Some of us step into greater leadership roles in our local churches as get older. Others find new places of service. And find themselves on the sidelines, unsure where we fit as we move into this new life stage.
And we are all living in a time when “the big C” Church is facing challenges on many fronts.
Women in the second half of their lives play an essential role in the body of Christ. Our experience, our gifts, and our wisdom are needed in this hour. Our voices matter.
Join us on Saturday, January 15, 2022 from 11 AM–1 PM (Eastern) for a lively two-hour seminar featuring a mix of wise, courageous Perennial Gen contributors who will name the challenges and offer practical insight as to how to be a faithful voice of change, healing, and renewal in the body of Christ. Keynotes, a panel discussion, and a lively Q and A with those in attendance.
Our speakers include:
Topic: Jesus Doesn’t Disappoint—but the Church Sure Does
By the time we’ve hit forty, we’ve all faced many, many disappointments. Some of these disappointments have been highly consequential, such as infertility, divorce, grown children making poor choices, careers that never took off, etc. Often, it’s the disappointments connected to the God, the church and other believers that cut the deepest. The unanswered prayers. The small group leaders who never embraced us. The fellow congregants who chose safety and comfort over growth. Regardless of the specifics, repeated disappointments can result in cynicism, loss of hope, and even despair. What does it look like to process the disappointments that we’ve faced, keep our hearts open, and learn how to create more realistic expectations? How do we not give up on the church and other Christians? I’ve been part of and leading in churches, para-church organizations, and Christian communities for 40 years now—and I bear the scars to prove it. Yet by God’s grace, I continue to love the church and her people (at least most days). Listen in on what that journey has looked like.
Topic: Mental Health in Midlife and Beyond – “The Older I Get, the Whole Lot Better I Feel”
At midlife, mental health challenges come fast and furious to all, including grief, disorientation, devaluation, and dislocation. In later life, mental health generally improves. Science has speculated that this may be due to things including coping skills, practiced strengths, perspective, appropriate expectations, and renewed courage. For those facing mental health challenges, there is hopeful news. Odds are good things will get better. Not just because you’ve finally found the right medicines, but because you’ve learned (and become willing) to live your right life, and because later life is when the demands to conform actually do drop. You’re no longer the parent, the bread winner, the good employee. You are free to be the person God made you.
Topic: You’re On Mute! Hearing the Voices of Women in the Church
We are the generation who have lived through seismic sociological and theological redefinitions of the Church’s view of women. The debate plays out, sometimes traumatically, in the lives of individual women, requiring us to navigate anomalies, contradictions, anachronisms and distortions. Kate Bowler, in her book The Preacher’s Wife, identifies the paradigms that some high-profile Christian women have adopted in order to navigate these theological complexities. But how helpful are these models and the theological assumptions behind them? Do they actually silence the voices of women?
Reflecting on what Bowler and others have to say about modern views and practices of women in the Church, and drawing upon my experience in the British context and my recent MA studies on this topic, we will consider together how we, as mature Christian women, can faithfully exercise the gifts, callings and voices that God has given us.
Your emcee will be writer and PerGen founder Michelle Van Loon.
Cost for the Voice of Valor Workshop: $10
Registration fee includes workshop handout, a resource list, plus access to the recording that they can share with other women of valor in their local church community to keep the conversation going.
“A woman of valor, who can find?” (Proverbs 31:10)