Summary of event by Oakbrook Terrace Corps Women’s Ministries Secretary: Sarah Micula
The Oakbrook Terrace Corps Women’s Ministries group in Oakbrook, IL hosted a brunch this past Saturday. The brunch was inspired by the recent Christian Women’s movement called the IF:Gathering. The IF:Gathering’s vision is to “exists to gather, equip and unleash the next generation of women to live out their purpose.” The biggest take away we gleaned from the IF:Gathering is their IF:Table Gathering concept which was the inspiration behind hosting the brunch. “Deep conversations and authentic connections resulted in Jesus-centered community” is what we want to see among our women. It’s so simple, really, but it takes intentional effort and a desire to connect with the women around you.
We really felt the time together was ordained by God. The first two women to arrive were women literally walking in off the street.
First was Gabby*. Gabby came in crying and upset. Gabby has been to the corps a few times previous, she and her boyfriend were receiving assistance from the corps. There was an incident where they were staying, the police were called and she ended up asking the police officer to bring her to the corps. It was the only place she could think to go to feel safe and really was they only place she could turn to. If it wasn’t for the brunch, the building would have been closed and Gabby would have felt helpless and without hope. I had her sit down and got her coffee, and assured her she was in the right place at the right time. Whether she planned to or not and I told her she was joining us for brunch! As the women from the corps came in they embraced Gabby, loving and assuring her. Due to the chaos of Gabby’s morning she missed her medical assistant graduation ceremony. Not missing a beat or an opportunity to honor someone, Major Debbie Sjogren had Gabby put her gown on and we recognized her and celebrated her achievement. After the time together Captain Johanna Pook worked with Gabby to find a solution.
Not long after Gabby walked in, Nadia walked in. I greeted her and asked her if she was here for the brunch. She said she was just at her daughters workplace nearby and walked by the corps and was curious to what this building was, and walked in! I told her she was also at the right place at the right time and that she was going to join us for our brunch! Nadia stayed and fellowshipped with the women and promised to come back again.
Part of the IF:Table concept is to have women, in groups of six, meet together in one of their homes, once a month for a meal. During that time they are provided with a few questions to start conversation about life and Jesus. That’s it! Click on the video below to see how it can work.
It’s that simple! During that time connections are made, friendships are formed and the Body of Christ is strengthened. I introduced this concept and then asked the women to fill out interest forms to share if they are interested participating and/or hosting.
We’re excited about what the future holds as we intentionally meet together and solidify our sisterhood in Christ.