2022 – ARISE! Talitha Koum!

Our second online Women’s Conference is happening on – March 19, 26 and April 2. Registration will open on November 5. All dates and times are listed in JST – Japan Standard Time. Please note that WoCon is not able to support visas to Japan.

Workshop choices are being developed and will soon be available to those who have registered for the conference.

Deadline: WoCon 2022 registration will close on March 1st to allow time for Zoom group assignments and workshop link notifications. Keynote and workshop links will be emailed to all registrants.

Mountaintop photo by Hydi Peterson

Welcome to WOCON 2022 – Arise! Talitha Koum! It’s time to get up, shake off any clinging physical or spiritual lethargy and join the women of WoCon on three Saturdays in Lent: March 19 & 26 with a closing worship on April 2 at 9am Japan time. Last year’s theme, in the midst of a global pandemic, was called (appropriately enough) “A Time to Heal.” This year’s theme calls us to rehabilitation and rejuvenation as we respond with a deep breath and accept the outstretched hand of Jesus with his gracious call, “Talitha koum! Little girl, I say to you, get up.” (Mark 5:41)

Our two keynote speakers will be Koko Kondo, a Hiroshima survivor and inspiring voice of peace and reconciliation in our world today, and TUC’s vibrant youth and children’s minister and Princeton Theological Seminary graduate, Audrey Thorne. A variety of workshops will be offered and there will be time to meet other conference participants in online small groups.

This year’s conference will focus on the words of Jesus to a young girl who had been given up for dead. By all indications, life had left the child, and mourning had begun. The Gracious Healer had plans for this young life, and so reached down, took her by the hand and said to her in their native tongue of Aramaic, “Talitha koum.” And in a heartbeat, mourning became morning and a new day, full of vitality and promise, had begun.

For more than a year now, many of us have been feeling almost as if we have been shut up in a tomb, unable to move around and fully live in the world we used to inhabit with a freedom of movement and connection. Some of us have felt like giving up. Yes, we have had time to heal, but some of us are still healing. Grief has been a companion with whom many of us have reluctantly walked. Quarantine, or even “lock-down” is like a tomb of sorts. We have all felt cut off at some point in this past year or more which has not been the liveliest of times, to say the least.

At this year’s Women’s Conference, we would like to take a moment, or several moments over a span of three weeks, to take these words of Jesus to heart: “Arise! Talitha koum!” And as we listen to those life-giving words, we will strive to repeat them to each other and encourage our sisters in Christ to get up and deal with the challenges that God has placed in our paths. Arise! Your life is not over. Arise! God has work for you to do. Arise! There is so much more to come. Talitha koum! 

We hope to see you at the conference. Registration begins in November. Invite a friend and share the experience.

The Women’s Conference is an annual gathering started by the women of the Christian missionary community 65 years ago and has been blessed by speakers such as Diana Butler Bass, Madeleine L’Engle, Susan Townsley, Sharon Draper and Hennie Symington.

Please reserve a spot at WoCon 2022 by registering here after November 5, 2021. The Early Bird Rate is ¥3,500 (until Dec. 31, 2021) — Regular Rate will be ¥4,000 (Jan. 1 ~ March 1, 2022). The rates are being raised slightly for WoCon 2022 in order to cover all the costs of the conference. Additional donations are welcome and will be sent as a donation to ARI – the Asian Rural Institute – which teaches sustainable agricultural to students attending from all over the world.

Conference Schedule: Listed in Japan time – please convert for your own time zone.

Mode Notes: Prerecorded Keynotes will be broadcast (thanks to Tokyo Union Church for their assistance); Zoom groups are live; workshops are as listed. Links will be sent before the conference begins.

Date and TimeEventMode
March 19 – 9:00 amKeynote 1; Koko KondoBroadcast
March 19 – 9:45 amDiscussion Groups – Up to 16 per groupZoom
March 19 – 10:00 amKeynote 1 Conclusion; Koko KondoBroadcast
March 19 – 10:30 amWorkshops Zoom and/or Link
March 19 – 12:00 noonLunch Bunch Groups – Up to 32 per groupZoom
March 26 – 9:00 amKeynote 2; Audrey ThorneBroadcast
March 26 – 9:45 amJournal Writing Time w Meditation MusicBroadcast
March 26 – 10:00 amKeynote 2; Audrey Thorne Broadcast
March 26 – 10:30 amWorkshopsZoom and/or Link
March 26 – 12:00 noonLunch Bunch Groups – Up to 32 per groupZoom
April 2 – 9:00 am“Arise! Talitha Koum” WorshipBroadcast
April 2 – 12:00 noonAll-Conference Zoom Room (it’s worth a try, eh?)Zoom