By Keely Mills
“For you formed me in my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” ~Psalm 139:13-14 ESV
The Psalm 139 women’s conference was filled joy, laughter, and most importantly - spiritual goodness. The main theme of this year’s conference for women was “celebration.” Young women from all different classifications gathered together in McLane Great Hall on Friday, Jan. 13 to kick off this joyous event.
The large room was lined with long tables with festive decorations, bright candles and dried grapefruit slices. On each side of the hall there were pretty backdrops where attendees could take group photos. There were snack tables on one side and a lounge area with blankets and pillows on the other.
“The atmosphere was very vibrant and pink!” freshman transformational development major Rebekah Hasse, one of the participants, said. “Everybody was clearly excited to be there, and there was a sense of community”
The participants arrived in their pajamas, as was encouraged. Everyone sat down and chatted amongst themselves with their popcorn and candy.
“It was so nice to be able to come in as I was and enjoy the company of my fellow sisters in Christ and take a step back from everything,” Hasse said.
Conference speaker Carrie Beth Rogers gave a short sermon on what the passage of Psalm 139 means for the women of God. She spoke about being made in the image of Christ and prayed the psalm over all the women present. After this, music began to play and everyone sang and danced to popular songs as the evening started to close. Rebekah Hasse especially cherished this part of the conference.
“We were able to put into practice what we had just heard, about finding our identity in Christ,” Hasse said, “and [while] not caring about what the others thought as we danced the night away.”
The attire was casual on Saturday morning at Bawcom Student Union, where everyone received Psalm 139 t-shirts. They had breakfast with a prayer to bless the day, followed by a time of worship. The women praised the Lord together and celebrated His goodness joyfully. Then, the speaker, Carrie Beth Rogers gave the first session of the day, reading from Galatians Chapter Five, which concerns the freedom that Christians have in Jesus.
“Our ultimate freedom from sin comes from Christ,” Rogers said. “And since we are all sinners, we have to stop comparing ourselves.”
Six breakout groups ensued; In His Image, How to Pray, Getting Started, Gospel 101, Wellness, and Community. Hasse describes the breakout groups in this way:
“The breakout groups were absolutely amazing and gave us opportunities to hear from fellow sisters in Christ and what God has called them to.”
That evening, everyone came back to McLane Great Hall dressed in their Sunday best. They enjoyed pasta and salad together, and there was also some time for more picture-taking. After the meal, there was worship, then a session about why the conference is a time of beautiful celebration, and how people who follow Jesus Christ have freedom beyond all measure.
The rest of the night consisted of learning about different Biblical applications, such as how to continually submit to the Lord and His plan, and rejoicing in the freedom from sin that God has given humanity. Moreover, there were multiple activities that reminded participants how important it is to support one another in a Christ-like way. For example, the women filled out worksheets describing sin they have struggled with, and at the end of the activity, different groups of women stood up when the name of their sin struggle was called. It was a way of declaring that sin has no power over individuals who are saved by Jesus.
The weekend closed with a lively worship party. What better way to celebrate the hope and freedom we have in Jesus than singing and dancing with fellow sisters in Christ.
Photo by Bella Alaksin/TheBells: Students worship during the last session of Psalm 139 event. From left to right: Macy Rogers, Claire Murphy and Kinsley Jones.