Conference 2016 – Divine

It’s been almost a month since the Divine conference and the beautiful hymn Holy Night withimg_3035 the words ‘Oh night, divine’ is now echoing in and around my mind reminding me of that amazing weekend in Heythrop Park, but also the true meaning of this Christmas weekend to come.

The dictionary definition of Divine is: 

1.a. Having the nature of or being a deity. b. Of, relating to, emanating from, or being the expression of a deity.

  1. Being in the service or worship of a deity; sacred.
  2. Superhuman; godlike.

3.a. Supremely good or beautiful; magnificent

b. Extremely pleasant; delightful:

The setting of the FRC Conference this year was 3a and 3b Divine, as was the company.  The women who go to Free Range Chicks conferences come from various, often very different, backgrounds, they have mixed church experiences, some are Christian and some are not, but all the ones I had the pleasure to speak to were ‘extremely pleasant’ and/or ‘delightful’
img_3037Rachel Hickson opened the conference with a powerful talk about our need to reach out to the Divine nature of God, she quoted some wonderful passages of the Bible including: Proverbs 29:18 ‘when people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild’… and spoke of the need for us to be rooted and anchored in something other than ourselves.  She also spoke of how she’d needed this anchor to come and speak to us, as her close friend had died earlier in the week and just the day before she had held a new grandchild.  I think a few of us thought of her as being Divine definition 2. Incredible and very inspiring.

Pearl challenged us with Divine meaning 1c, specifically in the area of Spiritual warfare and our call to be intentional and strategic in our prayers.  She recommended a book called Fervent by Priscilla Shirer which complements the wonderful film War Room, which should be on your watch-list for 2017 if you haven’t watched it already.  Vicky ran a wonderful craft session at the same time for the creative Chicks among us.

After a delicious lunch (again 3b) many of us crowded into the Prayer soaking session also run by Pearl. This was an
opportunity to pray quietly to God and try out some of the prayer strategies from the previous session.  Others decided to go to the Spa or went to Rebecca’s session on Environmental responsibility.

Rachel finished the day sessions with a call to get rooted in the supernatural, to be brave, to break the torment of negativity, to reside in God’s plan and to sing in the dark times.

01463cb8-c426-485a-bf0f-1d52b3b6d8f2Once showered, suited, booted and masked, we all became 3a and enjoyed a 3b three course meal followed by a brilliant after dinner speech by Shikala. She encouraged us to take off our masks both literally and figuratively and afterwards I found myself dancing to music my ‘cool 80’s Goth-masked’ self would have been appalled at, but mask-free Fiona, loved!

After breakfast the next day, Jo called us to Divine Wisdom, how to experience those moments of ‘wonder’ and how to ask God for wisdom (just ask Him!).

We then all 1c’d to some lovely worship music and heard about some of the FRC inspired and supported projects.  These included Compassion, FRC Dignity and the very exciting Cwtch project which was birthed after last year’s Conference.

Finally, Beth wrapped the weekend up and challenged us to celebrate who we each are (not thinking about who we were or who we are not or what others’ say we are), to speak positively about ourselves, to accept how much we are loved and that we are all powerful and strong in our Father as we are both 1a (if we are Christians the Holy Spirit is in us) and 1b.

 I think many of us felt stronger, empowered and ready to go back out into the world as 2’s after a Divine (in every sense of the word) Conference this year.  Thank you to the wonderful ladies behind the scenes enabling us to be Divine.

By Fiona Hinton

 

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