It was a highly anticipated night. Women from all parts of Sydney excitedly made preparations. All the ladies involved, especially Beryl Landers, Director of Adventist Women for the Greater Sydney Conference, were finalising preparations. The hall at Parramatta Church was beautifully decorated with balloons, candles, flowers, and even a bicycle! It was the launch of Adventist Women for 2014, a night designed to unite us as women of the Greater Sydney Conference!
Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a lovely red carpet, homemade cupcakes, and a drink! You could see the excitement on the faces of the women; chatter and laughter filled the air. Soon, we were seated, and a loud (male) voice welcomed us into the presence of God. We had laughed and talked, and now it was time for us to get our praise on! Imagine being in the presence of over 350 women, singing in beautiful harmony, praising our God.
The evening was full of worship, prayer and testimony. As women of the Greater Sydney Conference, we worshipped our Lord Jesus together. As women of the Greater Sydney Conference, we prayed for our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands and children. We prayed for our churches, our leaders, and our missions around the world. We prayed for ourselves. And, as women of the Greater Sydney Conference, we bore witness to the awesome work that God is doing through us!
This is Our Time
The theme for the evening, and the year, was ‘This Is Our Time.’ What exactly does this mean? Time for what? We had the privilege of hearing God’s word spoken through the incredible Pr. Moe Stiles, and she emotionally, passionately, and truthfully told us what ‘This Is Our Time’ implies. She spoke on John 15:5 — Jesus’ parable on the vine and the branches.
In a farmer’s world, there is a time to prepare, plant, grow, prune and harvest. Each season has its own special purpose in order to provide the best harvest. The same is true in our lives. There are different seasons in life, especially when we are the branches of the vine of Jesus Christ. Some of us may be open fields, preparing to take in Jesus when we are ready. Some of us may be young shoots, discovering more about who Jesus is. Some of us may be established plants, enduring the season of pruning. Whatever the season we’re experiencing, we know that we can and will make it through because we are walking alongside Jesus, hand-in-hand with our sisters!
This is OUR time. The time to let Jesus lead us. The time to be still and know that He is God. The time to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. The time to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our local communities. The time to endure the pruning to enjoy the harvest. The time to rise like Christ was raised to life, because in Him we have life!
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see…
By Valerie Donat, Parramatta Church