Seminar – How to Study the Gospels

On Mondays we like to draw your attention to certain aspects of the Scottish Women’s Convention. For the next few weeks we’ll be telling you a bit more about the range of Seminars that are on offer.

Jody MacIver, from St Andrews will be leading a seminar on How to Study the Gospels.

What is the seminar about?
This seminar will aim to give us the tools to be able to understand and apply the gospels – particularly the trickier narrative bits.

Who is the seminar for?
Anyone at all! While the gospels are probably the bit of the bible we’re most familiar with, it can be difficult to see how we can apply the narrative sections. We can enjoy reading the stories but struggle to see how they should have an impact on our relationship with Christ or other parts of our lives. So this is for anyone who would like to be able to read the bible for themselves more effectively – not just those who are in teaching roles.

Why is this area important?
If we believe that ‘All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness’, then it’s vital to equip ourselves to understand the bible as best we can. In the gospels we get an up-close and personal look at Jesus – how he lived as well as what he taught – and every bit of it is essential for our walk with him. The more confidence we have in understanding the gospel accounts the better equipped we are to know Jesus and enjoy life to the full in him, and the more equipped we’ll be to share the good news of what he did with others, too.

Besides your seminar, what one thing about the Scottish Women’s Convention are you looking forward to and why?
I attended the conference last year, and as well as getting lots out of the teaching, I loved catching up with and meeting women from different parts of Scotland. I’m looking forward to getting to do that again!

Tickets can be purchased for £10 from Eventbrite here –Tickets 

Speaker – Luke 7

On Mondays we like to draw your attention to certain aspects of the Scottish Women’s Convention. We asked our speaker Clare Heath-Whyte to share more about what she will be speaking on.  Clare will also be running a seminar “Women of faith – hidden heroines of the Reformation”.

What are you speaking about at the Scottish Women’s Convention and why?Flier final

I am speaking on “Faith” from Luke 7. Faith is central to the Christian life, but there is so much confusion about what it actually is. Seeing Jesus meeting various people in this chapter helps us to understand what faith is (and is not) and what a faith filled life looks like in practice.

What is the title of your seminar at the Scottish Women’s Convention? What is it about?

Women of faith – Hidden heroines of the Reformation.

2017 is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation – when the wonderful truth of Justification by faith alone was rediscovered by Martin Luther. The names of some of the male reformers are well known – but the role of women was vital too. We will be looking at the fascinating lives of a couple of these women to see how justification by faith alone and the doctrine of scripture alone transformed their lives – and how they influenced the world around them.

Why is this seminar topic important?

Seeing how women in the past, with far fewer advantages and opportunities than we have, served Christ in their lives can challenge and encourage us today. Will we, like them, allow ourselves to be transformed by scripture rather than being conformed to the world?

Tickets on sale now!

We are really exciting to announce that tickets for the 2017 Scottish Women’s Bible Convention are now on sale.  You can purchase them from swbc2017.eventbrite.co.uk  The early bird price of £8 is available until the end of July.  Don’t miss out!

Our speaker this year is Clare Heath-Whyte.  She will be teaching us from Luke 7.  We will be profiling her on the blog soon.  There will seminars on a variety topics which we will share information about in the upcoming months.  Sign up for seminars will happen on the day.

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 .

Staff_Sharon_Dickens-300x400Meet Sharon…Sharon lives in Niddrie, Edinburgh.

What area of ministry do you work in?

I’m Director of Operations and Women’s Ministry with 20schemes it’s a ministry of my church Niddrie Community Church.

How did you come to work in this particular area of ministry?

I have worked in the community primarily with families and people who have experienced homelessness for over 26 years. I was a member of Niddrie Community Church when Mez McConnell took over as our minister he asked me to be part of the Niddrie Pastoral Team initially as a community development worker. For over 8 years  I primarily  worked at establishing, training and co-ordinationing the women’s ministry.

When 20schemes was launched In Nov 2012 I was asked to take on the role of Director for Women’s ministry so that I could focus and develop the women’s ministry as well as and train the women workers. In April 2015 I also took on the responsibility to oversea the administration team UK and USA changing my job title to Director of Operations and Women’s Ministry so have a duel role.

Give one great challenge and one great joy of working in gospel ministry?

