Eighty ladies attended the CCU Ladies’ Breakfast on Saturday 3 March 2018 at CCU. And from start to finish, from preparation and service, to fellowship and discussing the Word it was about partnership. Gospel partnership.
I saw ladies chopping, dicing, slicing, wiping and whisking in the kitchen beforehand; ladies clearing and carrying and folding in the hall afterwards; men churning out cappuccinos in the foyer – the proceeds of which went to Mercy Ministries; and more ladies announcing, registering, selling books and welcoming others.
Lillibet’s workshop on Philippians 1-2:11 began with an ice-breaker. Ladies were asked to form groups according to partnership-themed topics (such as: Who has ridden a motorbike with a passenger on the back? Who has run a marathon with other runners?), then introduce themselves to someone new, and further to another two new people. These quadruplets then proceeded to the tables in the hall where they worked on the Philippians passage together. Lillibet helped us to see how we could stand firm and fearlessly in our faith in the face of outside, inside and self-initiated opposition. We could do that, we saw, by ‘striving side by side for the faith of the gospel’ (Philippians 1:27b). By forming a ‘rugby scrum’ in which we worked and supported one another, all the while looking at Christ.
I knew of attendees who had struggled or were struggling with recent difficulties. And I saw comfort and compassion being dished out on the day. How poignant to have read in our passage, then, that suffering and conflict were gifts, a ‘workshop’. And as we dealt with those difficulties – together in partnership – we became a testimony for Jesus, a sign to others. Partnership in practice was certainly my experience at the ladies’ breakfast on Saturday 3 March 2018.