As the PCA grows, so do the opportunities for women in the church! The annual equipping event Christian Education and Publications provides for women in the church is the Leadership Training Conference. It is thrilling to see the great interest and diversity of age and regions that mark the attendees. The focus of Leadership 2008 was “The Big Picture: Our Purpose and Privilege,” with women from twenty-six states and two Canadian provinces in attendance.
Since this is a conference for PCA women in the church, we began by defining our context as women in God’s family, and by lifting high the King and His church. This year, Dr. Roy Taylor, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PCA, led the opening session. Dr. Taylor used I Timothy 3:14-16 to remind us that living as Christian women in the church is a symphony and not a solo. As Reformed, Bible believers, we are part of something bigger; we are part of the church universal and the church triumphant. As women in the church, we are to love, live, and take the Gospel message to a needy world in word and deed.
Having women meet with others from their region played a central role in this year’s focus. The time spent in their eight US and Canadian regions were some of the most productive and appreciated elements of the weekend, according to the participants. In each region, representatives of the Women’s Advisory Sub-Committee (WASC), joined by CEP’s WIC trainers, modeled and equipped women for regional discipleship and community building.
Alan Johnson from Old Peachtree PCA in Duluth, Georgia, taught the joy and value of the “Centrality of the Word” in hearts and ministry. Workshops, panels, and woman to woman discipleship rounded out the rest of the weekend. Susan Hunt, former CEP Director of Women’s Ministries and current CEP WIC Consultant, ended this outstanding weekend calling the women to “Live out the Purpose and Privilege as Women in God’s Church.”
We were excited and encouraged to have PCA Ruling Elder Preston Hicks, from Lexington, KY, attend with his wife. In his local church, Tates Creek PCA, Preston is the liaison between the session and women’s ministry. (See his response to the conference below).
CEP, the 2008 recipient of the Women in the Church Love Gift, hosted the denominational dinner in which the PCA administrators and coordinators, their wives, and some staff joined the women in prayer for the PCA and its various ministries. This is a night that always elicits excited responses and this year was no exception – it is “our privilege!”
The 2009 Leadership Training Conference will be held at Covenant College, March 10-12, and will be followed by the 2009 Mercy Conference, jointly sponsored by Mission to North America and CEP, held at New City Fellowship Church, March 12-15. Look for more updates on www.pcacep.org as information for both conferences becomes available. CDs of the plenary sessions and workshops of the 2008 Leadership Training are also available. See www.pcacep.org for details.
Here is what some attendees had to say about this year’s conference. We trust these will encourage local church leaders, pastors, presbytery CE Chairman, and women’s ministry leaders as you evaluate the value of this discipleship event.
“I have been spreading the good news of God’s kingdom work through this [women’s] ministry work of the PCA. I am praying for other elders to participate in future meetings-the experience certainly enlarged my vision of the educational work (fostering and facilitating biblical thinking and covenantal living) of the WIC organization.” Preston Hicks, Ruling Elder