“What if “just try harder” isn’t the answer to how we live for Jesus?
When we’re so focused on what we need to get done each day, or we’re caught in habitually destructive sin, when we’re wondering how to make sense of life, what if what we need is to look upwards rather than glare inwards?
As we explore Colossians 3:1–17 together this year I’m praying that women’s convention is a chrysalis moment for you and the women in your world as we are wrapped up in all we have in Christ and find ourselves transformed in him.
Join me to explore how God’s grace and love can give us transformed lives in Jesus.”
QUOTE FROM: Anna Boxwell, Convention Chair
Keynote Speaker - FIONA SMARTT
Fiona Smartt is a pastor who lives in the Inner West of Sydney with her husband Ryan and young kids. She has known about Jesus for as long as she can remember, but it was in late high school that she was gripped by the radical grace of Christ and she hasn’t looked back since! Fiona serves at Christ Church Inner West Anglican Community and counts it a constant joy and privilege to see people find life that is full and rich in Jesus and grasp the freedom grace brings.
“Paul’s letter to the young church in Colossae is beautifully practical and hopeful about how Jesus Christ deeply changes you, so much so that it can be said you essentially become a new self. I love the way Colossians reminds us that real change is possible, and we can all be transformed and grow to be more like Jesus as we fix our hearts on his glory and grace.”
When you register you can choose from one of the following electives.
The transformative power of Christian singing
Olivia Chapman - Elective Speaker
God invented music to move us toward him, but music can be one of the most divisive aspects of church life: what songs do we sing, with what size band, and when will that electric guitarist stop soloing? How do we let ‘the Word of Christ dwell amongst us richly’ (Col 3:16) and what does this mean practically for our Christian singing? In this elective we’ll open up Colossians 3:16-17 to rediscover God’s purposes for singing in church.
Olivia Chapman is originally from Sydney and now lives and works in Oxford, UK, for Emu Music. She trains and resources church musicians and leaders around the world, and writes songs for churches. For more information about her ministry, visit emumusic.com.
Forgiveness: hurting and healing
Monica Short - Elective Speaker
Forgive?! How can I when I am hurting? Hurting and healing can be hard, heavy and exhausting. This interactive elective focuses on Colossians 3:12-14. Monica will share true stories from her research on church life about hurting, forgiveness and healing. This elective will give you practical help in forgiveness so you can dare to bear with one another.
Monica Short is excited to be a Christian and a member of the Anglican church. She is also a lecturer with Charles Sturt University, a social worker, a social researcher and author of several books and publications about the church. She is married to Mark and they are the proud parents of two young adult sons.
Women and pornography
Alice Taylor - Elective Speaker
Porn isn’t just a guy’s issue. Many women find themselves struggling with pornography but are unable to access the support they need. Most recovery resources are aimed at men, and the conversation can ignore women, leaving them feeling ashamed and stuck. Alice will share her story of overcoming pornography and explain the unique needs of female addicts. From breaking stigma and starting the conversation in your church context, to practical steps in how to provide care and understand the causes of addiction, this session will provide you with the basics to help women heal.
Alice Taylor is the founder of The Grace Spot, an online ministry equipping women to break free from shame and find lasting freedom from pornography. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Restored: A Woman’s Guide to Overcoming Pornography. Alice lives in Sydney with her husband, Lukas. To find out more about Alice and The Grace Spot, head to thegracespot.comAll ages being transformed together
Karen Baron and Libby Horton - Elective Co-Speakers
What does it look like for people of any age to be transformed by Jesus together? This elective will help inspire you to see children and young people in your church as co-workers in the harvest field. It will encourage you to look for opportunities to do everything, word or deed, in the name of Jesus (Col 3:17) with and for the younger generations in your care and in your community.
Karen Baron has a Spirit-driven passion for young people to be seen and valued as equal life participants and Kingdom partners! Over the past 30 years she has been active through her roles in church children’s ministry, public school teaching, parenting and for nearly 12 years as Coordinator of ACT Christian Education In Schools (CEIS). Karen thrives on the challenge to reveal God’s love ‘as we go’ and of equipping others to do the same.
Libby Horton has worked for the creative children’s ministry Logosdor for the last 21 years. She helps coordinate the Children’s Ministry Network (CMN) in the ACT Region and is part of the National Leadership team for CMN. Libby has trained people in creative children’s ministry across four continents, and in Canberra has helped plant a weekly intergenerational afternoon church service.