Stress and faith
In a perfectly timed choice, Mothers’ Union Sydney is preparing to host this year’s day conference on the theme “I fear, I feel, I hope: living for God in a stress-filled world”.
“Our ultimate goal is supporting marriage and Christian family life,” says MU Sydney’s members’ co-ordinator, Christine Jensen. “We always try to think of a theme that will fit into our aims and goals but also encourage and be relevant to the times in which we live – and stress affects families big time.
“We want to set it in the context of being Christian so that’s why we always have a Bible talk… that helps people put it in context so they can apply it. So it’s not just a clinical thing or an emotional thing but how, as Christians, do we live with these issues?
“We need to understand who God is and how he cares for us, and what is contentment and how that helps us cope with the stresses and the hopes that we have.”
The Dean of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, will give the Bible talk at the conference, to be held on February 23 in the Chapter House of St Andrew’s Cathedral, while the keynote speaker will be Dr Jenny Brown – the founder and director of the Family Systems Institute Australia.
“Jenny Brown is a very good communicator and a great resource person on this topic,” Mrs Jensen says, adding that there has already been a lot of interest in this year’s event – hardly surprising when society works so hard to deal with stress, but doesn’t look at it from a Christian perspective.
“I was looking at various conferences on anxiety and stress and I didn’t see one that was Christian or that came up with our particular topic, so I feel perhaps this is touching where people are at. Someone said to me that they like coming to our conferences and seminars because they’re at a different level… we have something extra to offer.”
As with past years, the conference is free and any women are invited to attend, although registration is necessary so morning tea and lunch can be catered for.
And numbers are growing. For the first MU conference in 2011 about 100 women attended. Last year there were 300, “so it does push the limits of the Chapter House!” Mrs Jensen says cheerfully.
Those interested in coming to the event need to register at [url=http://www.musydney.org.au]http://www.musydney.org.au[/url] by February 16.