Women's Weekend is one of my favorite events of the year! It's 100s of women coming together to worship God and learn more about Him, and how cool is that? This year was also the first year I lead a breakout session by myself. We had about 16 different breakouts lead by different staff members or staff wives from the different campuses that came and my breakout was over God's will for our lives. I talked about how God doesn't always give us a direct answer or direction for our lives. Sometimes we have many different options, however, many people want to hear the direct voice of God before making a decision. God has given us free will and that includes what choices we make sometimes but no matter what we chose He will use it for His glory. I went on to talk about how we can know if we are making the right choice when we don't get that direct calling. I gave 5 bible principles: we must be saved, we must be filled with the Spirit, we must be sanctified, we must be submissive to the Lord, and we must be willing to suffer. If we are in step with the Holy Spirit and spending time in God's Word we can trust that the choices we make are aligned with His will. If you are seeking Him above all else then your wants and desires will be aligned with what Gods wants and desires for you are and you don’t have to fear “making the wrong choice.” I loved getting to lead this breakout I had to step out in faith in a way I normally don't have to or get to. I enjoyed this teaching time very much and look forward to being able to do it again next year.
Enough with my experience of women's weekend I want you to hear from one of our students. Here is Hannah Kims experience of the weekend.
"My first Women’s Weekend through H2O was empowering. I had never been in an environment where the sermons, praise, and sessions were all led by women. This created a unique space where we were able to shed light on struggles specific to us. Regardless of age, ethnicity, interests, or dispositions, we were all subject to certain social pressures and expectations that shook our identities, or broken cisterns that kept us away from God.
(Hannah is the third from the left)
What was most transformative was how God revealed the scars I had been carrying for the past year and a half. I had been trying to erase these marks and move on. I finally recognized that there was nothing I could do. God met me at Women’s Weekend and gave me the courage to share my testimony and receive prayer. Women’s Weekend was a safe haven filled with spiritual support, and I was scared to go back to reality and face my struggles alone. But it equipped me with the spiritual tools to fight through daily life and the attempts of Satan. The retreat was a springboard for continuous healing and spiritual growth. I’m thankful for everyone who made this possible, and how the Holy Spirit worked."
A new and fun role that I have been doing for H2O is making recap and promotional videos. So here is the recap videos I made for Women's Weekend and Man Makers. Man Makers is the H2O men's retreat which happened the weekend before ours. If you would like to see more videos that I have made you can go to our H2O Cincinnati youtube page. I have not made all of the videos on there but have done a good majority of them.
We were supposed to be leaving this Saturday to go on our spring break trips, however, due to the outbreaks of Coronavirus, UC has cancelled our funding and all future events will be changed to comply with UC new policy durning this time. This is the letter we sent out to our church community.
Dear H2O Family,
With the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), we want to update you on some changes that will be happening in our community. We realize that coronavirus is a global problem that is impacting thousands of people. We have been praying and will continue to pray for those who are sick, those who have lost loved ones, those who are living in fear of contracting the virus, and those affected by it in any other way.
We know that there is a lot of fear concerning the virus right now, and in this time we must especially remember that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). Jesus reminds us that God knows us and cares for us, and because of this we can live lives that are not filled with fear and anxiety (Matthew 6:25-34).
While we have good reason not to worry, there is a difference between worrying and taking wise precautions. Even the Apostle Paul, who put himself in plenty of dangerous situations for the sake of the gospel, knew when it was wise to take precautions for safety (see Acts 9:22-25 and Acts 17:1-15). The state of Ohio and the University of Cincinnati have taken some serious precautions to stem the spread of coronavirus, and some of these decisions have a direct impact on the activities of our church. Here are some important changes you need to know that will be happening at H2O Cincinnati:
Unfortunately, we have come to the decision that our spring break trips must be cancelled. There are several reasons for this:
The intention of these trips is to be a blessing to the people that we serve, but there is a legitimate chance that we could actually do more harm than good in our attempts to help others if we end up facilitating the spread of the virus, which could ultimately lead to the harm or even death of those we are trying to help.
UC has pulled all funding for spring break trips, which greatly increases the price each student has to pay in order for us to go. We realize that many participants might not be able to find the extra money this close to the time of the trip.
UC is very serious about trying to contain this virus, and we don’t want to counteract their efforts. We want to respect them in their efforts and do everything we can to assist in making sure coronavirus doesn’t spread to our campus community.
All money that has been paid for spring break will be refunded.
UC is not allowing groups of 150 or more to meet on campus, so we will be cancelling our weekly Sunday service in Lindner Center room 450. However, we will still have our weekly Sunday service at our H2O City venue. This service usually meets at 9:30 a.m., but starting on 3/22/2020 the service time will be moved to 10:30 a.m. to better accommodate our students. This service takes place weekly at the Corryville Recreation Center (2823 Eden Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219), which is only two blocks off campus.
For those who choose to remain on campus during this time, we will have volunteers posted at Turner Circle and CCM Circle from 10:00-10:10 on March 22 to show them where to go.
As of right now, the plan is for Life Groups to continue operating as normal at their regularly scheduled times and locations.
We didn’t like having to make these decisions, but after prayer and discussion we feel like they are the right ones to make. We love our spring break trips and we love having service on campus, but the public health situation right now necessitates some sacrifice on our part for the good of the community. We will continue to lift up the name of Jesus and seek not only the physical wellbeing but also the spiritual wellbeing of our church. For the next month, this will just look a little different than it usually does. If you have any questions regarding this situation, please reach out to Grant (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Cassi Rohlfer (email@example.com).
H2O Cincinnati Elders and Staff Team
Many of our students will be going home durning this time as UC as canceled all face-to-face classes and has moved to online classes, this includes many of our students leaders. This was not an easy decision for us as H2O will take a hit from this but we care about the safety of our students and want them to do what they feel is best for them and for them to respect their parents' wishes durning this time. Please be praying for us and any further decisions that might need to be made durning this time. I will be praying for you all and your health during this time as well.