My great joy is that I get to mentor and disciple women who are in ministry as they mentor women, new believers, in the schemes. This is would also be, I would say, one of the greatest challenges as well as they struggle in their roles. I find it challenging the responsibility I have as an older women speaking into their lives. I feel the challenge for my own life even as I listen to my own words challenging them.

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

  • Patience
  • Reliance on Him and not self reliance
  • Servant heartedness

Sharon will be leading a seminar at the convention.  Next week we will share more details of her seminar.

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 .

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Meet Leonie…Leonie lives in Sileby – a large village situated in the Soar Valley between Leicester and Loughborough.

What area of ministry do you work in?

My official title is “schools and children’s work co-ordinator for the United Benefice of Sileby, Cossington and Seagrave”!  Which means I am responsible for teaching children about Jesus: on Sundays in XTB – our Sunday groups, during the week in school assemblies – we have 4 primary schools, in toddler groups, youth groups, after school club and summer holiday club and it’s termly follow up sessions on Sunday afternoons.

How did you come to work in this particular area of ministry?

I had the good news about Jesus taught to me from a young age at Sunday school, camp, after school club, youth group – I think that is where my passion for ministry with children really began!

As a student I worked with UCCF as one of the very first Relay workers, enjoyed working with students but felt ill-equipped so then did the Cornhill course in London – a year spent learning how to teach the Bible. I didn’t really have a plan, I just knew I wanted to teach the Bible – I was employed by a group of churches in rural Essex as an apprentice and did mainly youth and children’s work there for 3 years and I’m still doing it 18 years later, having ministered in churches in Burton on Trent, Aberdeen and now back in the Midlands.

Give one great challenge and one great joy of working in gospel ministry?

Sometimes I walk up the road to school thinking “I’m taking another assembly” when God kindly reminds me by his spirit that I am not just “taking an assembly” I am teaching the good news about Jesus to the lost . I stand in a long line of those who have sought to pass on the Good news, invited to take part in God’s great salvation plan. The challenge is always to keep the cross central, lifting your heart and mind to the spiritual realities as you live or sometimes slog, day to day on this earth. The great joy is that we do have good news of a great saviour to share and the reason I know is because he saved me and opened my eyes.

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

I have been preparing Sunday school lessons from Luke’s gospel, about the people Jesus meets and interacts with and this has caused me to ponder about Jesus’ mission to the lost. Namely, that He has a heart for the lost as the very fabric of his being, it is his eternity’s work, love, labour, plan and delight to seek and save the lost. I am just a Johnny come lately to this game. I need to ask him in prayer to bring me up to speed with his plans and to humbly ask where I can serve. Which is a great comfort when I feel tired, don’t see much fruit, don’t have my faith in the right place, forget that God’s power is shown in weakness. He will never give up his mission til all his sheep are safely home. He could do this work without me but he chooses to use my bumbling efforts to bring about his plans. Who would ever have thought up such a plan?

Leonie will be leading a seminar at the convention.  Next week we will share more details of her seminar.

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 various people 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.

my-passport-photoMeet Rachel…Rachel was born in Belfast, lived in England for 7 years and moved to Edinburgh when she was 13 years old. Edinburgh very much feels like home now! She grew up in a Christian family and committed her life to Christ at a young age.

What area of ministry do you work in?

Women’s Ministry. I am the Women’s Ministry Coordinator at Charlotte Chapel. Within this role I lead bible studies, disciple younger women, organise events and much more. I am particularly passionate about training and equipping women to grow and develop the gifts and abilities God has given them for service.
How did you come to work in this particular area of ministry?
Leaving university I knew I had a desire to be involved in ministry but was unsure how and what it would be. I trained to be a teacher and a couple of years into teaching the desire hadn’t changed so I started exploring options. A conversation with my minister, Robin Sydserff, led to me applying for the apprenticeship programme at our church. I was accepted and did this alongside the Cornhill Training Course in Glasgow (http://www.cornhillscotland.org.uk/). After my apprenticeship I got the job at Charlotte.
Give one great challenge and one great joy of working in gospel ministry?
The greatest joy is getting to speak to people about the gospel and Jesus on a daily basis. I love being able to open the Bible with people and show them how God speaks to them  through it today. It is even better when you see God transforming lives by His Holy Spirit.
The greatest challenge is to retain a desire for personal Bible study and prayer. When spending your work hours in the Bible it can be easy to let personal habits slide. I have learnt time and time again that when I am not deepening my relationship with God I am much more tempted to rely on myself. In those times I either become proud or feel overwhelmed. To keep going in ministry I need to be growing in my dependence on God which comes through spending time with him.
What one thing has the Lord been teaching you about yourself and himself in recent times?
More recently God has teaching me what his word has to say about singleness and this path he has me on. I still desire marriage and strongly believe that the Bible teaches that marriage is an honourable thing to desire. However, what God has been teaching is enabling me to see my singleness less as a burden and more as a good gift and time not to be wasted. Elisabeth Elliot put it this way, “This gift for this day. The life of faith is lived one day at a time, and it has to be lived not always looked forward to as though the “real” living were around the next corner. It is for today we are responsible. God still owns tomorrow.”
What thing about the Scottish Women’s Convention are you looking forward to and why?
I think I am most looking forward to seeing women from all over Scotland coming together to learn from God’s word.

