An EFC Intern Heads to a Christian Women’s conference. And this is what she saw

By Lorianne Dueck

As an enthusiastic, confident, and ambitious young woman, finding my place in Kingdom work can be exciting, but also complicated. Messages in culture clash with those in scripture and sometimes even the Biblical truths get blurred behind tradition and gender stereotypes.

“And when they said future, what they really meant was the next generation. Which includes me. A young woman who loves the Lord, an aspiring leader, a Canadian. “

Consequently, when presented with the opportunity to go to Gather’s Women of Faith: The Canadian Context conference, I was intrigued and slightly apprehensive.  I imagined that the conference could go one of two ways:

    • It could take the passive/defensive approach. Nostalgic and traditional, yet another plodding discussion on how to preserve evangelical womanhood in the midst of this radically liberal culture.
    • Or it could be an urban, fiery Christian feminist conference. The afternoon would be spent talking about how men have limited the power of women in the Church for much too long. The time to take charge is now – and we must look super chic in the process.

That’s what I imagined going in. I am thankful to say the conference was neither of these two things. Approximately 40 women met recently at the Laurentian Leadership center, a historic mansion in the middle of downtown Ottawa, to fulfil the vision of Gather: Bringing Canadian Christian women together coast to coast, inspiring, equipping and resourcing women to put their faith in action to transform their world.

The faith of these women sparkled – more brilliantly than the chandeliers lighting the room. Their passion for the Lord was vibrant and visible as the colours spilling into the room through the stained glass windows.

We were coming together on the basis of these three points.

  • Dialogue – on issues of faith as women leaders in Canada
  • Engage – relationally through powerful conversations
  • Impact – your sphere of influence as you go out

I was struck by the honesty, authenticity, energy, and the hope for Canada I heard. The women who spoke hardly mentioned their struggles as women in leadership, in ministry or in the marketplace: one even responded, “A woman leader? I’m just a leader.”  Instead, they spoke about their vocations, how God had called them, how they were being obedient, and what they hoped to see in the future.

And when they said future, what they really meant was the next generation. Which includes me. A young woman who loves the Lord, an aspiring leader, a Canadian.

Lorianne Dueck is an EFC research assistant and an international business student at Carleton University in Ottawa. 

 

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