Three hundred and forty three women from all over Iowa gathered together at the Sheraton West Des Moines on April 10-12, 2015, for ONE, a women’s conference. The first time event, co-sponsored by BCI and Cornerstone Church, Ames, featured national speaker and author Jen Wilkin with worship led by Christian artists, The Museum.
Speaker Jen Wilkin said of the conference, “It was a privilege to get to serve at such a well-planned event. The eagerness of the women to learn, grow and worship was a blessing to me as a teacher. I find it profoundly encouraging to get to spend time with women around the country who want to know, love and serve God. The One Conference was another faithful reminder to me that the Church is bigger than my own context, and that the work of the Lord goes forward.”
Sue McRae, wife and ministry partner of BCI Discipleship Team Leader Chris McRae said, “We were blessed with Jen Wilkin’s challenge to dig deep in our study of the Word of God which is the faithful declaration of the character of God. She went on to emphasize throughout her sessions that the heart cannot love what the mind does not know.”
Women who attended were blessed by the beauty of the decorations, the warmth of the conference leaders, God centered worship, biblical teaching and great fun. It was a time to care for one’s soul and return home refreshed and replenished to live for God.
Jen challenged the women to fulfill the call of Scripture to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love others as well. Too often women approach the Bible first with their emotions (heart). Jen encouraged the women to engage their minds: “Your heart cannot love what your mind doesn’t know.”
The conference provided an opportunity for women from many churches to spend time with one another away from other responsibilities and distractions – where their focus is deepening their relationship with God and with one another.
“It was such a blessing for me to be among over three hundred women of all ages worshipping and learning together at the ONE Conference. This gives me encouragement and confidence in the future for Iowa Baptists and the influence our churches will have in our state for the glory of God and growth of His Kingdom” said Joni Wilkinson, Iowa WMU Coordinator.
Another woman said in response to hearing the teaching on The Good Samaritan, “What’s my motivation for living my life for Jesus? Here it is: I was the one half dead in need of saving. Jesus is the ONE who came to me in His compassion, healed my wounds, carried me, took me in and promises to return. Without Him, I’m wholly dead. What more could I ever need?”
Over 30 volunteers, including BCI’s Joni Wilkinson, served countless hours to bring this event to Central Iowa. The BCI WMU Annual Meeting was held on Friday, April 10, in conjunction with ONE.
The organizers of the event have announced that another ONE conference will be held in Spring 2016. For more information and to sign up for updates go to theoneconference.org.