News Release

Church expands leadership roles for women in Europe

A new position added to the organisational structure of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Europe calls upon women to mentor congregational officers and participate in leadership councils. Ann-Mari Lindberg, Sibylle Fingerle, Letícia dos Santos Rudloff, Ghislaine Simonet, Julia Wondra, and Traci De Marco are the first to be called as International Area Organisation Advisers in the Europe Area.

“I sense a deep feeling of urgency, great timing and humility in this new calling and can’t wait to see how the Lord will use me, in helping organizations, families and people in the church,” said Ann-Mari Lindberg from Dyssegård in Denmark.

Area organisation advisers will give instruction to Church leaders and provide women’s perspectives at all levels of councils. They will also represent the Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society organisations in their service.

“In my calling, I can feel how much the Lord loves us sisters because he takes us seriously and together, we carry forward the feminine side of the work of salvation,” Sibylle Fingerle from Usingen in Germany said. “I also feel a mandate that we as sisters must use and increase our talents because the Lord needs us.”

“Women are the guardians of the family institution, the backbone of society and also of the Church; so, it's a privilege to be part of this outstanding change which will undoubtedly further the Lord's work in these latter days”, said Letícia dos Santos Rudloff from Mostoles in Spain. “We all, men and women, old and young, regardless of our race and cultural background, are invited to follow Christ and labor together in the Lord's vineyard.”

Ghislaine Simonet from Arnes in France added: "I am enthusiastic to serve and help strengthen the organisations and families in French-speaking Europe and Italy in this new calling."

The administration of the Church is facilitated by local congregations called wards and branches, regional congregational groupings titled stakes and districts, larger geographic areas, and worldwide governing bodies at headquarters in Salt Lake City in the U.S. State of Utah. The position of area organisation adviser expands leadership roles for women in the area and builds upon the practice of women and men serving alongside each other in unity on councils and committees on the other levels.

“I am delighted with all my heart to be able to serve our Lord Jesus Christ together with the sisters of Europe”, Julia Wondra from Vienna in Austria expressed. “I hope we can help the sisters feel the love of the Lord and recognise how He takes their hand during times of challenge or trial,” said Traci De Marco from Olney in the United Kingdom. “We are so blessed to be involved in this great work at this time and I pray the Lord will inspire, comfort and strengthen us as we carry out his work.”

The First Presidency, consisting of the president of the Church and his two counselors, approved the creation of the new position for areas outside the United States and Canada. Area Presidencies may decide to call women to this position of area organisation adviser at their discretion.

The Europe Area encompasses over 40 countries. It stretches as far north as the Nordic countries and as far south as Spain and Cape Verde.

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