Today I went to the supermarket. Nothing unusual in that but as you enter the store there is a clothing sale on. Now I don’t know about you but I confess to being a supermarket-clothing- buying kind of person because lets face it I don’t have the time to wander round endless shops looking for the perfect outfit. The sale of course is to make way for the new autumn and winter clothing but as I wandered around the sale section I became a little wistful, reflecting on the year so far and it’s highs and lows.

One of the highs was our first Women’s Conference held in May.

Women@rbc has been up and running for about two years now. We have held a variety of events all with one aim in mind – to give the women of Rayleigh Baptist Church, Essex, the opportunity to build relationships with God, with each other and with friends who don’t have any faith in God. We wanted the conference to build on what had already begun and especially to encourage women to realise that God wants to use them right where they are, to be the hands, feet and heart of Jesus to those around them. We called it ‘Making the ordinary, extraordinary’.

Friday night set the scene as we looked at Romans 12: 1-2 and laughed and cried as one of God’s fabulous women warriors shared her story. Amazing how echoes of Sheila’s life journey were felt in the lives of so many women there. We were all reminded just how powerful our own story can be as we share life together.

As we had talked and prayed through a program for the conference it became clear that we needed to inspire women to realise their potential in their own world, and I remembered having been to an AYL event some time before called ‘Unlocking the door’. It was perfect! So Caroline Thompson from AYL came and shared the seminar with us, encouraging us to take a look at our lives and see just how much we can do with what we already have. Halfway through the morning women were invited to go ‘Through the door’ which gave them an insight into opportunities to get involved in the local community such as with the local Pregnancy Crisis Counselling Service, fostering, street witness, Women’s Aid and others. We heard how some women were already ‘unlocking ‘ their doors and creating opportunities for women to get together. It was a really encouraging time.

So thanks AYL for the challenge and inspiration! Now where did I put those new flip flops?

Allison Clear
On behalf of the women@rbc team

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