It happened and it all ran well!
We had about 50 people together for a day at the PCNSW Church Offices in Sydney. The aim was to hear about what's happening in womens' ministry around the PCA and collect ideas for Flourish. It turned out that the day was also a taster for what we can expect at Flourish.
David Jones gave a wonderful study from Romans 16. He talked about the women who were part of Paul's ministry circle and are mentioned in that chapter. But his big point was not about women, but about God's people working together for the sake of the kingdom.
We then heard from each state about some of the recent developments in womens' ministry. Three points came through very clearly: each state is quite different in structures and issues; there is growing momentum in the four eastern states (and the ACT), and SA and WA where the Presbyterian church is small women's ministry has less energy. If was great for all of us to hear about what it happening in each state and the challenges.
Carmelina Read gave a great overview of what she thinks are the current developments and challenges in women's ministry. She talked about a growing desire among Christian women for serious Bible teaching and training - and a trend away from big events as a focus of ministry in churches , finding ways for women to train, helping men and women work together in staff teams and the need for an emphasis on all-member ministry for women (and men). All of this left us with lots of think and talk about.
I gave a summary of some of the theological debates about women and church life . I might give a longer version of that in another post.
We divided the consultation into groups and a committee member in each group listened as people talked about their concerns and insights and what they'd like covered at Flourish. We ended with a wide ranging list with lots of stimulating ideas.
The day finished with prayer.
Now the committee is sorting through all those ideas and working on a program and publicity for Flourish.
More news soon.