WE build a legacy for future generations of Christian sisters to dream big and follow God’s call in their lives.
The WOW! Story
Made in God’s image, male and female were commissioned
with divine authority to take care of the world.
In 2011, our core group, four sisters and a brother, gathered to form a response to the inequities we had seen and experienced in the church, with gifted women being sidelined and the voices of women being silenced.
Through lament, prayer, and discernment, we discovered a call to birth a ministry that would affirm and equip women.
Full of hope, WOW! was launched in 2012.
WHO WE ARE
Scriptures refer to the word wonder as what is miraculous or would otherwise be impossible without God.
“Approaching one hundred years old, Sarah laughed when she was told that she would have a child. The angel responded, ‘Is anything too wonderful for God?’” (Gen 18.14 NRSV).
From that, we derived our name, Women of Wonder! We are a women-led community that walks alongside both women and men to uncover their God-given calling through prayer, teaching, and celebration. We believe in diversity, inclusivity, and creating safe spaces to worship and listen to God’s voice.
WHAT WE DO
WOW! first launched with a seven session core course examining how God has consistently raised up women to lead throughout the Bible. Built on this foundational truth, we provide avenues for sisters to continue their journey with God and explore their callings through spiritual care and companionship.
We cultivate spaces where silence is welcomed, and where we can listen to God together.
Since 2014, we have held guided silent retreats that include spiritual direction. Our spiritual companionship offerings have grown from a discernment ministry to include ongoing group and individual spiritual direction, seasonal cohorts centered on contemplative prayer practices, and semi-annual silent retreats open to women, as well as men, interested in deepening their faith.
We value diversity! Reflecting God’s commitment to see the Imago Dei (divine image) fully restored in us from the beginning (Genesis 1:26-27), we welcome all genders, denominations, and groups of various sizes. We are blessed that God continues to journey with us as He shapes how we journey with others.
Join us as we continue onwards—whether you are a big church, small bible study group, or an individual, let us know if you would like to attend one of our upcoming retreats or sit down for a one-on-one spiritual guidance or discernment session.
Statement of Faith
The Statement of Faith of Women of Wonder, Inc.
1. We believe God is Triune, the perfect example of community.
2. We believe the Word of God is divinely inspired and fully trustworthy.
3. We believe God created everyone in the divine image with equal dignity and value and gave us a variety of gifts to develop and use for the benefit of our home, church, and society.
4. We believe that our disobedience distorted the divine image in us and fractured our relationship with God, others, and the world.
5. We believe that Jesus Christ, fully divine and fully human, came to redeem and restore us through his death and resurrection, so that we could reflect God’s character and goodness and serve as God’s agents of reconciliation and renewal.
6. We believe that empowered by God’s Spirit and Truth we can live and teach God’s priorities of love and justice in this world.
7. We believe that our unity as brothers and sisters is a powerful witness to God’s reign.
Executive Director/Spiritual Director
After a long courtship with WOW!, Erika joined the team as Executive Director at the beginning of 2020. Having received the love and support of WOW! throughout the years that her husband, Jeff, was in seminary, she is dedicated to offering those same opportunities and attentive care to others in their journeys. She takes delight in witnessing people encounter God in new and meaningful ways through personalized and creative experiences. Her passion is in helping people know God more. God has allowed her to offer this gift in wide and varied contexts over the years. She counts it an honor to be a sacred companion to those who welcome her to mine the ‘treasures of darkness’ with them as a spiritual director. As an enneatype 9w1, Erika loves the freedom and support she finds in the collaborative leadership model of WOW! She can be won over with potato chips, Pochacco, or Grumpy Bear, and loves all aspects of the journey of discovery. Erika and Jeff grew up as childhood friends in church and enjoy sharing with others how God’s humor and grace orchestrated their journey to marriage and continue to help them navigate and celebrate both of their ministry callings. Erika has her B.A. in Economics and Asian Pacific American Studies from NYU, a Mentoring Supervisor Program certificate, and a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from the School of Sustainable Faith.
Community Care Director/Spiritual Director
Manni has been with WOW! from the beginning and currently wears the Community Care Director and Spiritual Director hats. She is committed to connecting women to one another and the resources that will enable them to spread their wings and soar. Her desire is to truly see no woman left behind. As enneatype 3w2, aside from ministry focus, Manni tends to her soul by helping out at her community garden weekly, catching up with friends every few weeks for drinks and food, and overall, enjoying a good Netflix binge during her free nights to balance her ever busy schedule. She and Luke (husband), are still growing parents as they walk alongside their young adult college kids.
Manni graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Barnard College and received her Certificate in Spiritual Direction from the School of Sustainable Faith. She is also certified in the JP Morgan Chase-sponsored Big Brother Big Sister Mentoring Supervision Program at the Fordham Graduate School of Social Service.
Pastoral Care and Discernment Ministry Director
May is a founder and the original chaplain of WOW! She provides pastoral care by coming alongside women to know their stories and help grow a deeper awareness of God’s presence and movement in their lives. She loves to help people discover fun ways of engaging with God, grow spiritually, and delight in God’s will for all people. May is also the pastor of Grace Alive Fellowship in Chinatown and is very interested in spirituality, emotions and mental health.
