WOCON 2023 – “Sing a New Song” with Kiran Young Wimberly

Sing to the Lord, to the Lord, a new song…. Sing to the Lord, Sing all the earth! (Psalm 96:1)

Our third online Women’s Conference is happening on March 11, 18 and 25. Registration is now open. Register here or click on the link to the right. All dates and times are listed in JST – Japan Standard Time. Please note that WoCon is not able to support visas to Japan.

Your payment of 6,000 yen (or equivalent) provides access to the keynotes and closing worship by Rev. Kiran Young Wimberly along with a variety of workshops offered by our WoCon community.

Workshop choices will be posted by the end of January and will be available to those who have registered for the conference. Use the link to the right to view choices.

Deadline: Registration for the 2023 conference closes on February 28, 2023. Keynote and workshop links will be emailed to all registrants. Scroll down to see the conference schedule.

Welcome to WOCON 2023 – SING a New Song! Kiran Wimberly, who resides in Ireland, will lead the women of WoCon in “Singing a New Song” on three Saturdays in Lent: March 11 & 18 with a closing worship on March 25. The main keynote talks and worship service will all happen at 4pm on Saturdays. 4pm in Japan is 8am for Kiran, so we chose a time when both Ireland and Japan would be wide awake and ready to sing. Last year’s theme, called us to Arise! Now that we are up and breathing deeply, it is time to sing out.

“Sing a new song!” the Psalms invite us. These are words we have heard many times, but they take on a new meaning as we emerge from these pandemic years. At this particular point in time, with each of us beginning a new chapter, we ask ourselves afresh – what is the new song we can sing in the coming season?  

In this year’s conference, we will explore the theme “Sing a New Song” both literally and metaphorically. We’ll remember songs that have inspired and lifted our spirits, and we’ll listen for the song we might feel called to bring forth. What were the songs that lifted our spirits when we needed encouragement and inspiration? What were the songs our hearts yearned to sing when we couldn’t sing together? Were there other forms of creativity that touched our hearts and gave rise to a “new song” within us? And as we listen for what inspires and refreshes us, we will explore what leads us toward healing and hope as we move into the future. What new songs do our spirits long to sing now? What do we feel called to create, to bring into being in the season ahead? What is the song God wishes to sing in and through us? As individuals, as women of God, as sisters in Christ, as communities of faith, from the diversity of our backgrounds, contexts, and life stages, how can each of us “sing a new song,” and what is the “new song” we can sing together? 

This year’s speaker is Rev. Kiran Young Wimberly. Kiran is an American Presbyterian minister and spiritual director living in Northern Ireland, based at the Corrymeela Community for Peace and Reconciliation. A child of Tokyo Union Church, she grew up with a cross-cultural background and has a heart for building bridges and finding common ground across community divides. One way Kiran has explored this bridge-building is through music, and she has collaborated with the McGrath family from County Tyrone, N. Ireland to record four albums of Psalms set to Celtic melodies, the most recent of which emerged during the Covid period. They sing their songs in sacred and secular venues, across the historic divides between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland. Bringing together the ancient words of the Psalms and beautiful Celtic melodies, their music ministry is a way of “singing a new song” in their context and in the communities they visit while on tour. Kiran also leads ecumenical retreats at Corrymeela and online, writes regular reflections at Bless My Feet, and hosts “Psalms for the Spirit,” a podcast about spirituality and resilience that she began during Covid to explore how the Psalms lift our spirits in difficult times. 

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 66 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 your spot at WoCon 2023 by registering here.

Conference Schedule: Listed in Japan time – please convert for your own time zone. The Wocon workshop schedule will be finalized and shared by January 30, 2023.

Mode Notes: Pre-recorded Keynote and Worship 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 11
3:20 pmPre-Conference Small Group GreetingsZoom
4:00 pmKeynote 1; Kiran Wimberly – Live introduction + broadcastZoom + Broadcast
4:30 pmDiscussion Groups – (Up to 8 per group)Zoom
5:00 pmKeynote 1 Conclusion; Kiran WimberlyBroadcast
5:30 pmDiscussion Groups – Live with KiranZoom
6:30 pmDinner Discussion Groups – (Up to 32 per group)Zoom
March 11-17Workshops – Leaders will set times of workshopsZoom and/or Link
March 18
3:20 pmPre-Conference Small Group GreetingsZoom
4:00 pmKeynote 2; Kiran Wimberly – Live introduction + broadcastZoom + Broadcast
4:30 pmDiscussion Groups – (Up to 8 per group)Zoom
5:00 pmKeynote 2 Conclusion; Kiran WimberlyBroadcast
6:30 pmDinner Discussion Groups – (Up to 32 per group)Zoom and/or Link
March 18-24Workshops – Leaders will set times of workshopsZoom
March 25
4:00 pm“Sing to the Lord a New Song” WorshipBroadcast
5:00 pmAll-Conference Zoom Fellowship (All are welcome)Zoom
– All times listed in Japan Standard Time –