The NSW/ACT conference was held from Friday night August 19th to Saturday afternoon August 20th. It was held at NewDay Church in Figtree and the Wollongong ladies put on a fantastic event.
Upon arrival we were all greeted by the most amazing mocktails, that completely captured the colour scheme of next year’s theme and were issued our welcome bags that were full of wonderful goodies including starry earrings, a gorgeous ‘shine like the stars’ mug and other useful items. It was after our pre-dinner drinks that the doors were opened to reveal the most majestic, starry eyed decor we could have imagined.
The stage was lit with the bold letters of STARRY EYED written across it, the twinkle of fairy lights smothered the room, and the soft glow of candle lit mason jars adorned with glitter were our table centre pieces. There were amazing colour coordinated picture frames that bore all our names and table runners and glass stones that also captured the colour scheme. The effort to create a starry eyed masterpiece was not lost on anyone.
As we were seated we were all welcomed by the conference convenor Melanie Oxman and introduced to this year’s conference hashtag #nswactmopsconf16, which is where you will find lots of inspiring photographs from the weekend. The bible verse for next year was also introduced, Jeremiah 33: 2-3, and a lovely roast dinner followed.
Then it was time for an ice breaker which Karinne from Camden pulled off wonderfully as always. If you have never played Rapidough, you are truly missing out.
Karen Davies then spoke to us about the Wonder element of our theme for 2017 and how as minute beings in a very large universe we can wonder at God’s love and knowledge of us.
The Hope element was then presented to us by Linda Perkins from the ACT. Several participants shared through their posters a moment in their lives where they found hope, and Linda stressed that as Mums who know Jesus, next year we have an opportunity to introduce to our mums the hope they too can find in Jesus.
Kindness was the next element we looked into and Melanie Oxman was the presenter. We were encouraged to show kindness daily and to recognise kindness.
Next we were all blessed to hear from Naomi Stacey from Kellyville as she shared her testimony of her journey with MOPS and how MOPS has made it possible for her to nurture others. Naomi said she has grown as a woman and has now followed God’s leading to become the Kellyville Coordinator.
We ended the first night of conference with Coffee and Dessert and a creative activity for those who wished to participate. Belle from Camden was wonderful in showing us how to make our beaded hairclips.
Saturday morning we began conference with some amazing worship and prayer, and we then heard from Amee Presland, the Terrigal MOPS coordinator, who shared her testimony and how she feels it takes a village to raise a mother.
Karen delved into more detail for us, how as starry eyed people, we should be searching to see wonder and searching for the one who created it. Karen covered the elements of wonder, hope and kindness in more detail and how we should all talk the language of hope and light into our mums, and that significant acts of kindness can send ripples out in to the world.
Next we heard from our guest speaker, Navi Lakelin, who shared that God always has a plan for us and that our lives are full of hope. Hope keeps us rejoicing even in the storm and it ignites faith. She shared that we should also always remember that whatever is tried by fire never blows away in the wind. When we have hope in our lives we can encourage others to live in peace, love and faith.
After listening to all the amazing speakers at this conference we were then able to go off into our leadership training workshops and then our positional electives and truly inspire, encourage and motivate each other with our plans for the future of our MOPS groups.
Conference was wrapped up for the year with some amazing galaxy inspired cupcakes and a good-bye address and thank yous by Melanie Oxman.
Thank you once again Wollongong for having us and great job Melanie as convenor.
More photos follow.