Today is the first of many catch-up days for me. Some people on the team have very regular weekly schedules but mine is more project-based. I love it that way but every so often, I end up with "the perfect storm" and hit a patch where I look three weeks into the future for days that I can sleep in. Being six months pregnant has been an interesting added dimension since I can't guarantee that I will feel up to working on a particular day or that I will have the energy to do so. But as of yesterday, I really just have one more event on the horizon--the Christmas picnic--and my responsibilities for that are relatively few. So today I get to tackle the things that have been on the back burner for a couple of weeks--updating the blog, cleaning the apartment, etc. And so I begin with the women's conference:
Honestly, I don't even know where to begin. It was a great day. I don't have a final count because there were some late in the day arrivals but we had at least 160 women. Then there were about 20 kids and our three tireless childcare workers (Russ, Randy and Tennyson). Honestly, I think it would be possible to host such a conference and have very little planned and just let the women fellowship but, of course, I couldn't let that happen!
Our theme for the day was "Connecting with God". Most of the material we used was based on the monthly series about spiritual disciplines that we've been doing with our own women. They suggested that it would be worth sharing with the other sisters in the city so we happily obliged. Mary spoke about meditation, Jennifer spoke on prayer and I spoke on fasting.
In the afternoon we had workshops. The workshops are generally of lighter stuff than the sessions. One of our members taught about makeup, another talked about (and gave!) massages and one of our regular visitors gave a workshop on healthy eating. With all of that fun stuff going on, I was surprised that many people came to my workshop about Bible study as a spiritual discipline. It was material that Alicia had originally presented and we decided to offer it as one of the workshops (thus rounding out Richard Foster's four internal disciplines).
I'm still getting great feedback about the day. We did a lot of new things, like breakout groups, but everyone seemed to enjoy them. Even though it was so much work and it took two days for my ankles to get back to their normal size, it was a lot of fun to plan and put on. I do have to admit, though, that I was quite relieved when another congregation was chosen to host next year. It was fun, but not THAT fun!
Here are a few more images from the day:
1. Jaci (the Portuguese teacher) during individual prayer time 2. The popular massage workshop 3. Jessenita meditating on the Word 4. The favors everyone took home (candles) 5. Mary, me and Jenn at the end of the day 6. Tennyson even endured a "manicure" in the name of childcare