Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Equip Women's conference

Carmelina Read, our Dean of Women, is part of the organising committee for the Equip Women's conference. It seems like a great conference (not that I've actually been invited). It happens in May this year and is looking at the fascinating book of Esther. Carmelina might like to tell us a bit more about it.

1 comment:

Carmelina said...

Yes, the EQUIP women’s conference is great! And yes, I’d love to tell you more about it! EQUIP Women is an interdenominational conference which started in 1999 with 135 women. Last year, 3,800 women attended. Women can go to either the Daylight or Twilight conferences and they can choose one elective from God’s Princesses, Hospitality, Black Dog, Blue Skies (depression) or The Lost Art of Submission.

This year, in the main sessions, we’re covering the book of Esther. It’s such a great story; nice Jewish girl marries Persian King (and has lots of beauty treatments – of the extravagant sort!), an evil enemy – Haman, plots to kill the queen’s people, the queen’s cousin Mordecai, spurs her on to act, the queen risks her life, she outwits the baddie, saves her people and they party.

As you read Esther, the apparent absence of God (he isn’t mentioned once in the book) hits you in the face. And yet there are hints that God is present. A Jewish girl ‘happens’ to become queen of Persia, Mordecai ‘discovers’ a plot to kill the king, one night the king ‘decides’ to read the royal history books to cure his ‘insomnia’, as he’s reading, the evil Haman ‘happens’ to be in the palace, in a nice touch of irony, Haman ‘inadvertently’ encourages the king to reward Mordecai and when the king decides Haman must die, the gallows which Haman had prepared for Mordecai are ready and waiting. And through all this, the Jews are rescued. Just coincidences? And what do we make of Mordecai’s comment that if Esther doesn’t act, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place? (4:14) Does Esther have something to teach us about the apparently absent God working to save His people?

If you want to find out where my talk ends up, come along to EQUIP Women Saturday 23 May. And if you’re like John McClean and you haven’t been invited, encourage a woman to go. Send her the link www.equip.org.au