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Release date: July 11

Wayland hosting conference for church secretaries

Wayland Baptist University's Lifelong Learning Center will host the 36th Annual Church Secretaries Conference on July 19-20.

The conference is open to secretaries on all levels in churches of all sizes and denominations. The two-day event is $65 per person and includes lodging on the Wayland campus and meals during the conference.

The theme for the conference is "Peace," based on John 14:27: "Peace I give to you; My peace I leave with you." Workshops will build on the theme by offering peaceful solutions to stressful parts of the church secretary's responsibilities, from finances and working with people to publications and office protocol.

"As church secretaries, there are times in your life and in the office when it seems as if you are carrying the weight of the church and all of its projects," said Marcia Reed, secretary at First Baptist Church in Seminole and president of the secretaries association who organizes the conference. "We face many times and situations in which it is hard to find the true peace that comes only from God."

Cline said besides the informative sessions, participants tend to bond due to common experiences and situations.

"They can come in and share with their peers and get to the heart of what it means to be a church secretary," Cline said. "It's a small, close-knit group that seems to really bond each year."

Pat Adams, secretary at Tahoka's First Baptist Church, has been a part of the conference for nearly 25 years and credits the event with being especially rewarding.

"I firmly believe that it has the source of spiritual refreshing, emotional encouragement and strengthening of professional knowledge and skills that the Lord has provided to keep me at my best in serving Him and His people," Adams said. "To experience this special time in God's presence and fellowship with others who know and understand our work, struggles, challenges and joys is a most unique opportunity."

The event begins July 19 with registration at 8:30 a.m. in the lobby of Owen Hall, located at 8th and Travis Streets on the campus. The general session will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Nunn Business Building auditorium, followed by two seminar sessions, lunch, and another session. Clinician Daphne Delay will speak in the afternoon and participants will be able to shop in the university bookstore afterward.

Thursday evening will feature a Hawaiian luau dinner in the McClung University Center, followed by a time of visiting in the dorms which Amelia Cline, LLC director and coordinator of the conference, calls a "spiritual jam session."

"The ladies just get together casually and share their experiences and their needs with one another and pray together," Cline said. "Many of the ladies say that is their favorite part of the conference."

Events on July 20 resume at 7:45 a.m. with breakfast, followed by a devotional and another session with Delay. Two additional workshops, lunch, a final session with Delay and a break round out the day. The conference adjourns at 3:30 p.m.

For those ladies who might want to come on Wednesday evening, lodging is available for an additional $10 per person and a craft class will be held at the Lifelong Learning Center. Dinner for the evening will be dutch treat and participants will create "Peace" T-shirts designed by center secretary Virginia Rogers.

For more information or to register for the conference, contact the Lifelong Learning Center at (806) 296-4734.