May left the field of social work to do ministry full time. She has an M.S.W. from Hunter and an M.A. from City Seminary of New York. She is married to Silas, and their daughter Samantha recently graduated from Montclair State University. They all are madly in love with their cats Brooklyn and Hiccup.
The newest addition to the WOW! team, Lisa took on the role of Communications Coordinator in October 2023. A second-generation Filipina-American born and raised in Queens, Lisa takes joy in partnering with and empowering women of all backgrounds on their spiritual journeys. A writer, theater artist, and social media enthusiast, Lisa’s heart desire is to craft stories that celebrate what’s come before, lend voice to what feels painful, and catalyze transformation on individual and systemic levels.
Lisa graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, CT with a B.A. in English: Creative Writing and Harvard Divinity School with a Master of Theological Studies. Since then, Lisa has worn many hats, including educator, chapter planter with campus ministry, church planter along with her husband Andy, and Children’s Ministry Director. She is also a former blogger at Grace In the Middle, a published poet, and actor on the Greater Boston stage under the name Elisabet Ober. Lisa lives in Rhode Island with Andy and their four spunky kiddos, and she is the only one in her household who roots for the Yankees.
Board of Directors
Founder – Grace May
Lisa is principal of LA Mathews Consulting where she engages with ministry and not for profit leaders, coaching them forward as they dream about creating lasting impact. She previously served as the USA City Movement Catalyst with Movement.org, an organization that works with Christian leaders as they lead towards spiritual and social flourishing in their cities. She most recently served as the Executive Director of Love In the Name of Christ SE Ottawa County in Hudsonville, Michigan. Lisa has served as the Groups Pastor of Ridge Point Community Church from 2008 – 2014. Before joining the ministry, Lisa worked in the corporate arena at Herman Miller and Jayco, Inc. where she worked in Market Information and e-business Management. She has a passion for leadership development, strategic planning, team building and seeing those around her empowered to utilize their God given gifts to their fullest potential. She has a BS in Organizational Development from Bethel University in Mishawaka, IN. She was widowed in 2017. She lives in Holland, MI with her daughter Emily and her husband Stephen DeYoung and their two sweet little boys, Beckett and Greyson.
Miluska E. Silencio
Miluska E. (Milly) Silencio is many things. As an educator, a spiritual advisor, a mentor, and a Dreamer – among so much else. Milly supports her community with a unique passion and vibrancy. Her current professional experience includes past service as the Executive Pastor with Reconcile Brooklyn church plant, and as the founder of Hoping Greatly, where she uplifts others through her story of resilience as an undocumented immigrant. She holds degrees from Nyack College and Hunter College, as well as being a licensed clergy with the Evangelical Covenant Church. Ms. Silencio has served church plants in youth ministry since 2005, has been active in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) campus ministry, and is co-founder as an IVCF alumni of The Mentor Movement. She worked in higher education administration at Hunter College, served as an enrollment manager, faculty, and youth seminary coordinator for City Seminary of New York (CSNY). As part of CSNY, she was a researcher with Dr. Maria Liu Wong & Dr. Geomon George on “Engaging the Present and Envisioning the Future: Leadership Development in an Urban Youth Seminary.” As a writer, she contributed her story Restaurando Esperanza in “Keeping the Faith: Reflections on Politics & Christianity in the Era of Trump & Beyond.” She is also an active contributor in My UndocuLife and part of the Board of Directors for Women of Wonder and currently working for Hispanic Theological Initiative as Communications Coordinator and is the Leadership & Spiritual Formation Pastor at Expansion Church.. In her free time, she can be found catching up on shows with her hubby, having piña colada cheers with friends and coaching over a delicious NYC meal discovery. More about her journey can be found at hopinggreatly.com.
Don has worked in finance in the private equity and hedge fund industry for 16 years. He actively serves his local church in various roles. He believes in and enjoys building church community and has a heart for discipleship. Don enjoys seeing people connect with God in a tangible way through the five senses. In his downtime, he enjoys exploring new places to eat, where great fellowship connections can occur, and he enjoys playing and watching all forms of sports.
Rachelle Verdier is a life-long educator and learner. Professionally, her experience includes teaching elementary students in after-school and summer camp, tutoring and advising underrepresented High School students in a college preparatory program, and over twenty years of teaching students and coaching teachers in NYC schools. In spiritual communities, Rachelle has had the privilege of serving as a guest speaker, contributing writer, panelist member, small group leader, women’s ministry director, and deacon. Currently, Rachelle leverages her expertise, intense curiosity, and Haitian-American heritage at New Visions for Public Schools, a laboratory of education innovation. In her role as an Associate Director of Curriculum & Instruction, she has the privilege of coaching educators, creating resources for students, and facilitating professional learning opportunities to positively impact student outcomes in NYC. In addition, Rachelle leads the New Visions BIPOC Educators’ network, a grant-funded initiative focused on creating a supportive and healing learning space tailored to the needs of educators of color. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Science and an M.A. in Secondary Science Education.
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48 Henry Street
New York, NY 10002
WOW! is a 501c3 Nonprofit organization, Tax ID 45-3705920