On Saturday 21st August, 1421 women gathered virtually to hear and learn more about holiness from God’s Word at OneLove Women’s Conference. Though church halls and homes were closed off to gatherings due to COVID-19 restrictions throughout the country, many OneLove delegates found joy in the gift of technology and met virtually. OneLove 2021 saw women tuning in across Australia and overseas, including New Zealand, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Scotland, West Africa, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The OneLove Committee took inspiration from international keynote speaker, Jackie Hill Perry’s new book ‘Holier than Thou’, to develop this year's theme ‘Made for More: Created for Holiness’. The full-day program, broken into three impactful sessions, empowered women to think about how God created them to pursue holiness rather than the earthly pursuits or aspirations as celebrated by society. Chairwoman Madeleine Dudley shared why this year was an important one for women to consider:
“Isaiah 64 tells us God is the potter and we are His clay, moulded by Him and for Him. He designed our lives in all their shapes and sizes, with one purpose only, to be Holy like He is. But what does this actually mean? If you're anything like me, holy may be a word that you come across really frequently but actually struggle to define... Over the course of today we're going to look more closely at God and His holiness so we can understand how we, as His precious handiwork, ought to pursue holiness too.”
Jackie Hill Perry delivered two talks focusing on ‘The Holiness of God’ and ‘The Unholiness of Idols’. In her opening talk, Jackie prompted women to consider God’s holiness and how this should change their perspective on their own pursuit of holiness. She reminded delegates that “if God is holy, that means He cannot sin. If God cannot sin, that means He cannot sin against you. If God cannot sin against you, doesn’t that make Him the most trustworthy being that exists?”. In her final talk, Jackie reinforced this message by juxtaposing the characteristics of idols against those of God, and pointed delegates to find refuge in God’s holiness, having all reason to be fully satisfied and reliant on Him.
CEO of ADM Reverend Jo Gibbs was invited as a special guest to deliver a topical and narrative-style talk to OneLove delegates. Jo shared her talk in session two, where the session focused on observing what holiness looks like in the lives of everyday women. Through sharing her own past experiences, Jo encouraged women to pursue holiness by speaking the truth in love, to treat sin seriously, to ask more questions, to call out others and to challenge structures and processes that discourage women, doing so firmly and with grace.
The OneLove program also featured three testimonials from women who shared their stories of faith and how God has called and used them to pursue holiness in their lives. Bible college student Ellie Williams Roldan shared her realisation that she was made for more than the treadmill of success that she was pushed onto at birth and how God has made her to do His work. Jo Kim, mother of four and pastor’s wife, offered hope that as women grow in holiness, suffering, trials and challenges will most definitely come but they are all purposeful for us in Christ. SRE teacher Linda Chan opened up about her Buddhist past and the battles she faced with family tradition, remembering she was not made to fit in, chase experiences or live for her own truth, but to pursue holiness.
Senior Assistant Minister from Northlight Anglican Church, Natalie Ray, joined Jo Gibbs on the Q&A panel and shared practical wisdom on where to look in the Bible to meditate more on God’s holiness, how to cultivate a heart of holiness in practice, not just knowledge, and how to battle temptations and sin that can hinder one’s pursuit of holiness.
To bring connectivity and virtual fellowship to the program, women enjoyed some interactivity through sending group photos, origami creations and haiku poem reflections to be shown and read out in the program. To continue their growth beyond the day, each delegate was also given access to the Made for More: Growth Program, an exclusive four-session program to dig deeper into how to apply holiness in their lives.
With stripped-back, acoustic-style music and scheduled breaks, delegates were given opportunity for self-reflection to think about pursuing holiness because of Jesus’ work on the cross, responding in repentance and faith. Many were refreshed, renewed and shared what they learned during the day.
It was wonderful to be able to experience OneLove with the other women in my family at home as it encouraged us to have deeper conversations about life and faith - and holiness! – Sarah
It was a big encouragement knowing so many other Christian women were making growing in their faith a priority, especially at this hard time. All of the talks challenged me in how I view God and how I live that out too. I really appreciated the stories section too because that showed real women walking out their faith journey. – Naomi
It was such an encouragement to join in this event. I felt connected even in lockdown. The Bible teaching was inspiring and challenging. The testimonies were moving and authentic. The worship songs were encouraging and well led by the team. The visual styling and media in the lead up and on the day was professional and stunning. A genuinely great quality in content format and engagement. – Niki
I wish we could have been physically gathered but as always, God was at work as we heard the word proclaimed. I was challenged to not just seek to reform my behaviour, but to have my beliefs about God transformed so that I grasp his holiness more fully. – Keris
OneLove is set to return in 2022 at Sydney Town Hall on Saturday 27th August.
Re-watch until the end of October!
The OneLove livestream will be available on-demand until the 31st October. This means you can rewatch your favourite segments from the program any time.
To access on-demand, purchase a ticket from the OneLove website, where you’ll also receive a resource pack to complement your experience. If you already have a ticket, just use the same link and access code to view the content.
You can also access the OneLove book collection here, the Spotify playlist here, and the feedback form here.
Don’t forget to also further your OneLove experience beyond the day by completing the Made for More: Growth Program, your exclusive four session small group study that's designed to help you work through and think about applying holiness in your everyday life.
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