WOMEN OF WORSHIP
Our very first WOW! Conference took place on 14th and 15th September 2018, and saw a total of 400 women coming together for a time of being rejuvenated by the Lord! The theme for 2019 is Women of Worship. The guest speakers were Wayne & Libby Huirua, Worship Pastors from the Equippers Church, Auckland, New Zealand, where they have been serving for 25 years. The Huiruas were also originally from the Parachute Band that led worship at the Parachute Music Festival in 1995.
Biggest on their hearts was the topic of Worship, not in the sense of just music, but in lifestyle. Across the one and a half days of sessions, the message consistently returned to the issue of our hearts in an intimate relationship with God.
In the opening session, Libby emphasised the need to develop a level of personal praise to God as a first response in all situations. “Worship is the true intimate connection with God,” she shared. Being thankful in the way we speak and behave also reveal the dialect and culture that is telling of where we are from, that is the Kingdom of Heaven. And this should permeate everything we do
In another session, Libby returned to what value we place on worship. And that is the personal effort in the moments and time spent with our Heavenly Father that count. We need to take our daily walk, and work, and place these totally before God as an offering, responding to what He calls us to do. This will change us from the inside out. And this is our spiritual act of worship.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.
I will praise my God to my last breath.
Psalms 104:33 NLT
Pastor Daphne closed the day sessions with an emphasis on setting our eyes ahead and not on the past. No matter the past errors and time lost, God has every intention and ability to restore them. However, we need to also have the humility of heart to receive. Pastor Daphne reminded us that Cornerstone Community Church has been called to be a well of healing and restoration. We are confident that God will rebuild the old waste places, for He is the Repairer of the Breach, and the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In. Isaiah 58:12
Our ladies had the option of signing up for three workshops on marriage, social issues or women in the marketplace.
What Men say and Women hear - By Wayne Huirua
When a husband asks, “What is wrong?” the wife sometimes replies, “Nothing”, but in actual fact means to say “ Everything”! And so it was with humour, the Wayne spoke on how men and women differ in their make-ip, personalities and giftings. Accepting and understanding that we process differently is key, as well as knowing that these differences are valid. Love can cover a lot, but people change, navigate and grow through seasons.
“Maximise your differences because you are a team. When we learn how our significant other thinks, speaks, communicates and operates best, we are arming and training ourselves to be incredible couples.” Wayne also explained how teamship in couples develops further into shared family visions that build strong families. With this, he exhorted us to be one in worship of God.
Dealing with social issues - By Jennifer Heng
Jennifer Heng, Director of Safe Place, shared her personal journey as a young person who searched for love in the wrong places and had two abortions. Relying on God and her loved ones, she broke free from guilt and self-pity and now carriers a burden for women with unsupported pregnancies. Safe Place was born out of this vision, and is an initiative she started to empower such women and families to make life-giving choices in Singapore.
Taking reference from the example of Jesus in John 4, she encouraged workshop participants to talk about the social issues they cared about and gave them some ways to do so. These included being deliberate and intentional, finding the unique role that God has for each one concerning the issue, staying connected with supportive community and to always be loving, kind and humble in approach. She also emphasised the role of prayer and the need to recognise who our real enemies are - that we do not fight against flesh and blood when we stand up for social injustice.
Women in the Marketplace - by Hannah Garcia
Hannah Garcia, mother of two, wife to Pastor Caleb Garcia and who has worked with GIC Pte Ltd for 14 years, offered a warm, personal sharing on the woman’s challenge in juggling family, work and ministry. It is easy to be lost in a performance mentality, yet find neither coherence in life nor fulfilment in our busyness.
To this, Hannah offered three key points:
First, we need to know our identity in Christ, as Women of God. Without this, we will place our identities in our children, husbands, achievements, job titles, ministry positions, and comparing ourselves, forgetting that we are but stewards of everything God has given us.
Secondly, we need to have vision to see the potential in lives and situations, because God is able to transform people and circumstances mightily by His grace.
Thirdly, we need to see the value of stretching, as mentioned in Isaiah 54:2-3. It is uncomfortable and takes us out of our comfort zones but we will be strengthened as we entrench ourselves further in God’s word and truth, like roots of a tree growing deeper. Such seasons enable us bring forth much fruit.
Written by Tracey Chia