THE BWUSWP BEAT
By Julie Belding
How far would you go for fashion?
If you lived in China years ago, you might well have had your feet bound in order to keep them down to a stylish three-inch length.
The agony of the procedure can only be imagined, but it was actually lawful up to 1945.
Mei Ling Lee talked about foot binding at the annual Baptist Women’s Day Out on Saturday June 26 at Northcote Baptist Church. Hers was just one of many items that caught the interest of about a hundred Baptist women from around Auckland, and several from Northland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty.
The colourful event, designed “to support, encourage and empower Baptist women,” was titled “In Step with the Spirit: In the footsteps of the Master.” It ran from 3 to 9pm and was organised by a small committee chaired by Olwyn Dickson of Remuera Baptist.
Feet and walking were, naturally, recurrent themes of the evening. Even the songs (for example, “Just a Closer Walk with Thee”) were apt.
Claire Peat, a professional osteopath, talked about the physiology of the feet and how to take care of them. Clarice Greenslade testified to the healing power of God after a melanoma on her heel required radical surgery. She said the lost tissue had grown back miraculously.
Sifa Spellman praised the social services of Merivale, which had given her refuge years ago when she was running from an abusive marriage. Today, as a committed Christian, she works there part-time as a counselor. Elizabeth Jones recalled 125 years of Baptist women missionaries, beginning with Rosalie McGeorge who stepped out in faith in 1886.
A graceful ballet item was presented by the Vickery family dancers, followed by testimonies from Jacqui Clarkson of Mangere (coordinator of “Bloom” ministries) and Muriel Larson from Avondale who spoke of God’s encouragement in their journeys.
The keynote speaker was Mrs Heather Marks of Tauranga. She gave practical tips on staying “in step with the Spirit.” Her own strategies including journalling and keeping a diary.
“Share your story,” she urged. “A whole library disappears with the passing of a life. And it’s never too late to start.”
Secretary Anne MacCarthy said the biggest challenge of putting on this annual event was getting the word out. Every church in the area had been notified of it, but this information was not always passed on to members.
“Listening to women share what God has done for them or how he works through them always inspires and challenges me,” Anne said.
The next regional events for Baptist women will be the Days of Prayer in October and November. More on these shortly!