A review of Women’s Ministries Victoria “Sustained” Conference – On the Road 2021


WMV On The Road returns this year (2022) in Ballarat, Benalla and Warragul

This article was written by Meredith Angel and originally appeared in Fellow Workers Spring 2021 edition

“Have you heard about ‘Sustained’ in June?” a friend asked me at another Women’s conference earlier in the year. “No” I replied, already considering how ‘spiritually fat’ I might get by going to another conference instead of applying what I’d learned with family, friend and church. “Jan Martin’s speaking, it’s at NGPC (your old church), there will be useful electives for women’s ministry” she proceeded.  My ears pricked.

A month later, I rang an experienced ESL worker in the Presbyterian Church to extract her wisdom. She asked the same question. “Have you heard of WMV on the road? I’ll be running an elective which goes into detail on your questions”, she informed me. My decision was made!

I gained so much from that last conference, but I needed more of God’s word, more wisdom, more direction! Because our church had already agreed to widely promote only one women’s conference a year, I informally invited a few and prayed that God would bring those he wanted. He answered by stirring up a new friend who wanted to challenge herself by going to her first conference and another friend in paid ministry.

I’m not exaggerating, stepping into that building was a mini taste of heaven with the warm welcome, many familiar faces for the two of us and many new friendly faces for my friend. We sang praise to our Saviour as one. There were no impossible high notes to be matched – just an honest and identifiable introduction, “I struggle with glory seeking but let’s turn our hearts now to the one who deserves it all, All Glory be to Christ.” 

The ministry spots learned showed how God is growing his Kingdom. If you’re confused by the countless committees within the Pressy church, Ros and Jenny blew our preconceived idea of PWMU out of the water. The courageous Ben Johnson also informed the room full of women about the necessity, value and recent development of tailored ministry to women through the WMV Committee.

If anyone was sceptical about the need for women’s ministry at this point, I’m sure they would have changed their minds when Jan Martin preached from 2 Peter 1, spread over two talks. She helped us see the enormous privilege we have in obtaining faith of equal standing with the Apostle Peter, made possible through the righteousness of Christ. God’s power equips us for all godliness through knowledge of Him. So instead of making the all too familiar excuses like “it’ll be easier to delve into my bible and pray deeply when the kids are older or once I get through this crazy season”, she urged us from verses 5-7 to make every effort to supplement our faith with virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly affection and love. Today.

Why? To stop us from being ineffective and bear much fruit, just like a prickly adventure through the overgrown blackberry bushes to enjoy the sweet fruit. How? Stop pretending we’re better than we are and invite a trustworthy friend in to pray with us as we fight embarrassing sin. Even more, be aware of our tendency to forget God’s truth and fight that with regular time in God’s word, meditating, memorising and praying it into our lives.

Now I’m a bit of a foodie and the lunch spread was diverse and delicious. But topping that were the honest chats over lunch where we could hear of new and old friends’ joys and struggles, speak God’s word into each other’s lives and pray.

Three electives were available after lunch which addressed specific needs for all three of us…

“I attended ‘Steady in the Storm’ and found it to be a great privilege to sit under the teaching of Sarah Weber once again. Sarah led us straight to the Bible where we explored passages on trials and suffering. These passages demonstrated how the Word of God speaks into any preconceived idea we may have and how Jesus is our source of hope. I found this faithful application uplifting, comforting and encouraging, not only for myself, but in the way that I can also apply this when caring for others.

In general, the day was refreshing, encouraging and all because it was centred on God’s word. Thank you WMV!” Emma

“My first conference and I was pleasantly surprised. Everyone was lovely and welcoming. The venue and food was fantastic. What I enjoyed most was the content of which Jan spoke on, 2 Peter 1. Her presentation was both biblical and applicable.

The Parenting Workshop helped me see the differences between man/self-centred parenting and God centred parenting, the importance of investing in our own relationship with God for our children’s benefit, strengthening our children’s relationship with God by praying, bible reading / memorising together and the necessity of praying for our children’s salvation, help in our weakness and to fight the lie of being too busy.” Steph

And through attending the “Communicating Cross-culturally” workshop, Ros Brown drew our attention to God’s desire for all nations to worship Jesus his Son, our Saviour, made known throughout scripture. We were encouraged to view our Western selves as servants, as we grow cross-cultural relationships; to be open, accepting, teachable, seeking to understand and patiently building trust with people different to us, but made in God’s image. Her material gave great excitement about the opportunities to participate in the Great Commission, even while our borders remain predominantly closed.

So was it worth going to two women’s conference in one school term? Yes. While it’s important we don’t get puffed up with knowledge, as 2 Peter 1 points out – we have been saved to make every effort to keep growing in Christ, bearing fruit in this world until Jesus returns. What better way to get us back on track and accelerate this than with a day at a WMV conference?!