Report of EBWU Conference
Hannover, 29th May - 2nd June, 2013
|Pictures from the First Conference Day - Thursday|
|Pictures from the Second Conference Day - Friday|
|Pictures from the Third Conference Day - Saturday|
|Pictures from the Fourth Conference Day - Sunday|
From 29th May – 2nd June approximately 140 women (and a few men) from 36 countries, including USA and India. We gathered in the Stephansstift Centre in Hannover, Germany for the quinquennial conference. Tony Peck, General Secretary of EBF and his wife Alison, Regina Claas, President of the BU of Germany, Patsy Davis, Director and Raquel Contreras, President of the BWA Women’s Department were among the guests.
The theme was ‘Stand Up and Live’, based on the life of Hannah. Our main speaker was Raquel who encouraged and challenged us during her three sessions – Hannah & Penninah; Hannah & Elkanah; Hannah & her church. We learned ‘Hannah’s Song’ specially written for the conference, the stirring music being provided by Birgit and Claudia. It was a song reminding us that like Hannah we ought to take our troubles to the Lord in prayer, knowing that He is well able to help us; it encouraged us to trust in the Lord, to rise up and go knowing that He is with us.
As part of the programme there were 6 workshops on
- Social Ministry in Hannover
- My Dream Life
- With All My Soul, Body and Spirit
- Fair Trade, Micah Challenge and More – How Christians can Help to Fight Poverty
- How Hannah Learned to Stand Up and Live – A Bibliodrama
- When God Laughs with Us: Spirituality and the Gift of Humour.
There was also a time of sharing from a few of the countries represented.
An important part of the conference was the Business Meeting, the main item of which was the election of a new EBWU Committee. The new officers are:
- Aniko Ujvari – President,
- Wies Dijkstra – Vice President,
- Margaret Brown – Secretary,
- Fabienne Seguin – Treasurer,
- Synnove Angen – Additional Member,
- Dimitrina Oprenova – Additional Member.
These women were elected for the term 2013 – 2018, all being well.
Our German sisters laid on a splendid evening for us on Saturday – an evening of circus entertainment ably provided by some schoolchildren, street organ music, and dancing. Food always has a part in such evenings and we were able to taste some delicious regional food of Germany. Due to the inclement weather these activities had to be held indoors, but that did not detract in any way from the enjoyment we all felt during the evening. Some of the conference participants dressed in their national costume for this event and some of the various countries had set up stalls with items for sale and/or information regarding the women’s work of the particular countries. The evening culminated in a time of worship in the church in the grounds of Stephansstift – a truly fitting end to a lovely evening.
Old friendships were renewed and new ones formed. There were times to sit and chat, also to pray together, and to learn from one another.
The climax of the whole conference was the Sunday morning Communion Service in the church. Regina Claas spoke from Luke 13:10-13 about the woman who was bent over and couldn’t straighten up, until Jesus came and healed her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” She was healed, she was able to ‘Stand up and Live’. The Lord’s Supper was celebrated and the new Officers dedicated. There was a real sense of the Lord’s presence among us, and I like to think that all of us were touched in some way by the Spirit of the Lord.