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Central Community Church hosts conference for mothers

Central Community Church hosts motherhood conference

Amber Foster, shown above with her children John Rhett and Reese, will be a speaker at A MOMent: Building A Legacy conference on March 15 at Central Community Church in Covington. She’ll be joined by, from left, Melissa Kitchens, Candace Roberts and Amy Payne. (Special Photo)

Amber Foster, shown above with her children John Rhett and Reese, will be a speaker at A MOMent: Building A Legacy conference on March 15 at Central Community Church in Covington. She’ll be joined by, from left, Melissa Kitchens, Candace Roberts and Amy Payne. (Special Photo)

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Melissa Kitchens

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Candace Roberts

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Amy Payne

When friends invited Melissa Kitchens to go with them to a special conference just for moms last year, the Covington mother of four was less than enthusiastic.

“I went there thinking they’re going to tell me everything I’m doing is wrong and I’ll come back discouraged,” she said. “I actually came back feeling loved and realizing we’re all in the same boat. We’re all in the same circumstances.”

Today, Kitchens is one of the organizers bringing the mom conference to Covington. Titled “A MOMent: Building a Legacy,” the daylong conference will be Saturday, March 15, at Central Community Church in Covington from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The event features two keynote speakers and five breakout sessions designed to encourage mothers, grandmothers and moms-to-be. Tickets are $25 each and include breakfast and lunch.

Kitchens said when she and her friends, Amber Foster and Amy Payne, went to last year’s conference, they realized that while many of the details in women’s lives are different, they also have many things in common.

“We want to bring unison and encouragement and even offer contacts for these moms so they can get connected with each other,” she said.

After attending the conference last year, which was hosted by Lifeway, Kitchens said she, Payne and Foster, along with several other women in their church, began making plans to offer the MOMent conference in their own area. The conference is not a church event, but is simply being held at Central Community Church, which is located at 11157 City Pond Road off Alcovy Road in Covington.

“We wanted to come back and bring what we learned to our community,” she said.

Kitchens, who has been married for 11 years and is the mother of children ages 2, 4, 7 and 8, will lead one of the breakout sessions that day titled “End of the Super Mom.” A stay-at-home mother, Kitchens and her husband Brian have been in the ministry for many years working as small group leaders, youth pastors, care pastors and nursery directors.

“When we continually try to do it all, we place unrealistic demands on all mothers,” she said.

“Let’s admire the mothers who take time to nurture themselves and can enjoy time with their kids. Let’s celebrate our imperfections instead of beating ourselves up over them. This class will discuss the difference in being ‘super mom’ and ‘abiding mom.’”

Participants will be able to attend two of the five breakout sessions that Saturday. Other sessions include “Teaching God’s Word to Your Children.” Led by Amber Foster, who is also one of the keynote speakers, this session focuses on the Scripture found in Deuteronomy 6:7.

“Sometimes as moms we can feel like a servant in our own homes,” Foster said.

“We make sure papers are signed, homework is complete, clothes are cleaned, boo boos are kissed, bellies are full and kids are tucked in the bed. I know in my own home, I hear ‘mom, momma, mother’ what feels like a million times a day.

“Our role as a mother is never complete. It continues to evolve and change from that life-changing moment we hear our baby’s first cry. But there is a huge difference between feeling like a servant and choosing to serve. That small truth changed my heart and my parenting about three years ago when I was in the trenches of a toddler and a newborn, neither of whom liked to sleep.”

Foster said she prayed for God to give her a heart for her home and said that he has done just that. She and her husband Joshua are the parents of two children ages 6 and 4. With a master’s degree in nursing, Foster is a family nurse practitioner.

“I have chosen to serve, to be intentional and to do it all for God’s glory,” Foster added.

“My prayer for a MOMent conference is that we as a community of moms find encouragement and refreshment as we help each other navigate this thing called motherhood. Knowing that none of us have it all together, but we know the God that holds it all.”

Lorrie Wellborn will lead the session “Living Legacy,” which helps new moms and grandmothers and all those in between learn how to leave a godly legacy for their families for generations to come. A native of Norfolk, Va., and the daughter of a pastor, Wellborn served 18 years as part of the pastoral staff at Azalea Garden Church in Virginia Beach, Va. Married for 54 years, Wellborn and her husband have three children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Now living in Covington, Wellborn is prayer leader of the senior adult ministry at her church, part of the ladies board and a member of the eldership program.

Other sessions include “Guarding and Growing Your Marriage,” led by Victoria Bragg. Also the daughter of a pastor, Bragg was born in Northern Ireland. She moved to the U.S. at 15 and went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Georgia Baptist College of Nursing.

She and her husband of 19 years, Jeff, are the parents of two children ages 12 and 10. Bragg teaches a ninth grade Sunday school class and is a leader at Bible Study Fellowship International.

“Marriage is close to God’s heart since He designed it to reflect His glory,” Bragg said. “Is it any wonder that marriage has been under attack since the beginning? God desires for our marriages to be like a fruitful garden. In His word he gives us the tools to grow and guard our marriage.”

“Understanding the Personality and Love Languages of Your Child” will be a session led by Amanda Walden. Participants will learn about the four main personality types and five love languages of children to help mothers better understand their child, improve relationships and foster their child’s God-given uniqueness.

Walden has been a counselor with Eagles Landing Christian Counseling Center for several years. Prior to that, she worked with a local mental health agency and has experience with children and adolescents. She also worked for a domestic violence program for eight years counseling victims of domestic abuse.

Walden holds a master’s degree in community counseling from Mercer University in Atlanta. A licensed professional counselor in Georgia, Walden is a student at King’s University where she is pursuing a master’s degree in practical theology.

Candace Roberts will be the other keynote speaker. The mother of five children, Roberts and her husband have two biological sons and three daughters they recently adopted from China. Their children are 14, 13, 11, 4 and 2.

Jonie Stone will be the worship leaders for the MOMent conference. The mother of two children ages 10 and 7, Stone and her husband Garry have pastored several churches and traveled in ministry for the past 12 years. Stone has been leading worship since she was a teenager.

In addition, Eagles Landing Christian Counseling will also have a table set up at the conference to offer their services to any of the participants who might be interested.

Registration for the MOMent conference will continue through March 13 by visiting www.centralcommunitychurch.net.

Beth Slaughter Sexton is a freelance writer based in Gwinnett County. Contact her at bethslaughtersexton@gmail.com.