SOUTHERN WOMEN'S CONVENTION
SATURDAY 2nd OCTOBER 2021
In a day of teaching, fellowship, worship and seminars we'll be considering how we can be bold in living for Jesus as we look forward to our new normal post Covid-19. Our main speaker Karen Soole will spotlight the challenge of two very different women from 1 Samuel.
Time: 9.30am – 3.15pm (Doors open at 8.45am)
Cost: £10 for adults, £5 for 14 - 24 year olds, £5 for online access via Zoom.
We will put the following measures in place to enable you to access the conference safely.
1. We will still have hand sanitiser at the doors for you to use.
2. We encourage the wearing of masks. This is not essential but wearing them as you arrive and leave and when we sing will give others confidence.
3. We will keep the buildings ventilated with windows open.
4. We are operating a green and red row policy. If the end of the row has a red card on it please don't sit in that row. However you can sit in any green row. That means that everyone will have an empty row of chairs in front and behind. we can have more than one household sitting in the same row but we suggest that you leave one or two seats between each group on a row.
Online access will include all talks and the following two seminars: Courage to Love by Marilyn Hitchcock and Leading from the Inside Out by Christine Perkin.
Price includes refreshments and pastries.
There will be opportunities to buy books from The Good Book Company bookshop on the day.
Choose two from the following seminars.
The seminar 'Free to be me in a gender fluid world' will take place at 1.15pm and is open to everyone.
Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament - Karen Soole
Hope in the midst of infertility and miscarriage - Lizzie Lowrie
OK Google - what next - Rachel Dowdy
Leading from the inside out - Christine Perkin
Courage to love - Marilyn Hitchcock
To live is Christ, to die is gain - a story of boldness in mission - Rachel Lane
Pleading with God - Jenny Brown
Teenage/Young Adult Track
Life turned upside down in Covid-19 - Hannah Cowley (11.15am)
Free to be me in a gender-fluid world - Sarah Thrift. (1.15pm)
To guard everyone"s privacy no labels indicating seminar choices will be given out at the convention on the actual day. However an email will be sent out to everyone a few days before with last minute details and a reminder of the seminar options chosen.
To book click here
To see the timeline for the day click here.
For a map of our location please click here
OUR SPEAKERS FOR THE DAY
Karen overseas Women’s Ministry at Trinity Church, Lancaster. She is the chair of the Northern Women’s Convention and Women’s Ministry Director for Anglican Mission in England. She wrote, ’Unleash the Word’ a book on how to do small group bible studies. Her passion is to get people reading the bible. She enjoys the great Northern outdoors in the company of her energetic Labrador and the quiet of indoors watching films and reading. Karen is married to Martin who leads the AMiE church in Lancaster and they have four adult children.
Some of us are naturally courageous and assertive while others of us battle with insecurities and hate to take risks. Covid-19 has made many of us more risk averse than ever! Whatever our temperament we are called to follow Jesus and stand firm in the gospel whatever our circumstances. How can we be bold for Him? We will spend time looking at the lives of two very different women in the book of 1 Samuel and what they learnt about trusting God in the middle of extraordinary challenging situations.
Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament - Karen Soole
Jesus said the Old Testament was about him but when we read it that can seem hard to believe! Large parts of the Old Testament seem foggy to us. How can we discover Jesus in its pages? And why does it matter that we do?
Hope in the Midst of Infertility and Miscarriage - Lizzie Lowrie
Lizzie Lowrie is an author, speaker, lay pioneer and coffee lover from Liverpool. She blogs on www.saltwaterandhoney.org , writes and speaks at events and in the media about infertility, miscarriage, childlessness and faith including her first book Salt Water and Honey; a memoir about lost dreams, good grief and a better story. Lizzie has worked collaboratively with Liverpool Diocese to create the Mother’s Day Runaways service which is now held across the UK on the weekend of Mothering Sunday. She is responsible for prayer and mission at StoryHouse; a charity, coffee shop and church that she started with her husband Dave and works part-time for Fresh Expressions as their comms representative.
