SWBC is for you!

Wondering whether you should go to the Scottish Women’s Bible Convention and why you should be excited about “another Christian conference”?  To help we asked different people why SWBC is for all women and is something we should all be excited by.  These people have either already booked their tickets, are involved in planning or are enthusiastically advertising at their churches.

unnamedThis week we asked Jon Gemmell, minister at Bruntsfield Evangelical in Edinburgh, why he is encouraging the women in his church to go and is volunteering his help behind the scenes.

Jon writes, “I am so excited about the inaugural Scottish Women’s Bible Convention. Women gathering around God’s Word and seeking the Lord together is always a thrilling and fruitful endeavour and one hopefully modelled and catalysed at this Convention. Women’s ministry is under-resourced across Scotland as a whole. I am praying that this convention can go some way to addressing this urgent need, spurring the church to take seriously its responsibility to serve, nurture, grow and unleash women to be confident, dynamic and dangerous for the gospel.”

Thursday Spotlight

On Thursday’s we want to give you an insight into the lives of some of the women involved in the Scottish Women’s Convention.  Some of these women are involved in full time ministry in the local Church, while others balance serving in the church with a secular job.

We sent them a questionnaire asking them to give us a taste of what they do, the challenges they face and what they are looking forward to about the Scottish Women’s Convention.

IMG_20160603_141326Meet Miriam…Miriam lives in Edinburgh with her husband.

What are you usually doing at 2pm on a Wednesday?

Sat at my desk, working. Not all that exciting, I’m afraid! I work as the Admin Co-ordinator in the Free Church of Scotland offices in Edinburgh; the administrative/financial hub of the work of the denomination. It’s a varied role that largely depends on what’s going on and what others need, but it gives me a fascinating insight into the inner workings of the church. It’s so easy to forget the everyday tasks that go on behind the scenes to allow gospel work to happen, but it’s actually really fulfilling (and challenging!) to know that everything you do, however mundane it may seem, is for the glory of God.

How did you become a Christian?

I’m very blessed in having no memory of a time when I wasn’t a Christian. My parents are deeply committed Christians and my dad is an Anglican vicar, so Jesus Christ and faith were integral to our everyday family life. I was always encouraged to develop a living faith of my own through prayer and Bible study, but there was never a question about God or the Bible that I couldn’t ask. My faith has matured over the years, but one of the key periods for me was studying Theology at university, when I specialised in the New Testament. There is something remarkable about being taught to translate the gospel from Greek to English that really makes you own the truth for yourself.

How do you serve within your church?

I’m part of St Columba’s Free Church in Edinburgh, where I serve as part of the church praise team. I’ve always loved music, and the Free Church tradition of singing unaccompanied psalms  has made me appreciate the psalms as worship far more than I ever had done before. I also write the church prayer diary and help my husband Dean, who is one of the church elders, with a house group.

What one thing has the Lord been teaching you about yourself and himself in recent times?

It took me a while to find my answer to this question, but I think it would have to be how to appreciate seasons of blessing. The last few years have been a real time of blessing and encouragement from the Lord, and this has helped me to mature and settle in my faith, and has taught me that God’s biblical promises of protection and benefit to His people are not just for eternity; they can be for now as well. This season of stability and peace has also enabled me to develop good habits in terms of supporting others and encouraging them in their walk with the Lord. In the end, we need to put our trust in God over and above all others things and people, and the blessings of recent times have given me the trust in Him to do that. Of course, I know that trials will still come, but I hope and pray that the lessons I have learnt in the good years will stay with me through any lean times in the future.

How did you get involved in planning the Scottish Women’s Bible Convention?

By being in the right place at the right time! We were having tea at the manse one night with our minister and his wife, Derek and Catriona Lamont, and Derek just asked me straight out to get involved. His words, so far as I can remember, were: ‘Miriam, I’ve had an email asking if there’s anyone in the congregation who would get involved in the steering group for a new Christian women’s conference. Are you keen?’ My answer was: ‘Absolutely!’

What thing about the Scottish Women’s Bible Convention are you looking forward to and why?

It may sound geeky, but my answer has to be robust biblical teaching for Christian women. All too often, material for Christian women is aimed at emotional stimulation, rather than mental sustenance and challenge. The Bible can be hard to grapple with, but the message of God was never meant to be an easy comfort. It is meant to sustain us through the challenges of the Christian life, and sanctify us for eternal life with the Son. I’m so glad, therefore, that the SWBC aim is to ‘equip women with the Word’, giving them the tools to delve deeper into God’s Word for themselves, and the confidence in the gospel to share their faith with others. Our faith and fruitfulness can only grow when we understand the Bible better.

On a very selfish note, I’m also hoping to be able to actually make it to the Convention! I’m due to give birth to my first child on the 7th October, the day before the Convention, so I’m hoping the baby will be a few days late so I can come along. We certainly don’t want any dramatics on the day, but I don’t really want to have to wait until next year to be there in person!

Our venue

On Mondays we like to draw your attention to certain aspects of the Scottish Women’s Convention.  This week we are excited to introduce you to our venue.  This year the Scottish Women’s Bible Convention is happening at Charlotte Chapel on Shandwick Place, Edinburgh.  Check out their newly refurbished premises at this write up from the fiec – https://fiec.org.uk/news/article/a-2million-facelift.
This fabulous building is the venue for the Scottish Women’s Bible Convention on 8 October.  There are 600 seats and we would love to fill every one.  We’ve decided on a place for the 10ofthose bookstall, a room for nursing mums and we’re working out the best configuration for the coffee queues.  We’d love to see you there – at the Convention, not just in the queue!
Don’t forget to get your early bird tickets for £8 on Eventbrite.