Girls in bright T-shirts filled the sanctuary of Maranatha Christian Reformed Church in Woodstock, Ontario, on May 5.
Mom Jody Roest and daughter Chihinga at Beauty Within.
About 200 girls and their moms attended the “Beauty Within” event, which featured popular author and speaker Nancy Rue.
They learned about issues facing “tween” (8- to 12-year-old) girls. In two separate sessions, Rue spoke about self-esteem, girl politics, and relationships. Between sessions, the “mini-women,” as Rue calls them, were treated to snacks and a craft while their moms had an opportunity to ask questions and share ideas.
Organizer Kristin Klein hosted Rue at a Faithgirlz event in Barrie, Ontario, two years ago, and decided to bring the discussion to her new home church in Woodstock.
Teens from both Barrie and Woodstock formed the worship and drama teams that helped lead the event.
Bronwyn Klein, 14, designed the T-shirts that were sold to raise money for a house in Zambia, a project of the GEMS girls’ club. She hoped that participants at Beauty Within would learn “that girls can be themselves without anyone judging them; they can be okay with who they are.”
Along with a focus on authenticity in relationships—both with God and with other people—Rue emphasized the need to remember who we are as God’s children. With the drama team providing demonstrations, she gave practical tips on ways girls can respond to things like teasing, gossip, and bullying.
Chihinga Roest, 10, attended the workshop with her mom. She said, “This stuff, I can use it in my real life at school and at home with my family.”
Klein, Ministry Coordinator at Maranatha, was happy with the event. “I’m just pleased moms think it’s important enough to bring their daughters out to something like this, and God has blessed it.”