WINGS (Women Inspiring the Next Generation Seriously)
It’s no secret women love to socialize. Pastor Marianne Allen of Christ for the Nations Church (CFNC) organized an outlet for them to do just that and in Texas style.
On Sept. 6, women young and old gathered in the Shalom Hall of Christ for the Nations Institute (CFNI). Because of the close affiliation between the church and the institute, nearly forty attendees ranged from students and faculty to church members and friends of Pastor Marinne’s. The gathering was very warm and informal. Everyone was greeted with a hug by a 6-foot tall long-haired beauty with a big smile, Brandy. She gave each woman a social questionnaire with multiple entries. Each question had to be answered by a different person encouraging the ladies to mix around and chat with many others.
“Tonight, I’d like for you to stand and introduce yourself if you’re able to,” said Pastor Marianne, politely allowing women to be comfortable if they had to sit during introductions. “I am able!” shouted Mary, an older African American, happy to be in the meeting.
The introductions made it obvious that women present differed in nationality, also. Angela,
for example, was a young Dominican. She graduated from CFNI and was a business major student at another college. Bonna, another young lady sitting next to Angela, was from Detroit, Mich. She came to Dallas a year ago to study at CFNI. When asked how she knew about WINGS, she said, “I saw a slide about it at school and I did not know what it was. So I came, and now I am meeting people.”
In addition to the get-acquainted mixer, Pastor Marianne demonstrated to the ladies how to make a quick desert to delight visitors in their homes.
After a short lesson on making Crushed Pineapple Cake, each woman had a chance to enjoy some. When asked how it tasted, a young African American Evangeline had one word, “Yam!”
Then, came an interior design lesson. Pastor Marianne showed the women how to give their dining room chairs “a whole new
fresh look” using cloth covers and an electric staple gun.
Next, Pastor Marianne shared the most important lesson of all—the importance of loving others. She said, “I was thinking about one of the skills all women need in order to have great character and great quality and that is the love of God.”
Pastor Marianne said that love is the best way to react in difficult situations. She told the story of ministering to a man who was dealing with a lot of anger. He came to her house one day looking for his wife whom he meant to kill. He approached Pastor Marianne with harsh insults, but she responded kindly and patiently. Later that day, the man committed suicide. “If I had not spoken to him in kind words, listened to him and had patience, I could have been killed myself,” said Pastor Marianne. “We all need to learn how to walk in love.”
To reinforce this message, Pastor Marianne opened the microphone for others to share their testimonies. Several women rushed to the front.
Carol, an older Caucasian lady, testified of a difficult neighbor who falsely accused her of using the radio at 4 a.m. While it was not true, Carol agreed to come to the neighbor’s room one morning to find out where the noise was coming from. It turned out that the lady was overwhelmed by school and her elderly mother’s illness. All she needed was someone to love her. A Hispanic lady, Martha, sang a song that God gave her about love.
After the meeting, Pastor Marianne shared how WINGS came about: “We had a church meeting one day, and Evangeline used the words Women Inspiring the Next Generation.” When they realized that it spelled WING, Pastor Marianne added “seriously!” “It had to have an ‘s’ and an attitude – ‘seriously!’” she said laughing. WINGS started in 2012 with four meetings held that year. This was their first gathering in 2013. With big smiles, big hugs and big love WINGS fellowship was really Texas style.