MM ore than four hundred women from across Sydney came together dressed in white to make a stand against domestic violence at the recent “UNITED NIGHT 2020” held by Sydney Adventist women’s ministries on February 1.
“I love how the women respond[ed] by wearing white outfits in support of the anti-domestic violence movement. Together we stand as one, against any form of violence in our community,” said Women’s Ministries Director for the Greater Sydney Conference, Beryl Landers.
Women were served refreshments upon arrival at Parramatta Seventh-day Adventist Church hall, before the program—the first on the women’s ministries calendar for 2020—kicked off.
The Men of Hope male choir ushered the women into the venue, served them refreshments, collected the offering, and led out in music and special items during the service.
“A spokesperson for the [Men of Hope] group affirmed the strength of women and even apologized on behalf of men behaving badly. It was a touching moment,” said Landers.
During the program, Zimbabwean-born Dr Thembi Dube presented the message, challenging and empowering women to “Show up and Trend” for God.
“Dr Thembi’s message left an indelible impression because the word on everyone’s lips as they were leaving was ‘trending’!” a Facebook post said.
Leaders said goodbye to Laurel Raethel, wife to Adrian Raethel, the new North New South Wales Conference president, and thanked her for her contribution towards women’s ministries over the years.
Retired women’s ministries director for Greater Sydney and the South Pacific Division, Erna Johnson, presented the offering appeal, calling for funds to support the upcoming HOPE STAYZ program—a retreat for disenfranchised women—and shared current statistics on domestic violence in Australia.
Empowering women to get involved in the various ministries presented on the night, Landers shared the new vision statement for Sydney Adventist women’s ministries in 2020, “To Know, to Serve, to Disciple”.
Finally, Greater Sydney Conference president, Pastor Terry Johnson, sealed the evening by affirming the women and praying over them and their plans for 2020.