The Women in Leadership Project: I keep coming back

Moniqua

Moniqua Acosta has been a part of the Women in Leadership Project since 2012.  She previously served as an intern and advisory board member of the former Women’s Concerns desk at Mennonite Central Committee. Her educational background is social work with an emphasis on children and families. She is currently a member of the New Holland Spanish Mennonite Church Jesucristo es el Señor, and has attended the church for the last 29 years.

My engagement with the Women in Leadership Project has energized me, and so I keep coming back.

My journey with the Women in Leadership Project began at a point in my life when I didn’t feel I had much to offer to this important work. I never considered myself knowledgeable or particularly skilled in the area of power and gender dynamics. I think at times I felt that my contribution to the church was limited at best. But given my personality, to always give when asked (or better put, not be able to say no), I went into this venture of serving on the steering committee. And it has truly been a blessing to me, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

The WLP has shown me that at the very core of things, EVERY person has a voice and is a vital member of the church, we are pieces of a whole.

We don’t have to always agree (and we don’t) or be best friends, but we should always have mutual respect and love for our brothers and sisters.

While the work we do with the WLP is not easy or comfortable to process, it challenges me to dig deeper into myself and rely on the strength the Creator gives me through personal meditation, and to rely on my very capable sisters on the steering committee. I am stretched to seek out more information and to be vulnerable when challenged to think differently.

At times we disagree, but as we seek to understand one another we encounter creativity and make space for innovation to flourish.

We realize that together we are stronger and so is our work. The positive and life giving energy that flows from our time together is truly a blessing to me. This blessing reaches out and extends into my professional, church and family life. I depart from our meetings with a more hope for our work and our church.

Our work – naming and undoing the sexism within our denomination – is very near and dear to my heart, and it isWLPLogoSwirls important for many people across the church. I truly believe it should continue to be embedded into to mission and values of our denomination. I continue to come back and stay engaged with the WLP because of the connection and respect I have for our church, and the hope I have that my children will also feel connected and valued as members of this church family. I use the word family because that is how I view our denomination. We are a family that does not always agree, that at times needs space and separation, but we are also a family that refuses to give up hope that we will stay connected. I believe that Jesus is who keeps the connection from breaking.

I look forward to many more life-giving experiences with the WLP, and I hope that this ministry will be lifted up in prayer by the church, so that all can feel connected and energized through this work.