What a joy it was to fellowship and share with the ladies of Agape Bible Church and several sister churches, last week in charming Willits, California, at the Women’s Advance Conference!
I arrived in Willits late Thursday night and checked in to the lovely Baechtel Creek Inn. Now, I wouldn’t normally take the time to recommend a hotel to you, but I travel a lot and I stay in a lot of hotels, and two things most of them don’t have is good water pressure in the shower and decent lighting in the bathroom for applying makeup. Baechtel Creek Inn has both in spades. So if you’re ever in the area and need a place to stay, I highly recommend it.
Friday’s festivities started off with lunch with the conference organizers at a cute little sandwich boutique called The Loose Caboose Cafe.
In addition to great food, The Loose Caboose has an homage wall to Seabiscuit, the famous racehorse. Seabiscuit retired to Willits, and is buried at Willits’ own Ridgewood Ranch. (The Baechtel Creek Inn has a Seabiscuit themed room, too, if you’re a fan and want to visit.)
Friday night, it was time to get down to the business of teaching and studying God’s Word.
I love the big posters a lot of the conferences are using lately for signage and to decorate. Here’s some of the print work that greeted conference attendees.
The theme of Women’s Advance 2022 was Finding Hope, Peace, and Victory in Times of Suffering. In our first session Friday night, we studied Isaiah 53, exploring how and why Christ suffered. I don’t know whether or not the audio from the conference sessions will be made public, but if not, you might enjoy reading my article, Christ- the Suffering Servant, on which session 1 was based.
Saturday morning the ladies were treated to a continental breakfast, followed by our first teaching session on having a biblical view of suffering, which was drawn from my articles True or False: Is Your Theology of Suffering Biblical? and God’s Good Purposes in Suffering. Our final teaching session was all about how to respond biblically to suffering. You can find some of the thoughts I shared with the ladies in my articles Six Reasons to Rejoice that Christ is Enough in Our Suffering and Band-Aids vs. Chemotherapy: Why Suffering Women are Drawn to False Doctrine and 7 Things We Can do to Help.
Next up was a delicious lunch of hearty soups, salad, and dessert, followed by our last conference session – a super Q&A where some very astute ladies asked some very good questions!
ABC’s Pastor Paul Henebury was so kind to make sure that before I left, I was given an autographed copy of his latest book, The Words of the Covenant. It looks like a great read! Thank you, Pastor Paul!
Many thanks to Julie, Cindy, Chris, and all of the other ladies and gentlemen of Agape Bible Church who worked so hard to make Women’s Advance 2022 a great conference, took care of all my needs, and made me feel so welcome. If you’re ever in the Willits area, be sure to stop in to ABC for a visit!
If your church or organization is ever in need of a speaker for a women’s event, I’d love to come share with your ladies as well. Click here for more information.
Photo of Baechtel Creek Inn courtesy of HotelGuides.com.
Photos of Michelle speaking by Julie Davidson.
Photo of book cover courtesy of Amazon.
All other photos by Michelle Lesley.