“So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.”
It was with this passage of Scripture that Jenn Avey, Charis Women executive director, closed the last session of At the Table, a Charis Women conference. The conference focused on the truth that there is always a seat at God’s table for His children. Each session highlighted a different aspect by examining God’s heart and His loving kindness toward His children, emphasizing how Jesus truly sees us, taking refuge in Him, and inviting others to the table. “Still there is room,” Jenn said. “Is that not a good thing to share?”
More than 300 women, from 15 Charis Fellowship churches, attended the two-day conference that was held at Grace Polaris Church in Westerville, Ohio, on November 3 & 4. Main session speakers, workshop leaders, and worship team members were all women from Charis Fellowship churches from around the country.
Women from Grace Polaris Church served throughout the weekend by greeting, answering questions, running tech, and serving refreshments as well as leading games, workshops, and worship. Dana Lawrence, women’s ministry director at Grace, said, “We were so honored to host this conference! We really saw God moving in the hearts of the women present.”
Three women from Grace Polaris who attended shared just how God used this weekend in their lives to equip them with evangelism tools, encourage them in their walk with the Lord, and rekindle and strengthen relationships across the Charis Fellowship. Read their stories and see photos from the conference below.
Beth Heisey: At the last session I was challenged to consider some of my favorite things about Jesus. I am keeping them on a card to use as a bookmark in case they come up in conversations. Three days after the conference I was on a flight next to a man who shared with me that he has leukemia. I paused, looking at my bookmark, sensing a divine appointment. “One of my favorite things about Jesus is that ‘even a little sparrow is not too small to be cared for by Him.’” I was able to encourage this man, who actually was a believer. I praise God that I was able to lead out with truth, to share with this man, to speak up, and to use what I learned from Jenn. It was a huge encouragement to me. Thank you for this new way to share Christ.
Diane Kehler: This conference weekend came at an opportune time. I felt washed with love and reminded that I am always welcome at Christ’s table. And I’m reminded that in this world, we will have hardships, but Christ always welcomes us with open arms and offers a place with Him!
Stephanie LaMonte: When I was first married and living in Cleveland, we went to Western Reserve Grace Brethren Church as very new believers. The church at the time was small and just getting started and meeting in a school. They needed everyone to serve in some capacity, and since I was an elementary school teacher, I figured I should teach Sunday school. I really had no knowledge of the Bible at the time, but thankfully, the pastor’s wife, Chery Boehm, came alongside and taught the class with me as the helper. I learned so much of the Bible through helping Chery teach it to the young children. Two years later, we moved to Columbus and lost touch with the Boehms. At the conference, as the Lord would have it, I sat next to a woman from Western Reserve Grace in a workshop. We struck up a conversation and she told me Chery was there as well. I hadn’t seen Chery in 35 years! It was so good to reconnect. I thank the Lord for putting us in that church at that time where we began our walks with the Lord, growing in Bible knowledge and the disciplines of daily Bible reading and of serving. I’m thankful for Chery who showed me the joy of the Lord, hospitality, and taught me the Word as we taught the children.