Something Beautiful Women's Conference recap
Over a weekend in July, The Salvation Army Palmerston North held an inspirational women’s conference called Something Beautiful. The variety of speakers, life-stories and carefully prepared spaces enabled women to hear God in a fresh way.
Captain Michelle Lee and The Salvation Army Palmerston North Women's Ministries team created a beautiful environment for the Something Beautiful women's conference over Friday 26th and Saturday 27th of July. They invited all women to come and share in the beauty and restoration of Jesus together.
'We wanted all women to feel empowered - broken or not. We want you to see this place of beauty and encounter God's beauty through that.' says Captain Michelle.
Alanah Moody is another of the organisers and tells us ‘Over a year of build-up to our Something Beautiful women’s conference, countless hours of dedication from the planning team and everyone doing their part meant our dreams and visions came alive as women arrived for the weekend. I loved being able to see the reaction of the women as they walked into our building... realising that actually this beautiful space was created for each of them.’
A shining light
‘From the moment I walked in the door of Something Beautiful conference, I was caught up by the excitement and enthusiasm of the women!'
Amid the stunning foliage and lights, the message of Jesus Christ shone bright through the testimony and preaching over the weekend. Colonel Suzanne Fincham spoke on the Friday using the song from Mary Poppins 'Where the lost things go.' Having lost her mother to cancer, Suzanne shared that each of the testimonies from the women moved her deeply, and that she had been reflecting on the lost items from the Gospel of Luke. Suzanne urged us to encounter God afresh and not hide from the love of God.
'Am I the lost sheep? Do you have a lost sheep in your family you have been praying for for so long? The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.'
Spoken word artist and Territorial Women's Ministries' staff Rosy Keane performed a piece on Esther - a Biblical woman greatly famed for her beauty, but even more as an instrument of God's prophecy and deliverance.
‘The speakers were fantastic. Best of all the Spirit moved around and ministered to each and every person over the weekend’ says another woman who attended Something Beautiful.
Testimonies as a way to connect
‘Saturday morning, we were off to an early start with great food, singing, spoken word, powerful testimonies, and speakers. Our hearts were touched by the presence of the Holy Spirit.’
Over the weekend there were testimonies from women from all walks of life. Donna Young shared her harrowing, triumphant journey from homelessness to finding a home and belonging with the church and Christ. Her vulnerability and authenticity were deeply moving. Diane Trott testified to the deep and abiding faith she has found in God, even as she endured multiple bouts of cancer. 'Our joke was I had so much radiation in me, I was our very own glowy light bulb'.
Alanah Moody and Joanne Guy shared testimonies of faithfulness in the midst of pain, trusting God to do what God promises. On Saturday Colonel Heather Rodwell preached vividly about connection, and Major Shar Davis delivered an original spoken word reflecting on the word beautiful. Sherryn Adamson shared about her time growing up in The Salvation Army, serving in the police force and the arduous journey hoping to conceive children - trusting and wrestling with God in the process. The relatability of the stories each woman shared was powerful and impacting.
‘The speakers were all very different - the stories they shared where touching and powerful. One woman’s testimony impacted me deeply, she was dealing with similar issues to me, and she has been able to come out of them.’ said Alanah.
Major Shar delivered the message on Sunday at the Palmerston North Salvation Army meeting, about maintaining our resilience and ability to ‘bounce back’, because of who God says we are.
Something Beautiful indeed
The Message Translation says in 1 Timothy 2:9,10 'And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions, but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it.'
As the women gathered to be discipled and commune at Something Beautiful, we did something beautiful for God and saw that God is always doing something beautiful in us.
‘The atmosphere, was the most friendly, happy and Godly group of women I have ever been with. God was magnified and glorified, all weekend.’ Alanah agrees, saying ‘Something Beautiful was such a blessing of a weekend and I am so proud to say that I was able to be a part of it.’
A huge thank you to all the women who came, prayed, took part and organised this special time together. The women were truly blessed and we are thankful for these spaces of ministry.