The 2018 Women’s Connection theme draws from Psalm 23, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me.” As a conference we will visit that place together, we will journey through the valleys, reflecting on the times when we have sensed God’s presence in our lives. We will also discover ways to cultivate God’s presence in our daily lives as we walk through the valleys (and on the mountaintops!). As a community we will faithfully proclaim, as the Psalmist does, that God is with us.
Keynote Speaker: Kate Bowler
The 2018 Women’s Connection keynote speaker will be divinity professor, young mother, historian, and author Kate Bowler! At thirty-five, after writing her first book about the American prosperity Gospel, Bowler was a professor at the school of divinity at Duke and a new mother when she received the earth-shattering diagnosis of Stage IV colon cancer. Reckoning with the news, Bowler discovered, to her chagrin, that she would have to learn how to give up her own “prosperity gospel.” As she struggled to find the balance between optimism and delusion, she wondered how to accept her own finitude without feeling like she was giving up.
As she learns to live with cancer as a chronic condition, Bowler speaks powerfully about the ways in which her brush with mortality transformed her. She also frankly addresses the uniquely American concept that tragedy is a test of character, and looks at the different ways that people try to rationalize suffering and catastrophe, for better or worse.
You can read her latest piece on the subject, What to Say When You Meet the Angel of Death at a Party, in The New York Times. To learn more about Kate Bowler, visit www.prhspeakers.com/kate-bowler.
Registration is open! When you register for Women’s Connection 2018, you will receive a copy of Kate Bowler’s new book, Everything Happens for a Reason And Other Lies I’ve Loved, that we’ll study together at the conference. For conference fees and rates for accommodations, please click on the RATES & REGISTRATION tab above. Before you register, make sure you also look over the list of workshops offered by clicking on the WORKSHOPS tab.
Women’s Connection 2016 keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling author Glennon Doyle had this to say about Everything Happens for a Reason: “I fell hard and fast for Kate Bowler. Her writing is naked, elegant, and gripping—she’s like a Christian Joan Didion. I left Kate’s story feeling more present, more grateful, and a hell of a lot less alone. And what else is art for?”
You can read more about the book here.
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The Mary Katherine “K.K.” Scott Cooper Endowment
The Mary Katherine “K.K.” Scott Cooper Endowment provides support for women’s programming, leadership development, spiritual nurture and scholarship assistance at Montreat. Funds from this endowment help women with financial need to afford Montreat conferences and retreats, help Montreat provide programs that equip women for ministry, and help Montreat feature national quality speakers and conference leaders, who are themselves women leaders in the church. Download the K.K. Cooper Endowment Commitment Form to support this ministry.