GC Annual Council: 2019 woman of the year award

GC Annual Council: 2019 woman of the year award

Photo: WM GC

Five women recognized for their service to the church.

October 15, 2019 | Silver Springs, USA. | WM, Denise Hochstrasser.

On October 14, 2019, Women's Ministries of the General Conference honored five women who have rendered outstanding service to women’s ministries as Women of the Year 2019 in a small ceremony at the world headquarters of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. The recipients are Andrea Luxton, President of Andrews University, Carla Baker, NAD WM Director, Helen Gulfan, SSD WM Director, Iris Kitching and Hannele Ottschofski from Germany. 

A laudation written by Denise Hochstrasser, former EUD Women's Ministries director, expresses our deep appreciation for Hanneles service:

Hannele Ottschofski, a woman from the second row, always worked in the background, as a volunteer, except for the short time when she was far more than my left hand, acting as my assistant and worked with me in organizing the first WM EUD congress in 2014. For that, she was remunerated as only women can be, with a far too small salary for a great task, Anybody else would feel degraded but not Hannele. She is a real servant, always ready to jump in where there is a need, whether it is for an advice, for information (she is always up to date), to jump in for a speaker, to encourage and support, to accompany at the piano or organize a choir (she is a great musician), she always tunes in where needed.

In her biography ‘Das Hemd meines Vaters’ (My Father’s Shirt) she describes herself as a helper, first at the side of her husband who was a pastor, for the churches he served in the mission field and later in Europe, on different levels of the church organization. For many additional years, she served Women’s Ministries in Germany, in the DACH setting (the four German speaking Unions) and EUD (Inter-European Division). Whatever she did, it was always a service for others, especially women, including her own four daughters. 

She is most interesting to listen to, whether preaching, speaking, teaching, discussing, in big gatherings or meetings in a small setting. Besides being the author/compiler for four devotional books, she has written articles, devotions, sermons and training seminars. She acted as teacher, speaker at seminars, preacher, translator, etc.

In her latest book ‘Mit am Tisch’ (At the Table) which just came out, she took up the difficult topic of the history and life of women in politics and especially in the church setting of the Adventist church. She is clear, but not demanding, she is not afraid to say what is needed, but she always remains polite. Her wish is clear: Women should be seated at the same table as men, interacting side by side, each with their own gifts but with the same value and respect and also with the same charge for responsibility.

There is a saying: ‘Recognizing strong women is easy. It is the ones who lift up instead of destroy each other.’ Hannele Ottschofski is a very strong woman, always supportive, always encouraging. Many a woman would not be what they are if it was not for her. 

Hannele, a strong woman from the second row, today gets a seat in the first row, as she is honoued as  one of the Women of the Year 2019 by GC Women’s Ministries. Congratulations Hannele, you deserve it!

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