March 5th, 2016
WOVEN CONSULTATION 2016
- A gathering of Christian women: leaders in the home, church, workplace, and community.
- A space to share stories, foster relationships, and develop strategies for overcoming obstacles.
- Dependent on prayer, permeated by fellowship, and yielding a practical response to equip churches to better support women.
Though drawn together for assorted reasons, the women who gathered shared a common commitment to Christ and a desire for wholeness. Whether they admitted to feeling overwhelmingly busy or being satisfied with their pace of life, all knew well the struggle of maintaining balance through life’s changing seasons.
Beauty arose from their shared desire to grow as women of God as well as from their dynamic diversity. The Consultation welcomed 104 women from all generations, 59 occupations, 53 churches, and 45 Christian ministries throughout Greater Boston. Their racial diversity reflected the people of the city. Women who were differently abled were well served. The babies of young mothers joined in and children played nearby under watchful care.
“I like the fact that the leaders are helping to create safe spaces for women. I love the diversity!”
“Refreshing to be with women across denominational lines.”
“So nice to network with others outside my church walls.”
“I could see that people with varying abilities were welcomed and had a part to play.”
“Connecting with a diverse group of women is necessary to move forward towards all justice issues.”
HERE'S MY STORY
Five women shared stories from the front of the room that explored their pursuit of balance: What is it? What are the obstacles? What resources are there for realizing balance? How do we move ahead? As stories were told and hearts were opened, women found comfort in shared experiences, support in their journey, and inspiration to take the next step toward wholeness in Christ.
“I want to know more from women I wouldn’t typically gather with on a regular basis to expand my horizons. This is a big world and we serve a BIG GREAT God who is the master of it all. There is a reason why we are all here together. We need to stop isolating ourselves!”
“I loved that people were willing to share their lives and struggles and there was no judgement, only others willing to hold each other up.”
REFLECTION AND PRAYER
After each story, the women entered into quiet times of personal reflection, active table discussion, and interactive text polling. Women were moved to pray for each another, admonish each other, and offer loving support.
“Meeting other women in ministry who love the Lord was a highlight and it was helpful to draw out concerns I probably wouldn’t address otherwise.”
“Being a part of a larger community facing similar issues is very empowering.”
IMAGINING SOLUTIONS, DEVELOPING STRATEGIES
Moved to address the obstacles to balance and wholeness which they exposed and identified, the women worked together, shared resources, and collectively imagined how these obstacles could be overcome. Principles and guidelines gleaned from the wisdom and practical advice shared around each table will be passed on to churches in Greater Boston so they can better support Christian women in leadership.
At the day’s end, each woman left with something new, changed by what the Lord had done through this time in community. Some summarized their experience with words like “empowered” and “encouraged.” Hope came with many faces: renewed relationships, fresh strategies, and personal support in the seasons to come. The Consultation staff looks forward to supporting and equipping women leaders as they move forward in grace and see God’s work blossom and grow.
“The Woven Consultation helped to empower me in my walk with Christ even more and also in my calling. I further enjoyed the connections and relatable stories shared.”
“God really spoke to me, challenged me, provoked me and reassured me. I met new people.”
“I am going away more alive and empowered about living authentically before the Lord and others.”
The Woven Consultation is a project of the Applied Research and Consulting Department at Emmanuel Gospel Center