Thursday Spotlight

On Thursday 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.

DSCN3406 (2)Meet Karen…Karen lives in East Kilbride with her husband Sam and two children Ryan (9) and Lucy (6).

How did you become a Christian?

I was brought up in a Christian home, so always went to church and was taught from an early age about God and what it was to be a Christian.  In my early teenage years attended many SU camps and youth events, where a few key leaders really drew alongside me and were a huge encouragement and influence on my life.  At the age of 14 I made a commitment and was baptised.  Since then it has been a journey full of ups and downs and I am continually learning more and more of what it really means to follow Jesus – a work in progress.

How do you serve within your church?

I work for the church as their Community Care Worker, as part of my role I have the privilege of serving in the EK Community Food Bank, Harvest Store, CAP Jobs Club and CAP money courses.

I also serve in the Sunday Club teaching P5-P7, help arrange Women’s events and play the flute in the worship band.

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

Usually tidying up after Harvest Store, which we hold at Calderwood Baptist Church every Wednesday.  Harvest Store is there to support individuals and families in our community on low incomes by providing a range of goods (including fruit & veg, clothes, baby items etc.) at affordable prices. If I’m lucky there is just enough time to grab a quick cuppa with my friend before collecting the kids from school.

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

That we can’t and don’t have to face what life throws at us on our own.  We have to fully release everything to God and He will sustain us through. God has used the following quote and bible verse to really speak to me recently

We are overcomers. We are more than conquerors. We are stronger than we know, braver than we feel and loved more than we can even imagine…”  Holley Gerth Inspired by Romans 8:31-39. 

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

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

Agnes contacted my minister as we are part of the West of Scotland Gospel Partnership.  John then approached me and asked if I would like to be involved as I am part of the team that organises women’s events and conferences in our church.  I am very excited to be involved as I love it when women get together to equip, encourage and share with one another. 

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

Not sure I can narrow it down to one thing but being able to take time out of a very busy schedule to spend time with sisters in Christ and be fed and encouraged through Gods word, building on current friendships and hopefully making new friends along the way. 

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 various people 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_1307Meet Agnes Brough.  Agnes works at The Tron Church in Glasgow City Centre.  She is also the mastermind behind the Scottish Women’s Convention!

Prior to her current role Agnes studied law Cambridge and worked in the Lord Chancellor’s Department for 8 years.

What area of ministry do you work in?

A mixture – I work with children, teenagers and students and I run the church bookroom.

How did you come to work in this particular area of ministry?

How long have you got?  I always loved working with children and that grew into a desire to show them Jesus in the Scriptures.  And not a “children’s message” from a passage, but the real message of the passage, taught so that children could understand. 

Encouraged by my church in London, I trained to be a primary teacher and then at the Cornhill Training Course – before being offered a job in Glasgow (thanks to a little, innocent nepotism) teaching God’s Word to children, teenagers, students, office workers … a whole lot more than I had bargained for! 

Give one great challenge and one great joy of working in gospel ministry?

The greatest challenge is my own sinful nature and the greatest joy is to see a young person growing into adulthood and standing firm in the truth just as they’d been taught. 

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

That He is good – much more willing to give me good gifts when I ask than I often give Him credit for – and that I should be less fearful about facing the to-do list!

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

Lots.  Loo queue chat.  Meeting sisters in Christ from across Scotland.  Coffee queue chat. A big sing.  Bookstall queue chat. God’s Word doing God’s work in women’s hearts  – mine and yours.