begun by a church. I attended its services and learned that “believing in God” wasn’t enough (so does the Devil); I accepted Jesus’s gift of eternal life. After years of searching, emptiness was finally gone — I was content and full of hope.

 

Now I cared about others, dove into Biblical studies, and God opened doors: church ministries let me help kids at Bible camps, tutor teens at Cabrini Green, and meet weekly for several years with jail detainees, teaching the Bible. One day, intimidated by a stern-appearing officer, I obeyed scripture to “not fear,” offered prayer, and the officer shared overwhelming life issues and a desire to understand God amid the pain. I realized these officers might welcome spiritual support, so requested permission to lead Bible studies with a handful of them.

 

Yet, jail administrators had a better idea, and in 2018, I became chaplain to all staff – an amazing privilege: to be around professionals who diligently handle the most difficult of situations, personalities and shifts. God gifted me, a civilian, with access to show His love to these inspiring men and women. And since the first day, their acceptance of me has been another marvelous gift.

 

I didn’t think more joy was possible, but then staff nominated me for this AJA award. What a gift.

 

This is the best time of my life — for which I give God, the jail staff, and the AJA grateful thanks.

Although I was raised in a Christian family in South Korea, it wasn’t until sophomore year in high school when I truly encountered God. From then on, God pushed me to show his love to others, whether by having lunch with a student who was bullied, or holding prayer meetings in high school to pray for fellow students and their salvation.

 

Few weeks before the SAT exam in my junior year, I realized I hadn’t registered for the test. The only test spot still available was in Tokyo, Japan, so I heedlessly flew to Japan over the weekend. My last day in Tokyo was a Sunday, and I attended a service at a local church. During the service, God said “I have called you to worship me in Japan”, and I broke down crying, promising him to return. After this spiritual encounter, I called off my plan to go to college in the US and attended a Japanese University as an international student. For four years in Japan, I served at the church worship team and shared the gospel on campus, experiencing so many miracles along the journey.

 

In 2017, I came to Chicago for my graduate studies, and have worked as a data analyst on criminal justice policies. I am currently volunteering for low-income students to help with remote learning and spiritual growth.

 

Throughout my life, God has constantly challenged me to love harder.

Sitting next to a bullied student at lunch every day as a high school student was tough. As a South Korean, deciding to live in Japan, a  country that once colonized and oppressed my own people was difficult. But in Christ, I could and can do all things.

 

I’d like to conclude with one of my favorite passages from Luke 6:32-36 : “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them…Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

I was born in Colombia as a twin and my childhood was uneventful and fun. We were non practicing Catholics. I was taught that if you were baptized, had your first communion, and your confirmation, you were fine.

 

My parents separated when I was a teenager, and my mother took her six children to Venezuela. Eventually we joined our older sister in Ecuador where she was going to medical school.

 

In the six years I spent in Cuenca, Ecuador, I searched for God, but I didn’t find Him. I looked into Buddhism and Hinduism, but none of those religions answered my questions about who God was.

 

I wanted God to show up, raise His hand and tell me, “Here I am” because I was not even sure there was a God. My life was school, friends and partying. I thought that getting an education, a career in journalism was all I needed to succeed in life.

 

My life took a turn when I came to the United States by marriage at age 27. Before five years we were separated because of his addictions to marihuana and alcohol and pornography.

 

I moved to Chicago where I met David, my husband. I knew he believed in God because we went to a Church downtown for St. Patrick’s Day. But we didn’t discuss religion.

 

The birth of my first daughter was the tipping point of my desperate need to know who God really was. I asked myself: What am I going to teach my daughter about God if I don’t know who God is? There was a woman who cleaned my house who gave my daughter a children’s Bible. I began reading that Bible.

 

Two years later, my second daughter was born, and we moved to a new neighborhood.

 

The clock was ticking. When my daughters were almost 5 and 3, I had not baptized them because I was not convinced that I should do it. I used to make fun of my aunts who were evangelical. I heard my aunt say that you should not get baptized until you know the reason why you were doing it.

 

I didn’t know what to do, if I should baptize my daughters or not. I was torn between not baptizing them and letting them decide for themselves later.

 

One day I told my husband that I didn’t know what to teach the girls about God. David’s response was: “Look into what you already know.”  I asked him, “What do I know?” and he just said, “The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” It was David who very gently sent me to the path of searching for God.

 

My neighbor invited me to Moody Church. She told me that Moody would be a good fit for me because I liked to study (I had finished Nursing School a couple of years before). So, we came to Moody. We walked into the balcony, and I saw a pastor with a Bible opened in his hands. I knew I had come home. My friend also told me that there were parenting classes, and couples classes, and activities like the Women’s luncheon.

 

In one of those luncheons I met Sandy Long. She welcomed my daughter Lili and I. I was overwhelmed with this desire to receive Christ. Right after the event, Sandy prayed with Lili to receive Christ as her Savior. Lili and I were crying. What Sandy didn’t realize was that as Lili was accepting Christ as her Savior, so was I.

