Synergy: A New Initiative and a New Director
This letter was sent to the friends of Synergy Women’s Network. We would love to grow our circle of friends, so I am letting you in on some exciting new developments with this ministry. A little history, new plans and opportunities and links to more information are all here.
Dear Friend of Synergy,
I know you are thrilled and, perhaps, more than a little curious to have an email in your inbox from Synergy. Yes, it’s true! The Synergy Board is happy to announce there IS a future for Synergy. Many of you have given input into our new strategy and we are excited to go where God is leading us as a network.
After our last conference in 2011, Carolyn James expressed to the board a deep sense of completion. She asked for a year of discernment and the board agreed it was a good time to pause. During the season of discernment, God led Carolyn to resign as President of Synergy, and a few months later she also stepped down from the board. In her words:
After living and breathing Synergy for the better part of a decade, it hasn’t been easy to step away. But I’m convinced my stepping aside from any official leadership role opens the door for Synergy to pass the baton on to the next generation. I’ve long believed that whenever an organization begins to center on one person, the life expectancy of that organization shortens. Synergy is all of us. That was my vision from the beginning.
Six months ago, it was unclear if Synergy would—or should—continue. I want to tell you that Synergy is alive today because of a fresh work of the Holy Spirit in our midst and because many of you urged us forward. So, what IS the plan?
A NEW INITIATIVE
Many of you have let us know you need Synergy to be a place where you can have the robust conversations about women in ministry leadership and still feel supported and encouraged. You want Synergy to provide fresh theological insights that will both challenge you and give you confidence. You love the vision of being an image bearer, an ezer and working in a Blessed Alliance. You are ready to move into your leadership calling and want to know how to work the Synergy message into your life and ministry.
So, what if Synergy were more than a conference? What if you could journey with a small group of like-minded people for a season, having the hard conversations? What if you didn’t feel so alone? What if you could learn from other women and men what it means to work together in a Blessed Alliance, to share who you are and what you have learned with others so they too could grow as ezers and image bearers? What if you could gather just an ounce of courage from your Synergy friends to launch into the leadership calling God has planted in you? What if you could collaborate to produce something that would benefit all ezers? What if, through grassroots, small gatherings we could impact the whole Church?
If you are the kind of ezer leader that wants to answer these questions and more, then you will love Synergy Summits! As Carolyn observed, “Synergy is all of us.” Capturing the potent concept of a synergistic network, combining it with a large dose of theology and a dash of technology, we are implementing Synergy Summits.
Synergy Summits will leverage the power of a true network … of all of us. A Synergy Summit event will be a personal, intentional, focused and collaborative version of a Synergy conference. It will bring together a cohort of women in ministry leadership for an intensive, facilitated event where they will develop close, synergistic relationships; learn from each other; and journey together for a season as they consider how they might uniquely bless the Church with a collaborative “product” that would propel other ezers into their leadership callings.
Synergy is committed to facilitating these small, collaborative learning communities that ultimately support and empower women and men to lead well together for God’s Kingdom purposes. Our ultimate vision is to see empowered women leading in their Christian callings. We believe Synergy Summits provide a clear path to this vision.
As to theology … we will all continue to do the theological work that Carolyn started and, in her ongoing role as author and President of WhitbyForum, she “looks forward to participating in … Synergy gatherings as we move forward together.” As to technology … Synergy will work toward a robust website to support the network!
Does this sound amazing? We think it does! YOU … ezers … YOU … image bearers … YOU … Blessed Alliances … are the heartbeat of Synergy. As you learn and grow together and contribute through Synergy Summits, God’s image will be more accurately reflected throughout the earth.
Synergy will launch the first of its Summit events this fall. Space will be limited so, mark your calendars for September 19–21 or October 17–19 and let us know you are interested. More details to come!
A NEW DIRECTOR
Finally, with great excitement, the Synergy board announces that we have identified an Interim Executive Director to lead us through this next phase of Synergy. Gail Dudley comes highly recommended to launch this new initiative! She is an ordained pastor currently serving alongside her husband, Rev. Dr. Kevin Dudley, at The Church at North Pointe in Columbus, Ohio.
Gail is a published author, speaker and consultant and most recently served as the Vice President of Diversity for an international women's ministry. Gail draws on more than 20 years of training, consulting and nonprofit management. Her education in diversity and public administration will bring valuable insight and practical knowledge to this season of Synergy. She is also mother to a young adult ezer and a young adult man!I am very excited about the expertise, energy and passion that Gail brings to us! She provides a new level of insight and will be a great asset, not only to Synergy, but through Synergy to the communities and churches that are served by Synergy leaders. You will be hearing more from her in the days and weeks to come.
Grateful to be on this journey with you, Susie Lipps, Board Chair