Guiding a New Generation of Women
When Letty Craig was first introduced to women’s ministries, she wasn’t interested in becoming involved. “I saw women crying and feeling sorry for each other,” she said. “I didn’t want to be crying and telling my problems, immersing myself in that state of mind. I wanted something more positive.”
But when she began helping out with women’s ministries at her local church under the leadership of Sandy Reyes, Texas Conference women’s ministries director, Craig saw that things could be different. She learned that women’s ministries could help women have fun while learning things that would have a positive impact on their lives.
Now as women’s ministries director for the Southwestern Union, Craig wants to create an environment where women can relax, enjoy laughing and be themselves. Her primary goal is to empower women throughout the union to be spiritual guides for the next generation of women. “We want to have royal ladies to guide the next generation to heaven,” she said.
One way Craig is doing this is through the upcoming “Brave and Bold” Women’s Ministries Retreat, which will be held in San Marcos, May 19-21. In addition to sessions focused on mental and emotional health, there will be separate sessions for teenage girls that will focus on subjects of importance to their generation, such as forming healthy friendships and improving communication with their parents.
It is because of the mistakes she says she made when her own children were growing up that the mission of strengthening mother-daughter bonds and mentoring young women is so important to her. “I wish I could have the relationship I have now with my kids when they were growing up,” Craig said, admitting that she didn’t have the knowledge of how to do that. Though she is grateful that her three adult children still attend church, her heart breaks when she sees young people leaving because they experienced more criticism than love. By helping moms know how to have more positive relationships with their children, she hopes to create a cycle of better moms, better families, better churches and better communities.
As women’s ministries director, Craig is following in the footsteps of Sarepta Henry, who was called upon by Ellen G. White to begin a “woman ministry” to encourage women to use their gifts to help other women in their church and community. Two years after beginning this program, Henry died and the program died with her. One hundred years later, in 1990, women’s ministries was revived at the General Conference under the leadership of Rose Otis.
Letty Craig is the wife of Southwestern Union President Carlos Craig. They are parents to Danette, David and Daphne, and have six grandchildren.
We invite you to visit us oline at SouthwesternAdventist.org/women or view the ad on page 21 to learn more or register for the Southwestern Union “Brave and Bold“ Women’s Ministries Retreat.
By Lori Futcher
Record Freelance Writer