 

On August 27, 2019, on my 20th anniversary in America, I got baptized in Lake Michigan. What a glorious day!

 

You have no idea how patient the pastors and teachers have been with me. I am so grateful because I didn’t know what grace was, what it meant to have a relationship with God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ. Nobody ever made me feel ignorant or stupid. They just lovingly accepted me and answered every question I had.

 

Then my daughters, who were very excited to come to church at the beginning, became teenagers, and I almost lost my two daughters. Had it not been for the body of Christ, the leadership of the church, the pastors and teachers, none of us would have survived.

 

My husband and I became closer instead of fighting and arguing; I had prayed for some time that my husband would pray for me. It was in the middle of that bumpy road that the Lord responded to that petition. We came to the other side praising God and thanking Him for the things he had done during that hard season in our lives.

 

My walk with the Lord has not been without obstacles. My daughters have since made choices we don’t agree with, but my husband and I continue to be grounded in the Word, and with the guidance of our pastors, we continue loving and guiding our daughters who now are young adults.

 

Knowing Jesus has changed me from the inside out. He changed the way I see myself and the world, He keeps changing my desires, He has turned my blue jokes into words of praise to God, and he has given me a new song to my lips. The Lord has transformed me and keeps working in me to make me every day more like His son Jesus Christ.

Recently I was reminded about the stones of remembrance in the book of Joshua. I had previously been encouraged to write down what I wished my legacy to be… those things that I would want others to remember when thinking of me. So I decided to write my spiritual journey down and hope it will be a living stone of remembrance after I am gone.

 

I would call my early childhood years as fairly idyllic. But that was cut short when I was 12 when my dad had a stroke, and was then diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. He was in and out of the hospital, and 11 months later, he died. I was angry that God did not answer our prayers to heal him. I was mad at him that he did this to my mom, my family, and me.

 

After college I met a man whom I began to date. He often asked me spiritual questions to which I had no answers. He gave me a pocket new testament which I devoured in a new way. I was surprised at how much was in the Bible with which I was unaware. I was confident God would not keep from me the things that he wanted me to know, so I kept reading. In time, my relationship with the man I was dating ended and I was angry at God all over again. I felt like God was taking him away, like he took my dad away.

 

During this same time my college roommate moved to Chicago and invited me to come to Moody Church. Pastor would teach from the Bible every single week. At the end of every sermon he would always invite anyone who wanted, to pray to receive Christ alone as their personal savior. This was a new concept for me.

 

One day as I was praying, all I kept “hearing” in my heart and in my head was that there would only be one person who would never leave me and that was Jesus. That is the day I look back on when I prayed to receive Jesus alone as my personal savior. Whether I lived or died, through good times and bad, and despite all my sins, which Jesus freely forgives—I would never, ever be separated from Him.

 

The Lord knew that what I really wanted and what I really needed was Jesus. I look forward to an eternity with him and with all who come to trust him as the only one who can forgive sins, and give us abundant life now and eternal life for the future. I hope my life points others to Jesus. That’s the legacy I want to leave.

I was born in China and came here to study in 2009. With limited resources, accented English, poor self-care and social skills, the first year was unexpectedly tough for an introvert like me. I became very depressed after the excitement of studying abroad faded away.

 

I didn’t have a car in St. Louis at that time. One day I met a friend at the school cafeteria, and she kindly offered me a ride to a grocery store after the church. I gladly accepted. I was raised an atheist, so my first visit to church was quite mind blowing. The very first time I saw people in the church praying, I thought they must be crazy. Why do they bow their heads and speak to the air? Well, after I got a chance to talk with them, they seemed to be friendly and smart. And the “God” in their songs sounded too good to be true. I thought: If there’s really a God, why don’t you show yourself to me?

 

Then I started to wake up in the early mornings, and saw light shine peacefully through my window, sometimes with birds singing. It must be a coincidence, I thought. My relationship with my roommate was intense at that time, and yet we travelled to LA during the spring break. I heard a voice say “love your neighbor as yourself” before I woke up. I opened my eyes and couldn’t believe what I just heard. That voice was so clear, loving, yet with authority. I began to read scriptures and ask many questions.

 

John 10:10 says: I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. At that time, I hated my meaningless life. I wanted to have an abundant life. On a good Friday, the pastor encouraged people to think about making a decision to follow Jesus. Here was my thought. If God is real and I choose to follow Him, my life will be changed for good. If God is not real and I choose to follow Him, nothing will be changed. There’s nothing to lose. So I made my decision to follow Him. And my life was forever changed.

 

God is so true and faithful. He is always there for me in the darkest nights, desert, and fires. He accepts my failures and flaws with His perfect love. He also disciplines and grows me in love and truth. What the enemy meant for evil, God turns to good.

 

Let me end with one of my favorite verses:

 

Isaiah 43:2-3:  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Jeannie Choi was very active in our church while she lived in Chicago. She moved to San Diego for a job opportunity, but she stays in touch with her church family here via Veritas and Facebook.  And she is praying for a job opportunity here so she can return.  Her testimony is a wonderful story of how God has used COVID-19 to begin a reconciliation with her mother.

 

Restoration and hope during a pandemic

 

I come from a very broken and abusive family and have been estranged from my mother for a handful of years. I was going to write a brief letter to her and take it really slow in hopes of carefully rebuilding trust, but when this pandemic broke out, God had other plans. I worried for her safety since she is in the vulnerable older population and felt compelled to call her instead, which took a lot of courage and prayer to do.

 

To my surprise, she was really happy I called, which stirred a lot of mixed emotions within me. I really missed her and a potential mother-daughter relationship I always wanted. I further grieved over generational sin and how it robbed both of us a healthy parent-child and family relationship and environment.

 

During our time apart, I had the privilege of taking the much needed space and time to receive weekly counseling with trusted Godly counsel for many years along with the love and support of church communities and spiritual families. These were critical years for my healing and growth. Now as an adult, deeply rooted in Christ as my identity, I am able to see my mom with eyes of compassion instead of hurt and resentment as a child would. Without God, it would not have been possible for me to “flip the switch” within me to see her more with His eyes and not my own. I also had to learn to accept that she will probably never apologize or change, but that I had to accept her for who she was and to trust the Lord with the rest.

 

Although not “perfect”, our conversations have been a blessing. We got to catch up a bit, learn more about each other, have real-talk discussions about her past and the chaotic house we once lived in. I even got to share my testimony with her, which she asked about for the first time! I am so happy that she is more receptive to God than before and even involved with a church she started to attend recently. The Lord had it all figured out way ahead of time and here I was worried, ha ha! I am further in awe of God’s grace, power, and sovereignty.

 

Moving forward, it is my hope to get a job and move back to Chicago as soon as possible from San Diego to be with my mom and church communities. It would be my honor and joy to finally spend more quality time with my mom, create positive memories, be a blessing, and take care of her as she ages.

Carol Halm is our missionary to Austria, where she works in a ministry to refugees called Oasis.  There are thousands in the refugee community, mostly Muslim, and Carol has been there for over 30 years, after accepting Christ as her Savior at The Moody Church.  Get to know her—pray for her!  She is a special woman.

 

Oasis has been shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I’ve been isolated and alone now these last eight weeks. I’ve discovered  that there’s no lack of good works that the Lord has prepared for me each day. I can easily still keep in contact with many, including some refugee women, and be a part of virtual groups, several from Moody church, which has been quite a treat for me. I’ve also enjoyed the quiet and opportunity to listen more to God, go for walks and pray.

 

And God has spoken! I’ve always enjoyed being well organized and having all my ducks in a very tidy row. However, my gift does have a down side, and it’s been highlighted to me by the Lord (like with a bright yellow neon marker) too often to miss over the last weeks that I over plan, at times to a fault, wanting to have every detail worked out and every box ticked. This results in needless worry and much wasted time.

 

The last several years I have thought a lot (too much) about my future. I’m 62. What will retirement be like? When should I retire? Will I have enough money to live where I want to live, like in Chicago, for example? Should I just stay in Austria, where things are less expensive and I’m comfortable in many ways? But then, what about my 10 siblings in the US, many of whom don’t know the Lord? I’d always thought, and wanted, to return to the US one day. And on, and on and on ….

 

The reality is that I don’t know what tomorrow will bring (as this crisis has shown us all). So focusing so much on the future is not a good plan. I’ve meditated much on Proverbs 3:5 the last weeks, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” I see that I need to grow in trust and let go when I start to get consumed and driven to understand and have all the answers. Leaning on me is actually kind of insane. I don’t have all the answers; it makes much more sense to lean on God who does.

 

So I am trying to learn to leave the details of my life to God to work out step by step according to His plan, not only for my future, but also for my today.

Weekdays at 7:00am via Zoom

 

Join Mary Lowman, Director of Women’s Ministry, every weekday morning as we come together to pray for our church, our families, and ourselves. You’ll be able to listen to and pray with your sisters in Christ.

  • Click here to join the Zoom call (it will ask you to download Zoom if you haven’t already done so)
  • You can also dial in by phone by calling 312-626-6799
  • Meeting ID: 867 5066 8172
  • Password: 949682

 

Note: this Zoom link is new, and will be valid starting Wednesday 10/14. 

Real Talk Ministry will begin again in the Fall. Check back for updates. 

 

Real Talk for Women is a place where you can connect and grow in your faith in a safe space. Once each quarter we’ll spend an evening together learning how to honor God when navigating today’s popular culture topics and temptations.

 

For our March Real Talk, we began our conversation about loving God and loving our neighbor as guided by Scripture in Luke 10:27—You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.

 

Our March Real Talk focused on loving with all our hearts. As women, we face unique challenges when we focus on our feelings and miss the richness of God’s design for loving with our whole hearts. We’ll explore three important aspects:

  • Hearts and emotions
  • Hearts and whole-being
  • Hearts like Jesus’
  • Click here to join the Zoom call (it will ask you to download Zoom if you haven’t already done so)
  • You can also dial in at 312.626.6799
  • Meeting ID: 833 6651 0199

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