When was the last time you walked into a room and had your breath taken away? For me, it was Friday 9th September 2016, when I stepped from the cold Glen Waverley night into the warmth of the MOPS Victorian Conference. Immediately I was greeted by the ever-inspiring Gabriel ‘Gub’ Norris, who dazzled in what can only be described as Statue-of-Liberty-meets-an-entire-constellation-of-stars.
I continued into the dining area and looked up at the ceiling in absolute wonder. An elaborate array of stars hung from every corner of the ceiling. We sat beneath the stars as members of the host church (Monash City Church of Christ) proceeded to serve us dinner. Following dinner, we were invited to play a game identifying landmarks of wonder from around the world. There was much laughter but through it all we were challenged to change our perspective.
We listened eagerly as the new theme was launched and then explored, and I felt particularly inspired by the words: “We don’t have to be perfect first; God will use us where we are”.
To complete the evening, we were given little glass jars and some paper to create little stars for a ‘Jar of Stars’. Some of us were better at making stars than others (I’m sorry, I ended up turning mine into a caterpillar!), but nevertheless, once the evening was at an end, I walked away feeling excited – thrilled by all the opportunities this new theme would bring.
Saturday morning began bright and early with coffee, served once again by the selfless volunteers from our host church. Then we moved into a time of praise and worship.
Our speakers took us through the significance of the three elements to our theme: Wonder, Hope, and Kindness – and I was moved by how perfectly all three knit together.
For lunch, our generous hosts filled us with both wonder and delicious homemade soup. Their love, generosity and humility were perfect examples of kindness for us all. In the afternoon we went off into our different Positional Elective workshops and enjoyed sharing with one another, discussing ideas and encouraging one another with prayer.
I walked away from the conference feeling refreshed, inspired and truly excited by the prospect of everything God is going to do next year.
Thanks to the wonderful team at Monash City Church of Christ for hosting this year’s conference. We truly are the Starry Eyed!