Girl-power unite in this inaugural event to celebrate and empower a group of ladies.
|PHOTO: Paulyn Midore Ng|
Arise & Shine! was the first women’s meeting of its kind for the ladies in SK Zone, one of the zones in City Harvest Church comprising church members under the pastoral care of zone supervisors Andreas and Marie Skogvard.
The highly-anticipated event was a call for the women from the zone to arise and shine for God. “I felt that women’s needs have to be met specifically, so I decided to tailor an event that was for women and all about women,” said Marie Skogvard.
It was a sister-to-sister affair on Aug. 13 as the women arrived that Friday evening. Goodie bags and a spread of light refreshments greeted the attendees as they walked into the auditorium at The Riverwalk. The refreshments were not bought, but completely homemade by the ladies themselves.
The program for the night was nothing short of strong spiritual empowerment and celebrating the beauty of women in God’s eyes. The theme of Arise & Shine! was fittingly enhanced by the shiny decorative stars and silvery tinsel that hung from the ceiling and walls. The event was made even more special as every individual involved in the various aspects of running the meeting was a woman. The 184 participants came dressed to the nines in their bling and shine, in line with the event’s theme.
The praise and worship band kicked things off with the fittingly chosen song, “Shine Like Stars.” There is no experience quite like hearing a chorus of all-women voices worshiping God with heartfelt devotion.
Skogvard shared an inspiring message with the ladies, using an entertaining Powerpoint presentation that was aptly titled, “What If Women Ruled The World?” The presentation drew much laughter as the crowd identified with the tongue-in-cheek comparisons made between women and men.
Skovgard asked the crowd to imagine that they were in the shoes of Hannah from the Bible, a woman who had to face numerous barriers and personal challenges in her life. “Every woman is created in the image of God. He uses both our strengths and weaknesses for His purpose,” she exhorted, revealing six barriers that God calls women to rise above in order for them to shine for His purpose.
Firstly, women are to rise above rivalry and comparison. They have to learn to accept themselves the way God accepts them. “Every woman is an original creation of God,” affirmed Skovgard to the roomful of women.
Secondly, women are to rise above shame and inferiority, which could come about as a result of wrong choices or other people’s actions toward self.
Next, inner hurts and grief can cause women to be paralyzed in life and block them from experiencing joy and intimacy. Past hurt and grief also prevent women from being free to be who they are. Skovgard then shared that to rise above the fourth barrier of bitterness and anguish, women need to be honest when coming before God and dealing with their hurts, so that these would not develop into bitterness.
Another barrier that women need to rise above is abandonment and loneliness. Women, encouraged Skovgard, should set aside time to build relationships with people, and find friends whom they can trust.
Finally, women need to rise above misunderstanding and unfair accusation, and learn to let go of disappointment in people when an offence arises.
Skogvard shared from the Bible regarding Hannah, whose life was changed only after she surrendered everything to God, allowing herself to shine for Him.
Carol Sng, 40, a full-time tutor, was touched by the message, “I felt the presence of God when all the women were being prayed for in the area of inner healing.”
Daisy Chong, 57, an accounts executive, felt that she could identify with the sermon and the barriers that were listed. “I find the points very applicable for women all around.” She added, “The whole event is a great idea, as some women may tend to be shy in asking for advice and help. It really helps when the atmosphere is fun and relaxed,” she added.
The night would not have been complete without announcing the winners of the “Most Shiny Outfit” competition. Five prizes were awarded, with secretary Annabel V. walking away as champion in her outstanding golden regalia.
She said, “To me, I just wanted to help support the theme of the event. I’m glad that everyone also decided to take this occasion to specially doll up.”
The night officially closed with the ladies taking photographs and talking about the enjoyable meeting. It had been a successful evening and gave the ladies a foretaste of the next Arise & Shine! event set to take place on Nov. 12.