by Hannah Heinzekehr
This post builds on the reflections shared earlier by Joanna Shenk, regarding the rationale behind meeting at the National Conference Center in Leesburg, Va. and all of the commitments that the conference planning committee is juggling as they try to plan the women doing theology conference coming up on February 20-22, 2014. If you haven’t read that post, you can check it out here.
The countdown clock is ticking. Only 40 days remain before All You Need is Love: Honoring the Diversity of Women’s Voices in Theology kicks off. We’ve got a great slate of speakers lined up, as well as many workshops and papers that will be presented by Anabaptist women all across the United States. We’ve got worship leaders who are prayerfully preparing to welcome attendees to Leesburg, and a planning committee who has been hard at work for almost a full year to pull this event off.
And we want you to join us there. Early bird registration ends on January 15, and registration will rise by $25 after this date. The time to register really is now.
We also know that this event is – in many respects – an expensive one. It takes resources to register, as well as to travel to Leesburg. But we don’t want money to stop anyone from finding their way to this gathering. We mean that. We firmly believe that – if we work together – we’ll be able to find ways to get everyone who wants to be in Leesburg there.
Over the last few months, here are a few things we’ve learned:
- Collaboration is good – If you’re not sure where to turn to find funding, we can help! If you send Joanna Shenk an e-mail, she can help to put you in touch with a variety of funding sources.
- Congregations continue to be very generous – It’s true. Congregations across the country have stepped up to cover the costs of registration and travel for women in their midst who want to attend this gathering. Consider asking your congregation to sponsor your trip to this gathering, perhaps in exchange for sharing your own reflections or learnings with the broader congregation when you return home.
- Scholarships are available – Ohio Conference has set up a scholarship fund that will offer $200 for up to five women who want to attend this gathering. We would like to challenge other conferences to consider doing the same and making funds available to help women make the trek to this event. The Women in Leadership Project also has been working to raise scholarship funds to help subsidize the costs of attending this gathering.
We hope to see you all soon, for a weekend full of worship, work, play and more.