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Christian woman's journey theme of annual East Texas Women's Conference
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Christian woman's journey theme
of annual East Texas Women's Conference
By Melodee Overton

The writer is a member of the Church of God Big Sandy.

BIG SANDY, Texas--It was a wonderful East Texas Women's Conference again this year, starting with activities on Friday evening, March 9, that included fellowship, snacks and a “human scavenger hunt" designed by Linda Benton of Tyler.

Karen Weese and Nancy White, both of Big Sandy, brought snacks. Coordinating the food was Julie Wilkins of Hawkins.

Mrs. White, our mistress of ceremonies for the weekend, kept us focused on our Christian journey throughout the three days we spent together.

Next we had group singing led by Lyna Jane Bryant of Sulphur Springs.

Historical letter

Later in the evening Kim Skelton of White Oak read a historical letter from Linda Hardy White encouraging us in Big Sandy to continue with the conference to help edify, encourage and exhort one another. Linda Hardy White, who died in 2003, was the founder of the annual meetings.

Saturday morning started with music led by Mrs. Bryant, brunch by Mrs. Skelton at 9:30 and then our first conference speaker, Sharon Ledy of Spring Arbor, Mich.

Prayer and fasting

Mrs. Ledy presented “Our Relationships With Other People Reflect Our Relationship With God," followed by a talk by Barbara Payne of Dallas, “Strengthening Our Relationships Through Prayer and Fasting."

After this we went to local women's homes for interactive Bible studies centering on the key conference scripture, 2 Peter 1:3-10.

The women who opened their homes and provided lunch for this event were Michele Mischnick and Linda Cartwright of Big Sandy, Jeri Holcomb of Hawkins and Tat Tomes of Lindale.

Rather than attending the Bible studies, the conference women could choose to stay at the Church of God Big Sandy's building and attend services where Dave Havir, pastor, and Ray Wooten, an elder from Roanoke, Ind., spoke.

We gathered back at the building at 4 p.m. for a little more music before we began a panel discussion titled “Challenges on Our Christian Journey" led by Brenda Ross of Tyler.

The first to speak was Mrs. Bryant, who spoke on surviving cancer.

Next this writer talked about going through divorce, while Meagan Overton talked about the experiences of a young Christian woman facing the positive challenges of baptism, marriage, college, moving and working and looking to the older women to set the right example.

The next to speak was Peggy Wooten of Roanoke, Ind., on taking care of her mother with Alzheimer's, and lastly Mrs. Ross spoke on widowhood and moving on with her life. She is engaged to be married the same day as Meagan Overton, July 7, 2007.

After the ladies spoke, the session was opened for questions and answers from the audience.

We had a wonderful international meal that evening served by men of the congregation.

We finished the evening with roundtable discussions and a few classroom activities.

In the classroom Beth Erickson Lytle of Hawkins demonstrated yoga. Donna Weese of Big Sandy led a group discussing alternative health insights.

The roundtable events included Michelle Dean of Gladewater discussing homeopathy; Gwen Wilson of Big Sandy providing insights into essential oils and their use in dealing with emotional issues; Ruth Ann Eaton and Wanda Bunn, both of Big Sandy, discussing essential oils; and Joni Pendley of Houston sharing recipes and experiences in menu planning and putting meals in the freezer.

Sunday we had an early breakfast, provided by Sharon Burgin of Big Sandy, then a little more music, followed by Paula Hughes of Tyler discussing the book For Women Only, with insights into understanding men.

Our next speaker was Carol Boyer of Spring Arbor, Mich., who presented “Who's Your Daddy?: Living Our Spiritual Identity."

Our last speaker of the conference was Renetta Wilson of Celina, Texas, with “Listen Close the First Time."

We concluded with Mrs. Skelton leading prayer.

We had a great time exploring this part of our shared Christian journey. By the conclusion of the three days, more than 120 Christian women had participated in this year's conference.

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