New president Sharon aims to inspire faith
By Sandie Shirley
2010: The new president of Norwich's Aglow International is set to empower women to meet their God-given calls in life.
Sharon Plummer (right) has taken the helm at the women's ministry and is helping to bring re-generation. It comes with a host of future ground-breaking initiatives in a bid to embrace women of all cultures and ages.
The Thetford-based YMCA Norfolk worker and Norwich Street Pastor, officially took up office in January after three months in an interim role. The single mother of two has been at the sharp end of the community for the last three years ministering to hurting, lonely youngsters on the pavements of Norwich but she also has a big heart for women.
Together with her two team members, Sharon helps host a monthly event with inspiring speakers to build faith and relationships.
Aglow International supports and encourages all women to faith. The organisation was birthed in the 1960s with a handful of praying women from Seattle, America. Today thousands of women are catching their vision across umpteen countries and every continent. Sharon is building on that heritage.
The meetings are tailored for today's women whether they are seventy something grandmothers, business women or those struggling with life's issues.
"Each month we have some women coming who are struggling with addictions and other life issues. They include some women from a Christian rehabilitation centre. God has been bringing them in and one day I believe they will become future speakers in the Aglow chapters, sharing messages of life-changing testimonies."
The new Aglow programme will include informal coffee mornings at the city's Starbucks to hear life-changing talks. A series of workshops for some of its members to showcase their resources as a life coach, counsellor and drama healing ministry for example are in the pipeline. There also are plans to launch Generation Aglow for 18-30s as an offshoot of the current organisation.
"I want women of all ages to be empowered for God, to be built-up and feel loved and cared for so they have the courage and encouragement to revisit the dreams and desires that God has laid on their hearts," says Sharon, who was lost and heartbroken after a divorce seven years ago.
"I felt as if life was passing me by; the faith I had as I was growing up seemed almost a distant memory. I found it hard to cry out to God since I felt I did not deserve to be listened to, I became unreachable and did not love myself so felt no-one else could."
Six years ago Sharon was drinking to numb the pain but felt even emptier until a trip to Australia turned her life around. During a meeting five years ago the pastor spoke about not letting the past effect the future and Sharon was reduced to tears.
“I heard Jesus say: 'let me carry all your cares and take care of you.' For the first time in years, I felt relief, peace and an overwhelming feeling of being loved. That night Jesus wiped the slate clear, he gave me hope. Since then I have been amazed at the doors God has opened for me."
The regular Aglow evenings will include a variety of inspirational speakers for 2010 including husband and wife musicians who met on the streets and married, missionary Pat Atkinson and Doreen Davies who has worked amongst the London outcasts and helped pioneer a mission in the Balkans.
Monthly meetings, with an optional meal, are held at 7pm on the fourth Tuesday at the Norwich Holiday Inn, Ipswich Road.