God is about to do a new thing…. SEE IT!

Saturday, May 2nd, marked the final 2009 Women’s Spring Conference. We combined some of the conferences this year to provide fellowship between different districts and to cut down on travel by commission members. Our hosts were Winder First (Northeast District), Warner Robins First (Southwest and West Central Districts), Peachtree (Northwest District), and Dublin First (Southeast and East Central Districts). The women of these churches were warm hosts doing all they could to welcome the commission and visiting churches. Some provided overnight housing for commission members, adding to the fellowship and helping to reduce travel expenses.

The theme, drawing upon Isaiah 43:18-21, was “God is about to do a new thing…. SEE IT!” We used a model from the International Disciples Women’s Ministries (IDWM) Cabinet Meeting in January on the “Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversations.” Around tables, we explored our gifts and how we are using them in women’s ministries as well as what we are called to do and be in the future. Bible study centered around the Isaiah scripture. Isaiah challenged Israel to use the framework of the past as a launching point for what God is doing -- to open itself to a fresh, new thing. Conversation at tables centered on these questions:

  1. WHO ARE YOU AS A DISCIPLES WOMAN? (Share a story with the women at your table that tells something about who you are as a Disciples Woman.)
  2. WHO ARE WE AS CWF TOGETHER? (Share what you think is the most important thing CWF/DW does in your church.)
  3. WHO CAN WE BECOME TOGETHER? (Considering all you have heard today, what is your dream for CWF/DW/women's ministry in Georgia?)

The CWF Commission will take the notes from each table and use them for short- and long-range planning. Participants were encouraged to continue the conversations in their women's groups.

Women were introduced to the 2009-2010 Disciples Women Service Project, “Break the Chains: Slavery in Modern Times.” We were challenged to become educated about human trafficking (the illegal trade of human beings for sexual exploitation or forced labor) and to seek concrete ways to make a difference in our communities. Human trafficking is a growing crime, second only to drugs and ahead of illegal arms activities; and Atlanta is a major player. Each church was asked to set a goal for volunteer hours and money raised; results will be recognized at the 2010 Quadrennial Assembly.

Conference participants received a copy of the new Disciples Women’s magazine, Just Women, an excellent new resource published by DisciplesWorld. Skits performed by recruits from the audience introduced the new resource as well as the upcoming 2010 Quadrennial Assembly to be held in Greensboro, NC, June 23-27, 2010. We collected vast amounts of school supplies for children served by ForeverFamily, the ministry begun (as AIM) by Disciple Sandra Barnhill. Cokesbury books were on sale as well as jewelry from the Klong Toey Community Center, located in a Bangkok slum, a service focus of Global Women Connecting (formerly World CWF). 35 churches were represented at this year’s conferences, with 190 participants. Women gave $1492.55 in offerings to support women’s ministries in the region and nearly $80.00 in Blessing Box offerings.

A special "thank you" to all who hosted, participated, or led the conferences.

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