By Carl Stagner
Every two years, women of the Church of God gather together in a select city to reconnect, worship together, and grow together. Hosted by Christian Women Connection, the event has welcomed women and men from across the country and beyond to destinations like Dallas, Seattle, Nashville, and Daytona Beach. This year’s Church of God Women’s Convention will be held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, October 10–13, and will feature some of the brightest and best women preachers, worship ministers, and conference leaders the Church of God has ever known. Combined with new service opportunities and new tracks for women in ministry and clergy wives, “Women Shaping the Future” is certain to be one of the most anticipated events of the year.
Jeannette Flynn, Mailesi Ndao, Joy Sherman, and Tatum Osbourne are among the featured speakers for the Myrtle Beach experience, as Leslie Parker Barnes and Carma Wood are slated to serve as worship leaders. A new track of conferences designed especially for women in ministry will address topics like “How to Facilitate Change,” “Ministry within Healthy Boundaries,” and “Balancing Ministry and Personal Life.” One of those events will feature lunch, “The Power of Influence.” The clergy wives’ track is also designed to address the specific needs of another vitally important demographic. Additionally, a conference for young women, a prayer breakfast, and a variety of other conferences, banquets, and service opportunities to support missions are sure to refresh and inspire attendees of the convention.
CWC’s own Melanie Thigpen is especially excited about the activities which will put participants’ faith into action. “We will have three service opportunities to support Church of God missions in Spain and Sri Lanka, and we’ll have a school supply drive for a deserving local elementary school,” she explains. “We are also excited to share that this year we will have a new missions education conference called ‘OMG—On Mission for God’—that will be led by Steven and Peggy Beverly, Global Strategy missionaries to Sri Lanka.”
Church of God women know how to have a good time, too. That’s why they’re planning a special celebration of influential Church of God women down through the decades since the earliest days of CWC. “Our women will dress in their favorite decade’s fashion as we revisit and remember our women’s ministry from 1930 until now. It will be a meaningful and fun time of honoring the past as we continue to shape the future.”
Did you know husbands are welcome to attend, too? Though the women’s conferences are reserved for women only, men can register for a special discounted rate and are encouraged to attend the worship services, banquet, prayer breakfast, and a conference designed especially for men, led by former AU School of Theology & Christian Ministry dean, James Lewis.
The theme, “Women Shaping the Future,” comes from Acts 16:15, where Lydia and her household were saved and baptized. What came next was an invitation of hospitality and the powerful phrase, “And she persuaded us.” CWC explains it this way: “Just like Lydia, many of the women in the Church of God, whether they are clergy, CWC leaders, lay leaders, business owners, parachurch ministry leaders, or professionals in other vocations, they are worshipers. They are worshipers who are persuaders.” And they are shaping the future!
Sure, there are numerous options for connection and renewal available to Church of God women throughout the year. But this event only comes around every other year, and it’s uniquely grand. “Women come from across the nation and abroad to worship together,” Melanie explains, “to worship together, edify each other, and strengthen the connection between each local and state Christian Women Connection group. We have many local and state connector rallies, conventions, and retreats, but there is something about the masses of Church of God women connecting with each other in one accord! Women truly look forward to this biennial event!”
If you register during the month of April, you can enter a drawing to have an opportunity to win a “Gift Basket from Around the World.” Results will be announced during the first week of May. For registration and more information, visit http://www.christianwomenconnection.org/convention-2019.html.