Carmel Christian Church to celebrate contributions of women


By Mark Ambrogi

Carmel Christian Church is doing its part to celebrate the contributions of women.

The church, 463 E. Main St., will present “Hidden Figures: Women of Wisdom and the Word” March 25. This is the second year the church has held a women’s retreat.


The group will celebrate Rev. Sue Cardwell, who is 99 years old and lives at Robin Run Village Senior Living Community in Indianapolis.

“She is an example and someone we want to highlight who has moved from being hidden as a woman 100 years ago,” said Rev. Diane Zehr, pastor of Carmel Christian Church. “She has been a missionary in the Congo for several years. She began at Christian Theological Seminary as a secretary in the counseling department. By the time she retired she was the director of it, having received her Ph.D (in educational psychology from Indiana University). Throughout her life, she has broken the barriers of hiddenness of women.”

Cardwell was the first woman vice president and then president (1984-88) of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.

The program will begin with a light breakfast and registration at 8:30 a.m. and will continue through lunch and end at 3 p.m. At lunch time, there will be a birthday cake for Cardwell, who also will speak to the group.

Zehr said Rev. Mary Rudy, a Carmel Christian Church member, will be the main speaker.

“She will speak about two women in the Bible, Eve from the story of Eve and Adam, and Mary Magdalene, as women who have had significant roles and have been seen in a mostly negative light,” Zehr said. “We’re moving from hiddenness to claiming our place and role in God’s world. The theme is women are powerful. Women have talents to share with the world. Sometimes the world recognizes it and sometimes it doesn’t. But we need to recognize it.”

Other speakers in the program include Zehr and her husband and Carmel Christian Church fellow pastor, Rev. Jerry Zehr.

The cost is $10 and checks are payable to Carmel Christian Church with retreat in the memo. Seating is limited. Call 317-846-5033 or to register.


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