Wow!!! What a weekend!
Our theme launch on Friday evening was kicked off by our trusted MOPS Australia Board Chair – Karen Dickson, dressed in a 1900’s bathing suit and cap. Karen challenged us and our take on PLUNGE. Karen said, “do you normally get into the water by dipping in a toe, then progressing up to our knees, and so on. Is this really how we should PLUNGE into relationships? Is it how God intended us to relationship with our family, friends or even Him? Or should we back up a little, take a run up and PLUNGE fully into the water – wholeheartedly, and not holding back?”
Amid bathing cap fashion parades, synchronised swimming routines, and family feud rounds, Donna Hill (MOPS National Field Staff Leader) fleshed out the three areas of the PLUNGE curriculum – Mum connection, Family Connection & Faith Connection. Each of the three curriculum sections was linked beautifully with a personal testimony.
Melissa Kelly of Howrah MOPS shared her journey and struggle through the diagnosis of her children with autism and then a hearing impairment and the difficulty of connecting with other mums during that time. Melissa highlighted the call God places on us to connect with others despite our circumstances. Marilyn Steers of Romaine MOPS shared of what it has meant to have strong family connections, and Melanie Duffy of Kingdom Seed MOPS shared her journey through MOPS of coming to know Christ.
Friday evening was wrapped up with a fabulous devotion by Michelle Duffy of Kingdom Seed MOPS based on the theme verse 1 Peter 4:8-11.
Saturday morning was punctuated by an invigorating worship courtesy of the wonderful Kingdom Seed MOPS worship team. MOPS Managing Director – Margaret Sanders encouraged us to step beyond the ‘blue line’, push aside the fear that we feel as we step into the unknown, acknowledge that that fear is not the truth and to PLUNGE head first into the relationships Christ has designed us for.
Two truly inspirational women brought fabulous leadership training workshops. Karen Dickson challenged, encouraged and inspired us to ‘Wear Shoes that Fit’. It’s no use us wearing shoes of the wrong size or fit because they will just be uncomfortable and trying to wear them all day is just going to be difficult and painful! Karen challenged us to ‘just knuckle down and get on with it’ instead of focusing on trying to live up to what someone else does/did in the same position. We were asked ‘What shoes do you want to wear? Are they really practical? What shoes do you wear in reality?’
Rose Wilson – former coordinator of Ulverstone MOPS, spoke on the Art of Delegation and Successfully Leading a Team. Rose took us on an exploration of some of the leaders of the Bible – Joseph, Moses and Joshua. Rose highlighted the leadership qualities of those leaders and what made them successful.
What an amazing inspiration these ladies were, not just for leadership within MOPS but for any area of our lives! With leadership training like that, how could we go wrong!
Saturday afternoon saw us separate into our position workshops and have a more focused time of discussing and brainstorming about the theme of PLUNGE – Love as if your life depended on it!
What a truly wonderful conference!
Tasmanian Conference Convenor