Church Blog

Women’s Conference 2021: With One Accord

2021 opened with glimmers of hope in the shadow of a year filled with fear, unrest and isolation. While there are sparks of hope, reality is that it will take time to settle the unrest, vaccinate enough people to remove the isolation and calm fears. However, reflecting on last year’s conference, I see the Lord’s hand preparing us for 2020 by reminding us that our hope rests securely in Him. He is sovereign. He is good, gracious and compassionate. His steadfast love endures forever. He will not let His children go. He did not let us go in 2020.  He provided means for us to worship in the midst of the pandemic. He showed us new ways to encourage and bless one another in the midst of the pandemic.  Our church grew in the midst of the pandemic.

For our conference this year, God is leading us to focus on Acts 1:14.  Before ascending into heaven, Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem to be “baptized by the Holy Spirit.” Not at all sure what that meant, they never-the-less obeyed, gathering in Jerusalem and waiting.  While they waited, we are told:

All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer together with the women and Mary, the mother of Jesus and his brothers.

Two phrases stand out in this verse: with one accord and devoting themselves to prayer.

As followers of Christ, we are privileged to be deeply unified. Whatever our differences of opinion about what it looks like to walk by faith, we are all children of God, adopted into His family through Jesus’s death and resurrection.  As family, we are called to love and care for one another. Even if I am that relative that everyone tolerates at family gatherings, I am still family.  We are profoundly united in Christ. Our passion for Christ and proclaiming the good news of His gospel supersedes all differences of opinion. As we are learning in Romans, we neither judge nor scorn believers whose opinions about living by faith are different that our own.  God has welcomed them.  They will stand before Him because they stand in Christ, just as we do.

The second phrase, devoting themselves to prayer, is central to Christian life.  We all come to faith through prayer, repenting of our sin and asking God to apply His glorious salvation, redemption and reconciliation in Christ to us. Then, as children of God in Christ, we are privileged to come before the Creator of all things seen and unseen as our heavenly Father.  He hears our heartaches, renews our minds, softens our hearts and strengthens our faith so we can walk in a manner pleasing to Him.

We will think more deeply about our unity in Christ and prayer at the conference. As we wait, let us praise God for the ways He has not only sustained, but grown us as a church family this year.  Let us praise God that we are His children, one family in Christ. Although we may differ how we live our faith out our fingertips, we remain firmly tied together, united in our passion to worship God and proclaim His goodness to those around us.  Let us lift one another up in prayer alone in our closets, in our “pods,” over Zoom and as we gather for worship. Finally, let us look forward with anticipation to gathering in small groups or one large group to glorify our Lord, study His Word and pray together as sisters in Christ.