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Conference 2007 - Gagetown, NB.
April 18-21, 2007
Theme: Faith, Fellowship and Service
Scripture: Coll 3:12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Theme song: Part of the family (44 in Songs for Gospel People)
What do you look for in a conference? Great location, accommodation and food? Good speakers? Interesting activities? Great people? Important Theme? Spiritual refreshment? Business? Entertainment? The Guild Conference in Gagetown had all of these things and then some.
We stayed at the Days Inn in Oromocto and had our meals at the mess on base. Beyond this basic 'hospitality' the Gagetown Guild went out of their way to make us all welcome, providing gift bags, coffee breaks and a warm welcome.
While we heard from various Guilds, the National Executive and the Guild's Spiritual Advisor, Padre John Organ, the designated guest speaker was Karen Kettle who not only spoke eloquently, using a PowerPoint presentation to illustrate her message, but also involved us in several hands on activities which helped to involve each of us in a consideration of Faith, Fellowship and Service. This threefold focus, familiar to all our guilds, was the theme for the conference.
For entertainment there were skits provided by various Guilds and music, including a campfire style sing-a-long. The skits did more than entertain us, however. Ask anyone who was there about the 'Demon Cowboy' and they will tell you how important it is for Christians to meet and fellowship together, not allowing themselves to be isolated from the group and thus vulnerable to attack.
Is business your focus? We had a business meeting and election, during which our new national executive was elected and many important matters discussed, including ways to make our Guilds more relevant and visible in our local communities. If it's people you enjoy, this conference was for you. The opportunity to meet, share ideas with and encourage approximately 30 like-minded women from across the country was both interesting and edifying. We were also privileged to have with us Padre David Kettle and the Chaplain General, Padre Stan Johnstone.
Does this short 'blurb' actually do justice to this year's conference? Hardly! It is said that 'the whole is greater than the sum of its parts' and this was certainly true for the Guild Conference. We came away refreshed, encouraged and enthusiastic about the Guild across the country and the possibilities for our own local Guilds. Our thanks go to all who worked so hard to make the conference a success.
Donations of clothing and money were made to the St. Luke's Thrift Shop by delegates at the conference in support of the work being done by the Gagetown Guild in their local community.