Plymouth church hosted Area 1's first Women's Ministries event on Sabbath, 24 August. Ladies from around Devon gathered in the school loft, above the church, for the 'Women's Day Out'. The space was decorated with flowers, candles and bunting creating a relaxing atmosphere
Ophelia Herman, event organiser, welcomed everyone before Gemma and Jackie Hall led the group in song. As the theme for the day was 'Pause for Power', naturally, the theme song was 'Pause at His Feet'.
Geraldene Farmer (former NEC Women's Ministries director) was our speaker for the day and says that she "loves nothing more than to encourage her sisters in Christ to embrace all that Christ has gifted them with and to constantly seek ways to develop spiritually, mentally and emotionally." Mission accomplished.
All the ladies gathered felt Geraldene's enthusiasm as they listened intently to her message. The day was broken into four sections; What's in a Pause, Pause Power, The Pause Experience and The Most Magnificent Pause. Each section had a number of group exercises keeping everyone involved.
She noted that in our busy lives we don't allow ourselves time to breathe, to pause, reflect and restore. Often, we feel that if we are not busy then we are wasting time. A pause however is not a full stop, it's a pause for power, to recharge, re-evaluate and carry on. It's a time to speak to God, allowing Him to reveal to us His mercy and for us to trust that His way is the best way. We must be patient; God's timing is perfect. God is never idol nor absent and He continues to bless us even when we blame Hi
Whether we are in a voluntary pause or involuntary, pausing is necessary to appreciate life and make the most of it. It prepares and strengthens us.
She encouraged us to think of what our pauses look like and reflect on what God taught us during the pauses of our lives. She also challenged us to consider and evaluate if perhaps an unnoticed pause has gone on too long. We must put into action what God is prompting us to d
In groups we looked at the stories of Jarius's daughter and the women with the issue of blood (Luke 8:40-56; Matthew 9:18-25; Mark 5:21-42). Together we analysed who paused and why was the pause necessary. In both instances pauses were necessary for Jesus to reveal His character as well as the character of a true follower. Patience, faith and trust all were key traits of each character. These stories also highlight that even if we are weak from a pause even our feeblest efforts to reach out to God are enough.
After a lovely lunch everybody gathered again for prayer and praise before going through a series of 9 stations all designed to help us pause and reflect. The final section focused on Christ's sacrifice at the cross, 'The Most Magnificent Pause' of all time. This pause saw the end of Jesus' ministry on Earth but ultimately gave us hope. Christ gave us the perfect example of how to pause as He stopped to pray, speaking to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Before the day was through everyone received a tote bag, with the verse 'Be Still and Know' printed on the outside, filled with handmade goodies. Finally, we prayed together, holding out tea lights to remind us to shine for God, before enjoying a delicious afternoon tea.
It was good to reflect on the different pauses in one's life as well as analysing biblical character pauses. Definitely created a spark to pause and reflect more and to listen to God's guidance and direction during these pauses.
All the ladies expressed they had a great time and even commented that they look forward to the next Women's Ministries event and many hoped that more Area 1 ladies would attend next time. One lady commented, "the day was well-organised and there were a lot of topics that helped me to strengthen my faith." Another said, "It was a lovely day to pause and reflect and to be released from the usual Sabbath chaos." Whilst one other commented, "I was once again reminded about needing time to pause from my busy world life and find more time with God."