24 August 2022

Under the new name Riverbank, the rebranded Women and God weekend offered women of all ages within the United Kingdom and Ireland Territory the opportunity to come together to encounter God in worship, engage in Christian teaching and explore their God-given potential, writes Outreach Mission Partner (Family Ministries) Rachel Gotobed.

Taking the theme Just Imagine!, its purpose was to lead Christian women to imagine or re-imagine what God wants to accomplish through them in the 21st century. The weekend was hosted by the director and deputy director of Family Ministries, Major David Betteridge and Liz Hall, at Warwich University from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 June. Speakers included Director of Anti-Trafficking and Modern Slavery Major Kathy Betteridge, Bekah Legg, the CEO of Christian domestic abuse charity Restored, and Rachel Turner, founder of Parenting for Faith. Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, World President of Women's Ministries, expressed her appreciation for the women and those who organised the conference in a video message streamed during the event.

Worship leader Lou Fellingham, supported by her husband, Nathan, led the inspiring sung worship on the Friday and Saturday, and their band joined them in leading a praise party on Saturday evening. Swan Bank Gospel Choir leader Trudy Purkiss led worship on Sunday, which included testimony in word and song by Megane Moki (Birmingham Citadel).

Other highlights of the weekend included a beautiful prayer space, artwork created to reflect the weekend, a workshop led by Gilly Parish (Sale) and a PechaKucha session where five amazing women shared their personal stories of God doing more than they could have thought or imagined. There were also opportunities to join in challenges and raise funds for the Helping-Hand Appeal, receive a relaxing facial and visit a marketplace full of information, resources and things to buy.

Attendees described the event using words such as ‘relevant’, ‘inspiring’, ‘real’, ‘uplifting’, ‘nourishing’, ‘encouraging’ and ‘wonderful’. Amy Bayliss-Fox, from Stafford, expressed her enthusiasm for the conference, 'It was my first time at the conference and I am so glad I went! It was such a blessed time. The worship was refreshing and I came away with renewed energy, especially after worship on Sunday morning when the Holy Spirit was clearly moving in our midst.

'The speakers were inspiring and each one definitely delivered their message on behalf of the Holy Spirit. I could name each speaker one by one and reflect on what I learnt, but that would take up too many words! Major Kathy and Megane’s testimonies were moving and I know that each of their stories delivered desperately needed messages for many of us.

'I would really recommend Riverbank to any woman connected to The Salvation Army. I want to recommend it especially to my fellow young women as it’s important to have strong support systems and people around us. This conference is an ideal way for us to get to know others who can support and guide us through the trials we face as Christian women.'

Originally reported at salvationist.org.uk

Tags: WM News, WM Resources, Real Talk, WM Women in Leadership