Women on Wednesdays: A Community of Faith and Friendship

If you have been coming to Central for even a few months, you’ve probably heard about Women on Wednesdays (WOW). So what is it, anyway?

As the name suggests, WOW is women coming together for a couple of hours every Wednesday morning from September to May. But it’s so much more than that. Let’s hear from a few participants about their experiences.

Kathy Harp is new to WOW, having joined just this past September. She retired in June 2023 and wanted to jump into things she couldn’t do while working. Not only has WOW added structure to her week, but more importantly, it has given her the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and meet new people. Kathy also enjoys the classes, which encourage her to get more deeply into the Bible.

At the other end of the spectrum is longtime WOW member Sherry Moorshead, who joined the Elizabeth Circle when she left her teaching position in 1984 to care for children. Soon afterward, a few women in that circle started a group known as Mothers’ Fellowship, for mothers of young children. These groups morphed into Women on Wednesdays, which has always made offering childcare a priority so mothers have the opportunity for fellowship and growing in faith. (One woman, who will remain nameless, commented that she looked for any opportunity to get out of the house when she had young children.)

Sherry says the meetings have had much the same format over the years: a large group gathering allowing women to get to know a lot of other women, followed by an assortment of classes in which women are able to grow closer. The classes offered always include at least one Bible study. For Sherry, WOW is a midweek encouragement between Sundays.

Another interesting feature of this ministry is that it has reached out beyond Central from its beginnings. Currently, members of other churches attend, among them Christina Welty, who visited for the first time last April and says she has found everyone warm and welcoming. Like all the women interviewed for this article, Christina joined and remains because she enjoys developing relationships with other Christian women and growing in faith. She was hungry for an in-depth Bible study and found it at WOW. An added benefit for Christina is that she has met others who have children with disabilities like her adult son.

Holding it all together is Sue Hula who for the past 10 years has led a team of hard-working volunteers. Together they make WOW run smoothly: arranging for speakers during the large group session and leaders for the small groups, communicating, running PowerPoints, arranging childcare, making sure there are snacks, and so much more.

I am grateful and blessed to be a part of WOW and to see how God has used it to create community among women and to draw them deeper in their understanding and relationship with God.

Sue says, “I am grateful and blessed to be a part of WOW and to see how God has used it to create community among women and to draw them deeper in their understanding and relationship with God.” She adds that WOW has also grown her own personal faith as God has nudged her to take small steps out of her comfort zone to use the gifts He has given her and to rely and lean more on Him rather than just her own abilities. Kudos to Sue and the team!

While WOW started as a group for young mothers, women of all ages now attend. Rebecca Belitsos Andre is one of the younger members. She loves it that there are so many different age groups and feels that she learns a lot from older members, who can offer their wisdom and perspective—as well as tips on raising kids. Some of these mentors are actually the mothers of some of Rebecca’s peers. She enjoys Kim Meagher’s class, which is not only really fun but often allows members to serve by giving away the crafts they make. Rebecca does all this despite having three young children and working as a labor and delivery nurse at Hopkins. For her, WOW is a refreshing break from the rest of her hectic life.

Phyllis DeSmit, who has been at Central for over 50 years, is also thrilled with the multigenerational nature of WOW and the variety of women who attend. She sees it as a wonderful opportunity for young mothers. Moreover, she is glad that the ministry is completely run by laypeople, without placing a drain on the staff. That’s the church in action, she says.

WOW grew from 20 to 50 to about 100 members before the pandemic. Once everything reopened, the numbers were smaller but have been growing with around 80 currently registered. WOW, like the rest of the world, has been graying, with those one-time young mothers now becoming grandmothers. But young women like Rebecca will carry WOW into the future so that the next 40 years will be as much a blessing as the first 40 were.

To learn more about Women on Wednesdays CLICK HERE.

Share this article: