SA Conference, 21-22 September 2018
CWA Hall, Tanunda
As Conference Coordinator I get a chance to view conference from an entirely different perspective.
It begins long before Friday night with an amazing state team who invest themselves in a program that is designed to reach every leader. I am part of conversations about balancing interacting with teaching, about entwining craft with conversation and about listening to God so they can speak to others. Others join the team to create an atmosphere of welcome, beauty and worship. Messenger is abuzz with ideas and decisions!
Preparations begin in earnest Friday morning. 20,000 steps according to my fitbit! Primping, praying, prepping and problem solving, for Conference is never without its “technical difficulties”. I witness a group of women work through the family crisis, the “oops we forgot the”… and the “how on earth will this fit?” with godly grace.
Then amongst my buzzing around I witness women arriving for our first overnight conference, smiling, commenting on the beautiful drive to the venue. Delighting in the smell of mulled apple drink. Reconnecting themselves with other team members. Relishing the abundance of food. I hear the laughter as they embellish and fringe their scarves. The volume raises as they complete the passion bingo.
As the State team shares the new theme I see heads nodding; eyes taking it in. I miss much of what they say but I see women enthralled, soaking it in. We see leaders and teams recognized for their service and hear Julie Prattis reminding us of where and how MOPS Australia began.
As we worship together the voices ring out into the public space beside us; heads bowed and hands raised in unity and praise. I get to hold a baby while mum is concentrating on the training session. The sweet little face reminds me of why we “DO MOPS”. Leaders are in earnest discussion about what the simplifying changes to MOPS means for their team.
I see furious notetaking as we view Godspace and tears flowing as we watch Skit Guys – Chisel. We are reminded of who we are and who we are loved by. All too soon the official parts are over but there is more to see. Women, working together to put it all away. Leftovers are shared by those enjoying a second night stay. Leaders are enjoying this time to refresh and relax.
The team gathers for a final debrief and I see a sense of joy and amazement that God would deign to use us. Evaluations are read and praise and criticism is taken in a spirit of humility. We see answered prayers, uttered over a year ago for connection and growth in our teams.
And at the risk of being self-indulgent I will take this opportunity to farewell SA MOPS and each of those who have been a part of my MOPS journey as this was my last Conference before moving to Queensland. I love how God has used MOPS to grow and shape me for His service and I love the amazing women of MOPS who are constantly building each other up.
(seen here with Blog Administrator Linda Alfredsson)