Over the years I’ve discovered a few things about women:
They love connection.
They love community.
They love the idea of belonging.
They love the idea of time-out with others of like-spirit, like-interest, like-passion.
They love to talk and laugh.
To see the sublime and ridiculous in the everyday.
They love to listen, understand, offer help.
They love that they have value.
They love that they can live for purposes larger than themselves.
They love that the part they play is needful and important.
They flourish in the realm of FRIENDSHIP.
They flourish in the realm of CAUSE.
And they flourish in the realm of EMPATHY AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
To be honest, there are so many qualities that contribute to the landscape that is, Womanhood! The list above is but a glimpse into the dynamic and wonder that frames “the feminine heart, the feminine spirit and the influence women can bring”.
However, I am also not so naive to believe that every woman or girl on this planet lives in the realm of the little list just outlined — but I do know that there is a Creator whose intent for women is perfect, complete and breathtaking. I do know that far too many women are assailed by forces contrary to the heart and will of God. Their beauty, brilliance, worth, capacity and strengths are within a divine design that is so often compromised, lessened or abused by others. Yet, I also know, that there is a more trustworthy way, and that oceans of women around the world have discovered pathways that lead to life, hope and freedom. So for these reasons (any many more), I love that the essence of Sisterhood is maturing and taking shape on the earth.
As a local church — our landscape towards women is not void of activity. For over 25 years we have laboured for the feminine heart and have prepared a table that has been consistent and ever-present. This includes a leadership ethos and vision that is embracive and exemplative of women; a regular teaching environment that gathers, equips and mobilizes; and an annual women’s conference that has championed the magnificence of womanhood around the world.
This also includes the creation of an “oasis of Sisterhood Parties”. Parties and get-togethers that are — warm, embracive, unpretentious, enjoyable and fun. Parties that frame a fabulous demographic and social sphere of women. Parties hosted in homes and lounge rooms, cafes and restaurants, or someone’s favourite eating hole. Parties around fire pits or picnic blankets in parklands or places that refresh the soul.
I asked my friend, Karalee, to write why she loves the potential of Sisterhood:
“I’ve always been a SISTERHOOD girl. In fact, my very first service ever at Hillsong Australia 14 years ago was a Thursday morning. But it was two years ago now that I made the choice of intentionality. Don’t just show up every week, Karalee, BE THERE. Put your hand up, bring people, SET THE TABLE. The Sisterhood GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT Dinner Parties are just another invitation to do exactly that – be intentional, be present, be involved. Whether you’ve hosted one before, attended one, or this idea is something new, can I encourage you that these nights can be a revelation if you let them? That stepping out and doing something new and brave might just be the added layer of ‘Sisterhood community, friendship, and cause’ that you have been longing for.
I love the metaphor of a table.
A table is a place to be nourished, a place where we allow others to meet our needs and where we can sit with one another and find common ground. When Jesus got up and served at the first communion table he did so by beckoning each of his friends to sit, eat and rest. And, c’mon girls, who doesn’t need to do that?! A table is a place of safety and celebration, a place of healing and wholeness, where one comes to be fed but also to feed others. I truly believe that if we (as a local Sisterhood) can discover the art of the table again – lean into the opportunity to host and bring and belong – that the friendship and conversation, the intimacy and laughter of these evenings will spill over… that the moments, conversations and memories made at these parties will overflow into our communities, marriages and families. Be intentional with this opportunity, girls… I think God has something beautiful in store for all of us”. (Karalee)
So if you happen to be reading this (and you happen to call Hillsong/Australia “home”) — we are relaunching Sisterhood 2020 with these parties. If you want to be involved, see my email landing in your inbox, or click here.
And if you are from another planting or local church, be inspired to believe in the potential of Sisterhood. Sow into your local church and be part of the answer. And because our door is always open, and because we will always champion you and your local setting, COLOUR is around the corner and you are of course welcome. We host this beautiful women’s conference in Sydney, London, Cape Town, Los Angeles, New York City, Kiev and Moscow. It will be our 24th year, with women and leaders leaning in from all around the globe. You also, are so welcome to join us and if not in person and in the room, join us in the pioneering a “Colour Conference Online” experience.
Never forget how wonderful you are.
And to our beloved (Hillsong) Sisterhood … it’s party time!!! WHO DOESN’T LOVE A PARTY, RIGHT?! See you soon sweetheart.