Hope in the Midst of Infertility and Miscarriage
How finding the courage to lament the life you longed for can lead you into a better story. A seminar for those who struggle with infertility, miscarriage, childlessness and faith and those who want to help them. For those who are childless and whose treatment has been put on hold because of Covid-19 this year has felt even more costly and painful. We will explore the role of the childless in God’s story, the importance of lament when life doesn’t look like we hoped it would and the fullness of life Jesus offers to all those who follow him.
OK Google, What Next? - Rachel Dowdy
Rachel is married to Simon and they have three children, two of whom are at university. She lives in Dulwich in SE London where she serves at Grace Church Dulwich and has endured running through each lockdown. She also enjoys reading, rural walks and body boarding (boldly!!). During the third lockdown she joined the NHS volunteer responders and delivered prescriptions and shopping mainly to council estates in SE London.
OK Google, What Next?:
Is God interested in what we do today, what job we apply for, where we move to, which friends we hang out with, whether or not we marry , where we retire to? What happens if our plans have been put on hold because of Covid-19? What about if we lost our job and are having to find a new direction? How do we know what God’s will is? Come to find out what the Bible says and what it does not say!
'To Boldly Go' - Leading from the Inside Out - Christine Perkin
Christine has been involved in church leadership alongside her husband for over forty years. For thirty of those years, they led one of the first church plants from Holy Trinity Brompton to St Mark’s, Battersea Rise where she was involved in teaching regularly, training young leaders, organising Night Pastor teams and leading Family Life courses. They have three married children and five wonderful grandchildren who are a complete distraction and delight. She loves walking, swimming in the sea, and drinking good coffee. In this last year they moved from central London to a little village in Surrey where they have taken up a house for duty post. A massive change, in the middle of a massive year for all of us, but they are embracing the change and looking to what God has in store for them in this new season.
‘To Boldly Go – Leading from the Inside Out’:
Leading in – you will never have a more difficult person to lead than yourself! This past year will have challenged us all on our ability to dig deep and find that God-given strength to push through in the toughest of times. Come along and pick up some life-giving, God-given skills to keep us emotionally healthy and spiritually fit. Let’s take the journey inwards so that we can develop a deeper self-awareness and a more integrated character. Let’s learn together how to establish patterns in our daily lives that sustain us rather than deplete us. Let’s learn from the past, make changes in the present and prepare for the future so that we are ready to serve God whatever season of life we are in.
Courage to Love - Marilyn Hitchcock
Marilyn lives in Crowborough with her husband John. Despite five miscarriages they have been blessed with four children of different ages and stages, the youngest seven years and eldest now nursing. Marilyn left home age 15 and despite wanting to be an odd mixture of a vet or wedding planner fell into nursing! She specialised in ITU followed by A/E then later as an Emergency Nurse Practitioner and qualifying as a Major Trauma Instructor. Due to an eventual diagnosis of incurable Lupus and some associated syndromes, Marilyn gave up her frontline work, became a Nurse Advisor and now does private care. Having a curiosity for all things living and moving she now nurtures back to life any needy specimen of plant, animal or bird, meaning that at times she has rather an odd menagerie. Her latest companion is a Blue fronted amazon Parrot! However as much as Marilyn loves nature, she loves even more its Creator and those made in His image.
Courage to Love:
Marilyn’s passion is for all to increasingly abide in the Lord and follow him in boldly loving others. Together, we will look at loving freely our family, church and community. We will explore how to step into a solid and wonderful relationship with Jesus, how to step up to our God given call and how to step out in faith and courage, dependant on the author and finisher of our faith. For some, this year has been a particularly difficult and challenging one as we may have felt isolated from family, church and community. More than ever, we need the love of Jesus and the love of each other. This seminar will explore what hinders us from being bold in love and encourage us to step in, step up and step out! (NOTE: Despite what it may sound like this is NOT a ‘step class’ Marilyn assures us that no leotards or leggings are required!)
