Rev. Sanders is looking forward to her next endeavor – The Also-And Disciples Project. This collective work will produce art and educational materials concentrating on the female disciples who were at the Last Supper right next to Jesus and “The Twelve.” The project will attempt to interpret the history and literature of the Bible in a way that is useful for women and men of the 21st century. Please follow the links for more information.
Rev. Paula Sanders is an ordained Presbyterian minister (Teaching Elder). In the ten years since ordination, Rev. Sanders has held three major positions. As founder and artistic director of the Lydia Women’s Empowerment Project, Rev. Sanders was privileged to work with women of urban North Minneapolis, many of whom were current or former addicts and/or sex trade workers.
At the Lydia Project, women learned to sew which served both as a means of building self-esteem and as a source of revenue. The women of the Lydia Project formed a life-affirming sisterhood and together produced liturgical textile art for many churches around the Twin Cities.
In 2010, Rev. Sanders was called as the Executive Coordinator of the 219th Presbyterian General Assembly held in Minneapolis. Following General Assembly, she spent two years as Executive Director of Park Ave Youth and Family Services (PAYFS). PAYFS provided a variety of services to the multicultural residents of South Minneapolis and Rev. Sanders introduced the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School. Freedom School is an award winning reading enrichment program for children on the wrong side of the achievement gap. Rev. Sanders enjoyed learning rudimentary Spanish during her time at Park Avenue.
In 2015, she received a Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. One of Rev. Sanders’ areas of expertise is teaching women of the 21st century to look to women of the Bible as examples of strength and resourcefulness. Rev. Sanders also enjoys being an itinerant preacher, often focusing on the Church’s response to racism and poverty in America.
As an artist, Rev. Sanders feels called to the ministry of crafting liturgical art as an act of devotion. Her intention is for all work from Lydia’s Hands to add to the spiritual experience of both the worship leader and the congregation. Some of her works can be seen in the Gallery. Recently, Rev. Sanders has begun to study women’s art used to protest oppression around the world.
Sought as a preacher and teacher, Rev. Sanders enjoys teaching on topics such as:
- White Privilege/Black Rage
- Urban Ministry: Let’s Get Started
- Women of the Old Testament: The Will to Survive
- Women of the New Testament: Seize the Moment
- Grantwriting for Churches
- Out-of-the-Box Fundraising for Churches
Who is Lydia?
Acts 16:11-15 We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. A certain woman named Lydia, a worshipper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.’ And she prevailed upon us.