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Church NewsMinistry Highlights

Conference Encourages Ladies to Love God and Love People

JOHNSON CITY, N.Y.—Ladies from New York churches gathered at First Baptist Church for the Ladies’ Advance, an annual two-day event of the Northeast Fellowship. “What a great time we had,” says Jeannie Vogel, wife of Northeast Fellowship Executive Director Jim Vogel.

Rachel Strong, a missionary appointee to Nicaragua, spoke on “Love God, Love People.” “God wants us to pour so much of Him into our hearts that it just overflows out of us into other people’s lives,” Rachel says.

In addition to hearing Rachel’s sessions, the ladies attended nine workshops on practical topics like prepping meals and clearing clutter and spiritual topics like dealing with conflict and recognizing false teaching. Workshop leaders included Jim Vogel; Doris Hurlbut, pastor’s wife at First Baptist Church in Marilla; Holly Hammonds, pastor’s wife at Brooktondale Baptist Church; Debbie Scott, pastor’s wife at First Baptist Church in West Danby; Doug Forman, pastor of Breesport Baptist Church; and Carolyn Congdon, a counselor at First Baptist Church in Randolph.

Speaking on the conference theme, Doris Hurlbut led a workshop called “Free to Love,” explaining that being deeply rooted in God’s love enables us to love others even in challenging circumstances. We become deeply rooted in God’s love, Doris says, when we spend time with God, trust Him, and turn to Him. Then when we are filled with His love, we are “free to give it out to others,” Doris says. “This is how we live: free to love.”

Exciting giveaways were also part of the weekend. Various companies had donated products to be given away, including five copies each of the new books Soul Rest and The Pleasures of Marriage, both published by Regular Baptist Press.

Many women from New York churches look forward to the Ladies’ Advance each year. Kelly Stitzel says, “I have been going for eight years now, and it is the highlight of my year to be refreshed and ready to continue the good fight!”