To Live is Christ, to Die is Gain - Rachel Lane
Rachel lives in Hastings with her vicar husband Martin, four children and a very spoilt dog. She has recently returned to part time teaching after many years out of paid employment, which during the early months of 2021 meant juggling the challenges of ‘home schooling’ with remote teaching classes of teenagers – yikes! It has certainly been an opportunity to learn to depend on God even more for strength on a daily (or hourly) basis. Rachel has struggled with depression and anxiety dating back to her teenage years and has recently had the opportunity to share some of her experiences in her book ‘Why do I feel like this?’, published by Christian Focus. Written particularly for teenagers, it aims to point those who are struggling with their mental health to God, as the best source of help and hope there is.
To Live is Christ, to Die is Gain:
The writer of the book of Hebrews, in the New Testament, reminds us that as Christians we are surrounded by ‘a great cloud of witnesses’ - believers whose example can spur us on and encourage us in our own walk with God. We find many such men and women within the pages of Scripture, but we can also be greatly inspired by learning of the lives of other courageous Christians throughout the centuries. John and Betty Stam were missionaries to China in the 1930s who gave their lives in the service of Christ. We will be looking at what shaped the faith of two young people who showed exceptional devotion and joy in life, and great courage in the face of death. We may not be called upon to die for our faith as John and Betty did, but we will think about how their example can inspire us to meet the challenges we do face with boldness.
Pleading with God - Jenny Brown
Jenny Brown is the national co-ordinator of Reach, the graduate ministry training programme of Friends International. She has served in ‘full-time’ Christian ministry for 24 years: amongst university students in UK, Uganda and Russia, then as a Senior Associate Minister at All Souls Church, Langham Place. Prior to her current role, Jenny was full-time career for her Mum, who lived with dementia.
Pleading with God:
We can only be bold if we are rooted and fresh in our relationship with the Lord. Prayer was one of the most googled topics during the pandemic. Yet for many of us, the reality is that prayer is often a struggle and encountering God through it seems elusive. Let us talk about it. Come to share and receive, be refreshed and encouraged. Perhaps trying something different will be the first bold step.
Life Turned Upside Down in Covid-19 - Hannah Cowley
Hannah grew up in Crowborough and studied to be a Physio at Oxford Brookes University (the other one!). She hung around in Oxford an extra year as a UCCF Relay worker, before finding her way back to sunny Sussex a couple of years ago. She loves any kind of sport, especially football, and much to her family’s delight, took up drumming as a lockdown hobby.
Like many, Hannah found last year to be a tough one. For her, it was a bizarre mix of working on busy covid wards and being stuck at home with long covid herself. In all of this, God has remained as solid as a rock, and has been using this time to teach Hannah countless things she didn’t realise she needed to know!
Life Turned Upside Down in Covid-19 - What if I’ve missed out?
It’s probably fair to say that the last year or so has not exactly gone to plan. As we look back on our diaries each of us have stuff that was planned but never happened. Whether for you it was meeting up with friends or seeing your Grandparents, sitting those exams or being a fresher, getting that job or going on that youth holiday; we have missed things. Perhaps you even feel that the past year was sort of a waste! What do we do with that niggling feeling that we have missed out? And what does living life to the full really look like? Join us as we chat through these issues in the light of God's word and think about what it might mean to take refuge in a God that is beyond our wildest plans.
Free to be Me in a Gender Fluid World - Sarah Thrift
Sarah lives in Crowborough with her husband Adam, their scruffy dog Breckenridge and five chickens... though they live in the garden! She has been working in children's and youth ministry for 12 years and trained at Oak Hill Bible College. She currently works at All Saints Church as Minister for Children and Accessibility, focusing on sharing the Good News with those who have various disabilities.
Free to be Me?
Why does God care what gender I am? Can't I just choose? What's so good about being a girl anyway? These are really important questions as we think about the transgender debate in light of being a woman in 21st Century Britain. Can we ever be 'free to be me' and what does that even mean?