The prophetic Christian witness of three women was recognized during the Women of Faith Awards Breakfast held Sunday at the 221st General Assembly (2014) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
The honorees were Joanie Lukins of Danville, Kentucky, a volunteer for Living Waters for the World; Helen Morrison of Grosse Ile, Michigan, a leader in older adult ministry; and Joyce Shin of Chicago, associate pastor for congregational life at Fourth Presbyterian Church. The selections were made by a committee composed of representatives of groups related to the Racial Ethnic and Women’s Ministries/Presbyterian Women ministry area of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.
Lukins has been involved with Living Waters for the World, a ministry of the Synod of Living Waters, since 2001. Living Waters for the World works with communities in developing countries to provide clean and sustainable water sources. She teaches at the organization’s Clean Water U, a training program for volunteers who travel internationally to help install water systems. In addition, Lukins coordinates Living Waters for the World’s water systems in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. She is a ruling elder at The Presbyterian Church of Danville.
“It is my joy to share, my privilege to share in the ministry of Jesus Christ, who is living water for the soul,” Lukins told the breakfast audience at the event held at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.
Morrison has been an advocate for older adults for more than three decades. She is a founding member and current president of the Presbyterian Older Adult Ministry Network. The group partners with retired clergy and the Presbyterian Association of Homes and Services to the Aging to address the needs of older adults from a holistic perspective. She has served on the boards of Ohio Presbyterian Homes, Presbyterian Villages of Michigan and the Presbyterian Villages of Michigan Foundation. She is a ruling elder at Grosse Ile Presbyterian Church.
God wants faith to be “lived in the church, the community and the world,” Morrison said.
In her seven-year ministry at Fourth Presbyterian, Shin has worked to build interfaith relationships among different religious communities. She and a neighboring rabbi co-lead an Interfaith Homes dialogue series for interfaith families. She also co-authored a Muslim-Presbyterian Covenant between the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago and the Presbytery of Chicago. She is a member of the Presbytery of Chicago’s Ecumenical and Interreligious Work Group.
“At the heart of the interfaith work in which I’ve been involved have been relationships,” Shin said. Relationships, she added, allow “us to cross religious thresholds.”
The awards, first presented in 1986, are given biennially during the General Assembly at a breakfast sponsored by the Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries/Presbyterian Women ministry area.