By Sharon Mager
COLUMBIA, Md. — The Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) annual women’s conference, “Breathless,” will run from 9 a.m. to noon on September 19. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the popular event will be on Zoom, offering even more women an opportunity to participate.
Melody Knox, BCM/D church strengthening specialist for women, says the purpose of Breathless is to bring a holistic approach to women’s work in churches and to assist women in becoming more effective in various ministries in their churches.
Author and pastor’s wife Kim Hardy will be the keynote speaker. In addition to her writing, Hardy is a life coach, the director of an after-school youth leadership program, and the co-founder of “Marriage Talk” along with her husband, Dexter Hardy, the pastor of LifePoint Church in Marietta, Georgia.
“[Hardy] has been with us before and she’s one of our favorite guests,” says Knox.
Hardy, whose latest book is, “Relaunch! 5 Keys to Getting Past Stuck and Stress at Work and Life,” will speak on “how to grow in our ‘now.’” Knox says the topic is “right on time,” considering the pandemic.
“I chose that (topic) because everyone has different circumstances, even through COVID-19,” shares Hardy. “But I really believe we can grow and blossom in whatever we are going through.”
She admits struggling with the quick change of everyday life as a result of the pandemic, but she knew she had to keep focused on trusting God. She acknowledges that isn’t always easy. “It was all happening too fast,” she remembers. “Every few minutes, something different was happening and I couldn’t wrap my mind over it.” But she knew that God, above all, must be supreme.
With a hearty laugh, Hardy says it’s like when she was growing up and her mom was supreme – “What she said had to go!”
God alone, however, she emphasizes, must be first and foremost. “While everything is out of control, God is in control and must have supremacy in our lives at all times, even when things are falling apart. You will grow when you are aligning your life to Him,” she adds.
She will also share about what it looks like to “flesh out love, faith and hope in today’s world.” “In the context of racial upheaval and political division, God has called us to love,” she says. Hardy points to Colossians 1, where Paul commends the church for their faith, hope, and love.
Hardy has been a guest speaker at several Maryland/Delaware churches in addition to the Breathless Conference. She has built relationships with the ladies in the churches and says she feels at home, adding that she’ll miss being able to fellowship in person this year.
The conference will include a time of recorded music and worship, provided by Janet Allen, the worship ministry director at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Huntington, Maryland, followed by Hardy’s presentation and a Q&A session which Knox will lead.
The conference is free. As with all of the Breathless events, there will be an offering to support the Women’s Missionary Union (WMU) Foundation, “Touch Tomorrow Today.” Funds from the offering will support Maryland/Delaware WMU ministries.