Finding Our Fire on a Snowy Weekend in Tassie

Tasmanian MOPS Conference 24 – 25 August 2018
Location: Camp Banksia, Port Sorell, North West Coast, Tasmania…

The scene is set with preparations complete; pre-dinner drinks and nibbles are out, photo booth in place awaiting its ‘victims’, welcomers at the ready and the predominately red décor is exuding a red glow throughout the building as the guests arrive. #tasmopsconf18 is underway… Let the fun begin!!!

The lovely Beth started proceedings with ‘Red Hot Bingo’ icebreaker giving an opportunity for everyone to mingle as we answer the ‘Bingo’ questions with participants looking very fine in their red attire. Then someone calls “BINGO!!” … The ‘Red Hot’ dinner theme saw everyone donning a little something in a shade of red, with the hue of the lighting enhancing a reddish blush of colour that’s oh so becoming!?…

Entertained by fire… The “Find Your Fire” theme was taken to a new level in the form of a captivating acrobatic fire display presented by Aaron and Esther Shurley, what a treat!!

We were welcomed by Conference Manager, Megan Burton, with the theme “Find You Fire” officially introduced by State Leader, Ruth Overton. “Never let the fire in your heart go out, be transformed by the fire of God.”

Live Expectantly; Surrender Daringly; Breathe Freely

MOPS Australia Board Chair, Karen Dickson was on hand to present the 2018 Hands of MOPS Award to a very shocked and surprised Megan Burton; a very well-deserving recipient Megan has served in numerous roles in MOPS at local, state and national level… Congratulations Megan!!

Dinner was served by the delightful youth team from Life Christian Church. After we had tucked into our meal, Rose Wilson shared on “Living Expectantly” and spoke on how she has been able to apply this in her life. “There are always unexpected things that happen, how we respond to our circumstances is a choice. Make the choice to live expectantly on a daily basis, and courageously move through every event, expecting God.”

Emma Anderson shared her thoughts on “Surrendering Daringly” … She encouraged us to let go of expectations, and to ask ourselves, “What am I holding onto that I can easily give up. I have a choice of the things I let into my head.” We all had a wooden disk, which may have been mistaken for a drinks coaster, but was instead a slate for us to write down something that might be holding us back that we’d like to surrender. We later ‘surrendered’ it onto a fire to be burned. “Be aware, know where you are and rest in that.”

Ruth Overton finished this trio of sub-theme introductions with an overview of “Breathing Freely” … “We are enough in the mind of God. Mums will be attracted to the fire in our lives. The closer we can be to Jesus, the closer we will draw others to Him. The challenge for us is to nurture our fire, a fire that is red hot. Our security is in God, our rest is in Him.” Ruth asked us to reflect on “What can I do to find my fire, to fuel it and to keep it going?”

Lauren Oakley from Devonport Church of Christ shared that when she first attended MOPS she felt accepted and welcomed. The friendships she made stood with her as she went through a difficult time and God led her to become a Christian. Lauren is now a MOPS coordinator and loves that she has the opportunity to share God in her community.

The evening concluded after an amazing dessert selection by ‘Dessert by Antidote’, a hot chocolate bar, creative activities and just a bit of frivolity.

The beautiful Saturday morning, which presented itself with clear blue skies and a calm sea, did nothing to indicate the icy chill in the air and the definite sense that snow had fallen on the highlands.

The jam-packed program began with a beautiful time of worship led by Emma and Megan. We heard from Sarah Watts of Legana Christian Church speaking about wanting to let other mums know they are normal and wanting to help them on a practical level. Being responsible as a spiritual leader led her to really step up her walk with God and she has learnt not to be anxious but to hand things over to Him.

Karen Dickson gave the keynote address on finding our fire and encouraged us to blow on those little embers and ignite our fire… “Everyone has a MOPS story; when we share our story with other women we speak to their hearts. It’s God’s truth that sets us free and we need to live in the truth to enable us to be free. Allow God to have His way, draw near to Him and you will find your fire.”

Guest Speaker, Amanda Cox inspired in her effervescent style, bringing a message about understanding our identity in Christ. “What a person believes will drive them. Understand our true identity and live from the place of that truth. When we know who we are, and we know Whose we are, we can operate in freedom and truth.”

Sam Rogers, who recently moved to Tasmania from WA and has been taking charge of the MOPS shop, encouraged us with her story. She shared how God made things possible when it seemed impossible. Be faithful to what God is calling you to. Let go and let God. We are building treasures in heaven.

The Leadership Training explained the new approach for MOPS and the change of leadership roles, and the positional elective gave time to explore this further with MOPS Kids training being led by the invaluable Kim McVeity.

What a great weekend of inspiration and encouragement! Thanks to the team of volunteers who continue to work so tirelessly in the pursuit of reaching mums in our communities.

There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes preparing for conference and Amelia Shepherd’s first year as Tassie conference co-ordinator went off like a dream… well done Amelia!!

Save the date: 2019 TAS MOPS CONFERENCE
13-14 September, Camp Clayton, Ulverstone.

Until then…
Au revoir <3

Bronwyn Febey
Mentor, Ulverstone MOPS

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