I had a wonderful time last week sharing and fellowshipping with the ladies of Providence Bible Church (and the surrounding area) in lovely Culpeper, Virginia, at the Faithful conference!
I arrived in Culpeper on Thursday evening, so there was plenty of time to rest up and prepare before the conference.
My hosts for the weekend were the perky Miss Katie and her aptly named husband, Happy. They live in a beautiful home on the lake, and I loved hearing their testimony of coming to Christ, and to each other!
Friday, Katie was kind enough to treat me to a delicious Italian lunch followed by a little sightseeing.
Culpeper is home to the Packard Campus of the Library of Congress’ National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, “where the Library of Congress acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of films, television programs, radio broadcasts, and sound recordings.”. On my trip to Faber, Virginia, last year, I learned that the local flavor is often captured in a LOVE (“Virginia is for lovers”) sculpture. Culpeper’s is made of film reels, paying tribute to the Conservation Center.
We also stopped by Culpeper National Cemetery. Originally established in 1867 as a burial ground for Union soldiers who were killed in the area during the Civil War, the cemetery is now the final resting place for over 7500 of our nation’s heroes.
Friday night, it was time to get down to the business of teaching and studying God’s Word. (Conference audio/video will be available on PBC’s website as soon as they’re able to get it processed and posted.)
After check in and worship…
…we kicked things off with Faithful to the Word, a teaching session on the basics of how to study the Bible.
Next up was a hearty baked potato bar for dinner in the gym. Didn’t the planning committee do a fabulous job of decorating?
Don’t you love how all the flowers match the flower art on the Faithful materials (programs, PR materials, etc.)? I love continuity of theme, and these ladies did it spectacularly!
Isn’t this rough-hewn bench gorgeous? You can see it sitting under the arbor in the picture taking area in the photo above. Heather Edgecombe, wife of PBC’s pastor, Jarred, is the one who initially reached out to me last year to speak at the Faithful conference. A few months into planning, her cancer recurred, and, sadly, she was unable to attend the conference due to undergoing treatment for it. A husband and wife team created this masterpiece to raise money for Heather’s treatment. Y’all take a moment to pray for Heather, please.
Our last session for the evening was Faithful to Our Roles, discussing the beauty of the biblical role of women in the home and in the church. The ladies then broke into discussion groups to talk over the material.
Saturday morning started bright and early with Faithful Discernment. What is discernment, and how can you tell if what you’re being taught matches up with Scripture? Faithful in Suffering was our final teaching session. As Christians, there’s a hero for our suffering, there’s hope in our suffering, and, in Christ, there’s a way to handle our suffering.
After teaching, the ladies rejoined their discussion groups to share what they had learned.
Our last gathering was a fun time of Q&A.
Lunch and fellowship was a great way to end the day!
Just a bit more sightseeing before heading home – we passed by the Pentagon on the way to the airport. I was told this was the side of the building that the plane crashed into on 9/11. Sobering.
Many thanks to Heather, Julie, Lesley, Katie and Happy, Danielle and Rob, and all of the other ladies and gentlemen of Providence Bible Church who worked so hard to make Faithful a great conference, took care of all my needs, and made me feel so welcome. If you’re ever in the Culpeper area, be sure to stop in to PBC 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 Michelle in front of “LOVE” sculpture by Katie Hash.
Photos marked “1”- Photographer unknown (if it was you , let me know so I can credit you! :0)
Photo marked “2” by Melissa Morris
Photos marked “3” by Julie Smith
Photo marked “4” by Lesley Lezcano
All other photos by Michelle Lesley.