Paris Church – The International Women’s day – ‘Beauty Found in Inner Peace’

Author: Carol McGuirk

Editors Note: The Paris Church was planted from the Boston Church of Christ in 1986

IMG_2674Earlier this month the women of L’Assemblée Chrétienne de Paris, known by our family of churches as the Paris Church of Christ, had its second annual Women’s Day since 2003. Like last year, we chose to host our special event on The International Women’s Day, March 8th, a day recognized globally and focusing on women’s rights, achievements, and their struggle for gender equality. While these struggles remain for women around the world, we as disciples recognize the victory we already have in Jesus and our ultimate worth in him and in his church. Still, we thought it appropriate to celebrate our being women, created in the image of God himself, all the while addressing some of the unique spiritual challenges we face as the more delicate gender.

This year’s theme was “La Beauté est dans La Paix Intérieure”, or “Beauty is Found in Inner Peace”. The event began at 2 pm, after our morning church service and time for lunch. The brothers of the church, dressed in suit and tie, greeted the women as they arrived at the Marriott Hotel in the 14th arrondissements, and immediately put them at ease as they guided them through the conference center side of the Hotel to our sunlit room on the third floor.

Marilyn Cariven, baptized in the early days of the Paris Church, was our gifted emcee, along with her faithful daughter and campus student, Pauline. The two of them welcomed the women and set the stage for the day’s events. In the months prior, a talented group of the sisters came together to write up and act in a witty skit entitled “Bonjour Docteur”, poking a bit of fun at all the things we tend to worry about as women. Six different women were sitting in a doctor’s office, each one waiting to speak with her about their unique worry and seek treatment. After listening attentively, the good doctor gave each one a prescription, a powerful scripture, to help them find inner peace and victory over their fear and worry. We all had a good laugh at ourselves, as each one of us could identify with a least one of the patients.

IMG_2673I had the privilege of singing a song by Sara Groves, “Less Like Scars” before two sisters came on stage to share about their lives. Lesa Stringer, our dear Canadian Olympian, a member of the Lyon Church, shared her story as did Catherine Magier, a member of the Paris Church. Both women shared vulnerably about how their relationship with God has helped them to grow and to find peace during difficult chapters in their lives.

Fabienne Descotes, also from Lyon, was our special guest speaker, addressing our theme of “Beauty Is Found in Inner Peace.” Fabienne led alongside her husband Franck in the Paris Church years ago. The women were so excited to have her back in Paris. Fabienne is one of the most radiant women I know. Her love for God and faithful endurance through many trials inspired us all to want to go deeper with God.

Fabienne helped us understand the importance of a close walk with the Lord and how that relationship can fill us with peace even in the midst of serious personal trials. Like any fruit bearing tree, we can only bear fruit if we have deep roots. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit, and it grows in us out of a deep connection with the Father. Her vulnerability and ability to explain deep spiritual concepts simply and concretely touched every woman present.

IMG_2672One of our brothers told me that when the event was over and as the women came out of the room, all of them were literally glowing and beaming with joy. 130 plus women were in attendance, with 80 of them being our friends, coworkers, neighbors, mothers, sisters and daughters. To end the festivities we enjoyed a joy-filled fellowship with coffee, tea and delicious French pastries. Many of the attendees have been studying the bible and three have already been baptized into Christ, while another young sister has returned to the fellowship. Other guests have begun a deeper quest to know God and are beginning to open the bible with the sisters in the church. We are truly grateful to God and how he moved through all our prayers and efforts. Please continue to pray for God to use us for his Glory as we continue to sow seeds of love and “peace” in the City of Love.

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