WEW 2022: The Dark Side
8 Apr 2022
“Wanna believe, wanna believe
That you don’t have a bad bone in your body
But the bruises on your ego make you go wild, wild, wild, yeah
Wanna believe, wanna believe
That even when you’re stone-cold, you’re sorry
Tell me why you gotta be so outta your mind, yeah”
The first stanza of the song by Halsey, “Be kind”, paints a raw picture of every human’s “dark side”: unkindness or in other words, meanness, and the urge to serve oneself. This unkindness has its roots deeply set in our individual egos, which means it is far-reaching and terrifying, as it rears its ugly head when we might not want it to. Yet every human has this in common: we hurt others, much more than we dare imagine.
What does this have to do with Christian women anyway?
This year, CERC’s annual women’s event – Women Encouraging Women (WEW) – explored “The Dark Side” of Christian women. Over 300 women were in attendance across the two days of the event, with about 60% being attendees who joined online. WEW 2022 ran from Friday, 4th March to Saturday, 5th March 2022 in a hybrid manner with both physical and online gatherings.
Poster of WEW 2022 ‘The Dark Side’
Day 1 of WEW at Luther Centre
Prisca, first-year Church Ministers’ Apprentice (CMA) and head of the organizing team for this year’s WEW explained the reasoning behind the theme for WEW 2022, “’The Dark Side’ is a topic chosen as a continuation from last year’s WEW topic on ‘Emotions’. With WEW last year, we learned to not be ruled by our emotions but to control them and have them be renewed by the reality of God. ‘The dark side’ then is to tackle the hypocrisy in us where we look fine on the outside but deep down in our hearts we are just all about ourselves.”
Winnie Lai being introduced to WEW participants
In the first talk by Winnie Lai (second-year CMA), participants learnt from Genesis that womanhood is about God, rather than how the world defines womanhood to be. Given that God is our Creator and He made us in His image, we can only find our true identity in God.
Vanessa Ong speaking to WEW participants on day 2
In the same vein, the second talk by Vanessa Ong, CERC’s latest pastor-in-training, extended the idea of biblical womanhood by speaking of the true hope in God’s Word, in contrast to the vain hope of prideful humanity. One of the pointed questions that was left with participants was, “Is your hope fully set on the most glorious truth?”
Keet Yee, one of the participants of WEW 2022 shared, “The talk helped me see the glorious purpose of God for us women in Genesis 1: building up the church and reflecting God’s glory to the world as a church so that people know that the LORD is God. A woman for God’s glory is the woman of the Word of God, constantly reorienting our sinful mind to God’s mind, God’s business, God’s concern.”
WEW participants at an elective led by Gene Voon and Au Soung Hui
A total of 12 electives were offered this year (see link for further description of each elective):
- ‘I’m not so good la’
- ‘MY children, not your business’
- Pretty Woman
- ‘XOXO Gossip Girl’
- ‘Look what you made me do!’
- ‘I Don’t Care (IDC)’
- ‘I Don’t Think I Am That Bad La’
- ‘Let’s Talk About SEX’
- ‘I’m Better Off Single’
- ‘The Respectable Sins of the Busy Woman’
Melody Ng, another participant also reflected, “I personally have benefitted from having my dark side exposed before my eyes as the speakers and elective leaders spoke from God’s Word. One of the speakers mentioned how it is tougher to suppress the truth than to admit our dark side and work on them. Throughout WEW, I experienced that liberation and my heart was overflowing with thankfulness to God that I could repent and gird up my loins to actively repent of my dark side. It’s sobering as my heart and eyes are opened to God’s truth and reality.”
As WEW 2022 drew to a close on a Saturday evening, a Q&A session with the speakers provided the opportunity for participants to ask their burning questions. In clarifying whether or not maturity and learning to deal with the dark side were the same thing, Winnie Lai said, “A lot of (christian) women dichotomise christian maturity into “maturity” and the “dark side”, but christian maturity actually includes the Christian confronting the dark side and repenting.” In ministering then to every sinner, the Christian is called to reflect and reveal what their hearts truly hope in, God or themselves?
The need for events like WEW cannot be overstated. Looking forward to WEW 2023, the theme of ‘The Dark Side’ will be delved even deeper into as participants will be learning about the ‘Hypocrisy’ in the hearts of Christian women.