12/26/12 — Women's conference to focus on self-esteem

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Women's conference to focus on self-esteem

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on December 26, 2012 1:46 PM

Ask a roomful of women, "Are you beautiful?" and most will not raise their hands.

For many, self-esteem ebbs early and culture, billboards and magazine covers contribute to the belief that they must be taller, thinner, blonder, etc., in order to be considered beautiful.

That's the best possible reason to hold a women's conference, just after the holidays, when the dust has settled from the Christmas rush and everyone is lining up a list of New Year's resolutions.

"Intentionally and Wonderfully Made" will be held Sat., Jan. 5, from 9 a.m. until noon at The Bridge Princeton, on Whitley Church Road. Doors will open at 8 a.m.

Organizers Sherry Jennings and Beverly Weeks said there are 1,200 seats to fill and the free event is open to all women.

"Every faith, every color, every size and marital status," Mrs. Weeks said.

"If you're lacking a Y chromosome, come on!" added Mrs. Jennings.

The conference is sponsored by The Bridge, where Mrs. Jennings and her husband, Scott, pastor of marriage and family life, also do marital counseling.

"We realize that the culture does not equip women to be the women that God created them to be," she said. "We can't live up to what the world tells us to live up to -- the world tells us that we're too fat, too skinny, we talk too much, we don't talk enough, all these standards that we can't possibly meet."

It's important to override such messages, and in turn pass new ones on to the next generation.

With that in mind, younger women, even teens, are also encouraged to attend the conference.

"We would love to have teenage girls here with their moms," Mrs. Jennings said.

The struggle for self-esteem is prevalent among the female gender, said Mrs. Weeks.

"It's affecting us with all areas of our lives, not only relationships with our spouses but even with our friends, our co-workers, people that we go to church with," she said. "The Bible tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves, but we can't if we're not in love with ourselves."

Featured speaker will be Amy Lambert of Amy Lambert Global Ministries.

"She is really phenomenal, a former drug addict, she's got street ministries, and she's struggled with some of these insecurities," said Mrs. Weeks.

The program also includes praise and worship music and a message from Mrs. Weeks and Mrs. Jennings.

Admission to the conference is free, but a love offering will be taken. Registration is recommended and can be done online at www.bridgechurch.cc.

"Sign up by Dec. 31 so we'll know how much chocolate to buy," said Mrs. Jennings, not entirely in jest. Advertisements have mentioned the enticement, knowing the power of chocolate as a reward.

There will also be more than 40 vendors from across the state representing a variety of health and wellness and nutrition areas -- from skin care consultants and personal trainers to a life coach and jewelry and spa items.

"These vendors empower us, show us how to be our best," said Mrs. Weeks, adding that in addition to women-centered products and services, there will also be a number of giveaways.

"This will be the first thing we'll be holding in here," added Mrs. Jennings, referring to the expanded sanctuary and worship building recently completed on the Princeton campus of The Bridge, formerly Whitley Church, just off U.S. 70 West. "We're hoping this is the start of smaller events that will follow up."

Those attending the event are also encouraged to participate in a project directed to the Connecticut elementary school where a shooter recently claimed the lives of 26, including 20 students.

"We're collecting snowflakes for Sandy Hook for the new school that they're going into," said Mrs. Jennings. "We're asking the women to bring them, just a handmade snowflake, and write a scripture on them. We'll send them all in one package."

For more information on the conference, call the church at 919-735-5411 or e-mail sherryjennings@bridgechurch.cc.