D on’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” (Romans 12:2, NLT, emphasis added).
My Reformed Church in America (RCA) journey began in 2009, when my husband accepted a call as senior pastor at a Reformed church on Staten Island. We immersed ourselves in our new faith community, culture, and Reformed doctrines. A few years later, what really captivated my heart, however, was the vision of the RCA: Transformed & Transforming, which envisioned an ongoing process of transformation—“reformed and always reforming.” This theological paradigm described faithfully walking in step with the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:13-26) and being led by God so as not to become conformed to worldly values or man’s traditions (Romans 8:2-17).
This process of being transformed and transforming is perpetual, as we never achieve spiritual perfection while living in these earthly bodies. We must continually work out our salvation with fear and trembling—a process called sanctification (Philippians 2:12-13). This is a personal commitment to “growing up” in my understanding and relationships with myself, God, and others. Self-awareness allows me to identify and surrender the things in my nature not pleasing God, nor reflecting his character. This is hard work, and an ongoing process of metamorphosis, so I can fulfill my primary calling to love God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love my neighbors as I grow in loving myself (Luke 10:27).
How do I continue to mature, becoming transformed by living into all God has called me to be? This transformation takes place in community, where together as Christ’s body, we can use our gifts to build up, edify, encourage, and share in our joys, sorrows, successes, and failures on the journey. As a pastor’s wife and leader, finding safe and trusting communities for mutual growth and accountability was difficult. RCA Women’s Transformation and Leadership became the place to engage in a learning community with other women seeking to grow in Christ-likeness and to live more fully into our calls.
Our transformation into Christ’s character puts God on display to a lost and hurting world. We glorify our Father in heaven, representing him well, being salt and light, being transformed, and transforming the world around us: growing in our faith and understanding and being the patient, kind, forgiving, loving family of God through serving, encouraging, and provoking one another to good works.
Marilyn Correa is a member of Brighton Heights Reformed Church, where her husband, Rev. Dr. Alfred Correa, is senior pastor. She leads the Women’s Fellowship Ministry at her church, serves on the RCA Women’s Transformation and Leadership guiding coalition, and is under care of the RCA’s Classis of New York in order to be ordained.