By Lisa Tranquilla
On Saturday, April 27, 70 ladies from Atlantic Canada gathered at Gunningsville Baptist Church in Riverview, New Brunswick, to celebrate “The Flourishing Life.” Stephanie Beaulieu encouraged us to not just survive, but to thrive. “The Flourishing Life begins with a change of belief, not a change in behaviour,” said Stephanie.
In John 10:10b, Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” [or in abundance]. We were challenged to keep asking, seeking and knocking (Matthew 7:7–9). The Flourishing Life results from what is happening within us, not around us. We need to be deeply rooted in Jesus (Ephesians 3:14–21), not in our circumstance. Stephanie emphasized, “The Flourishing Life flows when an able God fills an available form,”—us! As believers, we are a new form and our hearts are filled with the Holy Spirit.
After a short break, Stephanie continued on The Flourishing Life theme, saying, “A deeply rooted heart is one that makes room.” We need to make room in our form to flourish, to thrive. She taught about the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1–9) and what it means when we have a hardened heart, a shallow heart, and a crowded heart.
Stephanie closed the day talking about how our hearts become available and that we need to repent and receive. In John 15:4a, Jesus tells us, “Remain in me as I also remain in you.” The Flourishing Life is not about performance but about connection. We need to make our home with Him. It is important to remember that we will sin and fall short, but Jesus paid the price for us and by grace we are forgiven—make room, receive, remain, and repeat. Then the fruit from your flourishing can sow the seed in someone else’s life.
Janet Terris followed through on God’s nudging and shared a session on “Even If.” She said, “Hard is not bad; hard is hard and bad is bad.” God will equip us and be with us during those tough times. God’s light will shine in those who are broken. He is our Living Hope. “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
Marie Claire, from Église Cité de la Grâce in Dieppe, New Brunswick, said of the event, “I heard about Flourish years ago. The first time I attended, I felt refreshed and encouraged in my spiritual life. The subject and the speakers are awesome. It is a good place to have connections and to learn from other Christian ladies. I don’t want to miss any session of this. I will keep inviting other women to come see what Jesus can do in our lives.”
TEEN GIRLS GROUP
Congratulations to recently married Jaquelle Crowe, now Jaquelle Ferris, who led our teen girls’ Flourish group. Thirteen young ladies were thrilled to spend time with Jaquelle, who is an author and speaker. She encouraged these young lives with teaching from her book, This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the
Thirteen-year-old Zoë-Lyn, who attended the teen group, said,
“I really enjoyed Flourish. This is the second time I’ve gone. It really helped me to see how much I matter to God and that he cares
Once again, Angela and Angela prepared a delicious lunch served by Jim, Mark and Noah.
Our Flourish worship team, Josie, Casidhe and Berea led us in songs that tied in with the event’s theme.
We can’t flourish without our volunteers who helped with setup, decorating, the Parasource book table, greeting and registration.
We appreciate Kathy Morales’ continued support at Flourish and with our pastors’ wives. It was wonderful to meet her granddaughter Maia (a.k.a. Stephanie’s assistant).
Prayer is so important—very much felt and appreciated.