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Ontario Women Gather for Coffee Break Conference


More than 700 women laughed and cried together as they were invited to dinner with the King. The setting was the women’s ministry conference April 30, sponsored by Christian Reformed Home Missions for women involved in local Coffee Break Bible-study programs.

“The entire day was a love letter from God,” said Marnie Kranenburg of Immanuel CRC in Hamilton. “I was greatly encouraged.”

Speakers Melinda Estabrooks and Jane Burke shared inspiring messages and personal stories with the women, who came from across Ontario for many reasons.

Mother and daughter Fran Kuntz (left) and Jennifer Raad attended the women’s ministry conference.

Monica de Regt

“It’s a generational thing,” said Fran Kuntz of Vanastra Community CRC. “It’s wonderful to have something for mothers and daughters and grandmothers to do together.”

Ingrid Flikkema of Immanuel CRC in Caledon said she found the conference inspiring. “I love hearing speakers sharing their stories, and I love the worship.”

But she did note, as did others, that there weren’t as many young mothers in attendance this time as there used to be.

Conference organizer Marian Lensink acknowledged that the younger generation was somewhat outnumbered by the older women, despite efforts to appeal to the former age group. “We believe that over time this conference will continue to attract a youthful audience,” she said. “But we also love the grandmas who keep coming. . . . Coffee Break has a rich heritage of women who are in the Word and in prayer—we celebrate that as we come together.”

Lensink said that changes are coming to the Coffee Break program, including a possible name change. “As our culture becomes increasingly post-Christian, we need to find ways to reach a culture that might not come to a program at a church,” she said.

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