Upon arriving at the conference on Friday night, the excitement was building to find what was waiting for us. It was dark and the room was filled with fairy lights, stars, sparkles and glitter, ladies in ball gowns, tutus and tiaras.
The venue was abuzz with the many women from around the state coming together and connecting for a shared passion.
The sparkly night was run by our lovely MCs Cherie Macchiusi and Jodi Koepke, welcoming everyone from around the state, including some newly formed MOPS groups. There were many chocolates given, awards and special mentions made to recognise the dedication and contribution made to our wonderful organisation.
We farewelled Cherie Macchiusi from her role as WA State Coordinator, and welcomed Jodi Koepke in her place.
The new theme for next year was introduced with the help of the Regional Coordinators. We had some very brave women share their cardboard testimonies demonstrating Hope in their lives – no easy task being so open and vulnerable but all praise to God for his love and grace in their struggles.
Saturday saw even more leaders attending and we all shared in a time of worship to start the day.
Our current Managing Director of MOPS Australia, Lexia Smallwood, introduced the new theme for 2017 – “We are the Starry Eyed” – and we were lead down the starry path to discover Wonder, Hope and Kindness. The wonder of God is revealed in Creation, Hope is found in the saving work of Jesus Christ, and Kindness is the ‘coin’ of the Christian life. We will never regret the impact of being kind to someone.
We were then privileged to have more guest speakers impart their knowledge and wisdom to us. Rochelle Masters spoke on self-care and how we need to have margins, mindfulness and manage stress as mums and leaders. Louise Pekan empowered us with knowledge on succession planning – who and how do we build up future leaders. We learnt valuable leadership skills to put into practice within our own groups, doing so with authenticity and always allowing someone to take up the opportunity to learn more.
MOPPETS Carers had their own session learning from Rachael Dobra about resources for kids’ ministry.
With our bellies running on empty, it was time to break for lunch – and what a lunch we all had. Thanks to the hard work of Cherie’s knight in shining armour, hubby Carlo, and side-kick, Beth Smyth, we were well looked after.
The afternoon session was about connecting with other positional leaders and sharing our skills and experiences. It is always amazing to see that many groups run on leaders taking up multiple roles and how much each one is clearly passionate about it. One thing that stood out was how much effort we put in to give ours mums our best.
As the day finished and the stars and glitter were still shining brightly, it was lovely to see we all left refreshed and with a sparkle in our bellies of the prospects of what next year holds for all our groups. Prayers are still plenty for more MOPPETS carers and to put God first in all we do, so that we can be a light for our mums.
Thanks to Jess and all the team for a brilliant conference.
Northam: Bridgeley MOPS