14 March 2023

Riverbank Women’s Conference: Enough is enough!

Deborah Juster

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Image shows a group of smiling people in matching blue shirts.
The Riverbank 2022 team

Deborah Juster introduces this year’s Riverbank Women’s Conference.

Last year saw the first re-imagined women’s conference, Riverbank. It is a place for women of all ages to gather together and encounter God in worship, engage in Christian teaching and explore their God-given potential. The 2022 conference was a great success with positive feedback and moving testimonies from attendees.

In 2020, International Headquarters challenged all territories and regions to reimagine women’s ministry for the 21st century. Major David Betteridge (pictured front left), Director for Family Ministries, which in the United Kingdom and Ireland Territory has responsibility for women’s ministries, explains how Riverbank is a key part of this:

‘Reimagining women’s ministry is already happening throughout the territory, with diverse expressions such as divisional women’s groups, running groups and the Link Café supporting survivors of domestic abuse at a corps. It’s important for churches to respond to local needs in new and imaginative ways. My team and I aim to inspire, encourage, enable and equip this continuing development, joining with the extended team of local women’s ministry and family ministry leaders and workers who are doing a fantastic job.

‘The annual women’s conference, now known as Riverbank, is one of the best opportunities to achieve this. The name Riverbank was inspired by the story of Lydia, who became the first European convert to Christianity following her encounter with Paul on a riverbank in Philippi. As I read the account in Acts 13, I knew that “Riverbank”, a place of prayer and transformation, had to be the new name for the conference.

‘We also aimed to improve accessibility by including British Sign Language interpreting, which added to the beautiful worship and teaching.’

Running from 9 to 11 June, Riverbank 2023 is themed Enough Is Enough!, which conveys the need to act in the face of frustration. The inspiration comes from 2 Corinthians 12:9, which says: ‘My grace is enough, it’s all you need’ (The Message).

‘Enough is always enough; God’s grace cannot be any less and will never leave us wanting for more,’ explains Major David.

Lou Fellingham leading worship
Lou Fellingham leads worship at Riverbank 2022

Lou and Nathan Fellingham will lead worship, and comedian Joy Carter will make an appearance. Speakers will include Commissioner Debbie Horwood (IHQ), Parenting for Faith pioneer Rachel Turner and Tola-Doll Fisher, editor of Woman Alive magazine.

‘Being appointed as the Director for Family Ministries with responsibility of overseeing women’s ministries in the territory is a privilege,’ adds Major David. ‘I believe that God can use anyone regardless of gender to fulfil his purposes. There have been challenges in fulfilling the role, but along with my amazing team, we have proved that God has been, and we believe will continue to be, enough to meet them.’

Written by

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Deborah Juster

Assistant Director of Family Ministries, Family Ministries Department

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Where: Slate Conference Centre, University of Warwick
When: 9 to 11 June

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