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Photo: WM CZ

Women‘s Online Conference in the Czech Republic

COURAGE FOR HAPPINESS

Women‘s Online Conference in the Czech Republic

Iveta Halesova, Women’s Ministries Director for the Czech – Slovakian Union  and her team had invited the women in her region to attend an online women’s conference addressing the theme: Courage For Happiness on June 11 and 12, 2021. All of the participants who registered and paid the fee received a packet by the time the conference began on the Friday evening.
In her introduction, Iveta quoted from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, and spoke about the desert we all sometimes live in. “I have always loved the desert. You sit down on a sand dune. You see nothing. You hear nothing. And yet something shines, something sings in that silence…“ “What makes the desert beautiful,' said the little prince, 'is that somewhere it hides a well...” There is a well somewhere in the desert that will transform our worries, anxieties, sorrows, and exhaustion into joy and enthusiasm.
Martin Žůrek, director of the Family Ministries department presented the greetings of the church administration, and then Lucie Chládková presented her reflections on the Bible taking up Leah – the unloved wife of Jacob, who dared to seek happiness although she was only the „second-best“.
Adriana, a young mother of two small children, who suffered a ruptured appendix and almost died of sepsis was interviewed by Iveta.  Her recovery could only be explained by the power of prayer, and so her experience became a testimony of God’s healing power for many.
On the Sabbath morning, the women were privileged to hear a lecture by special guest Anna Hogenová, a philosopher and educator from the university in Prague where she was a professor for philosophy, ethics, and pedagogy. Her topic was Courage for Happiness. She expounded that the definition for happiness can be found in all Czech fables.
Pastor Soňa Sílová then preached about the women in the genealogy of Jesus. All of the women mentioned in the genealogy had one thing in common: their life was in danger!
Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary all fought for their lives and saved their families.
After a lunch break, there was an interview with Anna Hogenova on her work, life, and school.
During the following “Coffee time“ Iveta spoke about the meaning of coming together for a cup. It is a ritual in which women have a few moments of peace for themselves. That is why the conference packet included a portion of coffee in a cup and a special Czech cookie baked by one of our sisters. The next lecture on "Life Movement" by Ana Hogenová brought the participants back to the topic of having the courage to be happy.
In the evening there were five workshops to choose from:
Demonstration of exercises to prevent incontinence with Eva Sobotkova
Making delicious desserts and cakes with Veronika Raszková
Facial cosmetics with Adriana Klodová
Artistic crafts with Jitka Michalcová
Interview with Pavla Žůrková, a hospital chaplain
All of the program elements were recorded in advance on three Sundays – a total of 40 hours – and were then cut and edited by volunteers in the evening and night hours. Preparing and planning such an event involves a lot of work. The Women’s Ministries leaders dared to do something new and learned a lot in the process. Iveta would like to thank all the volunteers involved. The feedback from the participants was overwhelmingly positive. It was a blessed conference and worth all the effort!
A few statistics to close with: 378 persons attended on Friday night, more than 300 on Sabbath morning, 298 in the afternoon, and about 60-90 watched the workshops.
Reported by Iveta Halesova