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  The Rev. Betty McLagan on her 100th birthday.
By Shirley Miller and Jean Davidson, Women’s Missionary Society
In 2002, a book titled Certain Women Amazed Us, written by Lois Klempa and Rosemary Doran, was published, highlight- ing stories of women in the Wom- en’s Missionary Society from 1864 to 2002. In 2022, there are
still more women who amaze us! One such woman is the Rev. Betty McLagan of Langley, B.C., who celebrated her 100th birthday on Feb. 28, 2022.
Betty was not ordained until her mid-life. She raised four children and became a widow, having cared for an ailing husband for several years. Betty was a trail- blazer for women clergy when she was ordained as a teacher elder after years of working and volunteering in many capacities within The Presbyterian Church in Canada. When Betty was ordained almost 40 years ago, the path for female clergy was not easy: there was still a rearguard of opposition to women being ordained and the climate was not fully embracing of the contributions women could make in ordained ministry. Betty
and her contemporaries forged on to help ease the path for female clergy today.
Although she was a Montrealer, almost all her ministry has been in British Columbia—Armstrong, Prince George, Kerrisdale and Bradner.
Betty is still in good health and has adapted as much as possible to safely interacting with people during the pandemic. Shortly before her 100th birthday, Betty moved from her home into an apartment that provides meals for residents.
The story goes that, when Betty was over 80 years old she was a participant in a Presbyte- rian Church study tour to Central America. The group went to a re- mote village that could only be ac- cessed by walking up a very long,
steep hill. Members of the group were concerned about Betty get- ting up; however, Betty climbed to the top while some participants several decades younger than her were still huffing and puffing up the slope.
Then there was the time when Betty was driving to deliver her baked ham to the Christmas luncheon of Westminster WMS Presbyterial. She had a car acci- dent on the freeway and her car rolled over into the ditch. Betty would not allow the ambulance to take her to the hospital until the attending police officer promised to deliver the ham to the gather- ing. (He did, and he received a plate of lunch for his efforts!) For- tunately, Betty made a slow but steady recovery from the poten- tially devastating neck fractures.
To acknowledge her 100th birth- day, and as a sign of respect for the contributions Betty has made as she blazed a trail for female clergy, not to mention her work with the WMS, serving on Council Executive, Betty was flooded with flowers and good wishes by email, cards and phone calls.
Thank you, Betty. And Happy Bir thday!
Update from
the WMS Council
A Review of
Ghosts of the Shephelah
Women Continue to Amaze Us
       Cathy Reid, WMS Council president.
By Janet Brewer,
WMS Council past president
The biennial meeting of the Wom- en’s Missionary Society Council met on May 4, 2022. Delegates and guests from across the coun- try met online and were thrilled to learn that the PCC Prayer Partner- ship for that day asked that the whole church pray for this event.
Our guests included the Rev. Dr. Daniel Scott (Moderator of the 146th General Assembly), Rob Griffiths (President of the Atlan- tic Mission Society), the Rev. Ian Ross-McDonald (General Secre- tary of the Life and Mission Agen- cy and an ex-officio member of the WMS) and the Rev. Dr. Bridget Ben-Naimah of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana (President of the African women’s organization, TUMEKUTANA).
We opened our meeting with
worship based on Matthew 28:16–20 with the Rev. Scott preaching on the theme “Com- missioned.”
The business matters con- sisted of reports and various questions that we examined to- gether. Generally, donations to the WMS were down, which was an- ticipated, and adjustments were made. Our costs had also gone down over the past two years as the pandemic forced us to meet virtually with no travel. The virtual platform, however, also meant that the Council Executive was able to come together more frequently. And, through online meetings, we were able to gather people from all parts of Canada and around the world to join in on our monthly Come Together events. These have been very successful.
The membership of the Council Executive will remain the same until 2024 when Council will meet for its next biennial meeting. At that time, the situation will again be reassessed, and adjustments will be made, as necessary. In 2024, we will be celebrating our 110th anniversary. As well, with prayer and discernment, we will be looking at the possibility of an in-person women’s gathering.
Stay tuned for more informa- tion coming soon!
Ghosts of the Shephelah, Book 2: Miryam Meira Magdalene Written by James K. Stewart Wipf and Stock, 2022
Miryam Meira Magdalene is the second in a multi-part series en- titled Ghosts of the Shephelah. Miryam will take you inside the life story of Jesus, from a wom- an’s perspective. Miryam speaks from her heart as she reflects upon a tragic early life, tells of her salvation and helps you real- ize how much God loves creation. Miryam’s faithful witness will both shock and surprise.
Ghosts of the Shephelah is a novella series designed for stu- dents and a general readership. Life stories are told in the first person by the ghosts of the bibli- cal characters who witnessed the events. Storytellers include Abra- ham, Miryam Meira Magdalene, Saul, Rebekah, Dinah, Eve, Luke
and David.
Ghosts of the Shephelah was
initially created to expose the bib- lical story to the unchurched in a non-threatening, relaxed storytell- ing manner, but it has developed into more. Seminary students and Bible study groups will love the depth of cultural informa- tion. A general readership will be captivated by the first-person biographical unbiased life stories. Scholars will be challenged with new insights and historical data.
The Rev. James K. Stewart is a retired Presbyterian minister who has always believed that the Old Testament has helped him to understand the vital necessity of Christ Jesus. His many life experi- ences have given him an in-depth appreciation that people—all people, regardless of race, creed or colour—suffer and enjoy the same human experiences. He has written several books, includ-
ing Tenacity & Spirit: The Story of Rebekah (co-written with Terry Overton), and four books in the Ghosts of the Shephelah series.
These books are available for purchase through WipfandStock. com, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and other booksellers.

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