In 2014, OneLove hosted a Design Competition, which encouraged women to submit a design of Psalm 63:3, the conference key verse.
Digital marketer and photographer Athena Grace submitted the winning design, and her artwork was turned into a magnet that was gifted to every delegate.
In this two-part interview, we’ve asked Athena to share the inspiration behind her creative work, her experiences at OneLove conference, as well as some of the challenges that face Christian women in Australia today.
1. What do you think the main challenges for Christian women in Australia are today?
The greatest problem I’ve discovered and seen in the hearts of Australian women is shame; a deeply ingrained ‘not-good-enough’ posture of heart that chokes everything we do. When we believe that if we are really known we won’t be fully loved, we walk in a facade of a filtered, cropped and edited life. In a Pinterest generation, the pressures on Australian women for a perfect home and a perfect feed are insurmountable.
To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. It’s hard to be known, to be vulnerable, and a lot of Australian women haven’t yet found true authentic gospel community in their churches. If you’ve experienced that liberating first breath after you share your story, your entire story, and you are received with love and prayer, then you know how much shame can rob us; it is the greatest thief of true intimacy. When we know that, in Christ, we are fully known yet deeply loved by our Heavenly Father, we relinquish our orphan mindset and our constant need to prove we are good enough. We can exhale with Freedom.
2. Why do you think it is important for women to set aside time to attend women’s conferences like OneLove?
Gathering with other women reorients our worship. Our hearts need to respond to truth we believe amongst women who are walking what we are walking, who have wandered to the wilderness and are, with us, being allured back into His arms. Women’s conferences are celebrations; we 'arrive and gather together and declare all that God has done and the doors that He has opened' (Acts 14:27). They pause our hurried lives and remind us to be still and know He is God (Psalm 46:10). They remind us that we are one church, and point to and nurture our unity (Eph 4:1-5), despite different theology and geography.
3. What were your highlights of OneLove 2014?
A unique joy I’ve always craved is singing with thousands of women. There’s nothing like it. I remember vividly hearing thousands of voices rising from brokenness, thirsty women to the Fount Of Living water and it moved me. Thousands of women, who have experienced what it is to be an outsider, have been taken advantage of, who have been unnoticed, uncherished and thought about giving up. Women who came to know the Jesus who heals the wandering and wounded and worn out, who gives them a new name; Pursued, Loved, Valued. You cannot compare that Hallelujah sound coming out of the hearts of restored and redeemed women of God.
4. How did OneLove strengthen your relationship with Jesus?
Any encounter with our First Love has to leave an indelible change! When I met with God in August last year at One Love I was in the midst of a wilderness, a hard time where God was stripping away what I had clung so closely to, and was showing me how deep was the healing my heart needed. Nancy Guthrie preached the gospel straight from Hosea, and spoke words from God straight to my heart: "There is healing. I will always take you back. I’ve written across your life in the red blood of My Son: Cleansed, Washed, Beloved, Accepted, Mine.” I’ve never forgotten those words.
To find out more about Athena, please visit her website: http://www.athenagrace.co/
OneLove will feature international speakers Nancy Guthrie and Simon Manchester. It will be held on Saturday 27 August at the Australian Technology Park in Redfern.
Tickets are now available at the Super Early Bird rate of just $79 a person. Ticket prices increase from 31 January 2016. Women who purchase ten tickets in one transaction will receive the 11th ticket free.
For more information, visit the OneLove website: www.onelovewomen.com
Renowned bible teacher and radio host Simon Manchester will be speaking at the upcoming OneLove women’s conference held in Sydney.
Manchester is a graduate from Moore Theological College and has trained in ministry in Sydney and London. He is currently the Senior Pastor at St Thomas’ Anglican Church in North Sydney, and presents a weekly segment called ‘Christian Growth’ on the Hope 103.2 radio station.
Hosted by Katoomba Christian Convention, OneLove brings together women of all ages and life stages to be reminded of God’s great love for them. According to Manchester, everyone needs to be reminded of God’s love because humans are natural doubters, who diminish the love that God has for them:
“People’s real need is to know that they are loved by God. Such love is objective—fixed in the cross of Christ and the promises of God—not subject to the fluctuations of human opinion. And such love promotes joy, gratitude, humility and overflowing love—not the selfishness of thinking ‘I’m important’.”
After being converted at the age of 18 at a Christian study camp, Manchester is convinced that there is no other message in the world more important than the wonderful news of Jesus:
“I remember sitting in the back row during the obligatory talks each morning and the Lord did two very kind things for me. I was made deeply afraid of Judgment Day and made keenly aware there was a Saviour. When I asked the speaker what I could do to fix my salvation, he wisely said ‘you can’t do anything’. This is exactly what a self-confident boy needed.”
Manchester believes that one-day events like OneLove are a wonderful complement to local church fellowship because there is a special and healthy impact that comes from being in Christ’s presence, with hundreds of others who long for God’s message in Scripture.
According to past delegate Janet, the teaching at OneLove is a blessing for believers and non-believers alike:
“It is Christ centred, Christ honouring and a blessing to believers and an amazing place for the unsaved to truly hear the gospel in a non judgmental environment.”
OneLove will also see the return of international speaker Nancy Guthrie, and will be held on Saturday 27 August at the Australian Technology Park in Redfern.
Tickets are now available at the Super Early Bird rate of jut $79 a person. Ticket prices increase from 31 January 2016. Women who purchase ten tickets in one transaction will receive one ticket free! For more information, visit the OneLove website: www.onelovewomen.com
23 October 2015
OneLove is a one-day women’s event to teach and inspire women. Hosted by Katoomba Christian Convention, OneLove brings together women of all ages and life stages to be reminded of God’s great love for us.
Due to popular demand, previous OneLove speaker Nancy Guthrie will return to speak at 2016 event. Nancy’s journey as an international conference speaker and author began after she and her husband David faced the deaths of two of their three children, both of whom were born with a rare genetic disorder called Zellweger Syndrome. Guthrie’s sorrow ‘opened her eyes to the sorrow of others’, prompting her to search the Scriptures for hope and meaning in a season of darkness and difficulty.
At OneLove 2014, Nancy spoke from the book of Hosea on the topic of ‘What Does God’s Love Look Like?” Nancy described God’s love to be like the patient husband wooing his unfaithful wife back to him. According to Guthrie:
“God did not choose you and bind you to Himself in covenant love based on your past behaviour or future potential, but on His promise.”
According to past delegate Jane, Nancy’s talk was a powerful demonstration of God’s love for her and prompted her to respond by becoming a Christian at the event:
“I was hit really hard by God’s love for me in Nancy’s talk about Hosea. It just finally sunk in how much God loved me that He would have paid such a high price for me when all I have ever done is be unfaithful to Him.”
OneLove will also feature local conference speaker, and radio host Simon Manchester, and will be held on Saturday 27 August at the Australian Technology Park in Redfern.
Tickets are now available at the Super Early Bird rate of just $79 per person. Ticket prices increase from 31 January. Women who purchase ten tickets in one transaction will receive one ticket free!
For more information, visit the OneLove website: www.onelovewomen.com.