Girls of Grace conference makes difference in teenage girls’ livescomment (0)
March 7, 2013
By Neisha Fuson
Fans rushed to the signing table after the concert to get the group’s autographs, shake their hands and have their pictures made together. One teenage girl asked a member of Point of Grace, “Where did you get your shoes?” The next girl in line had a very different type of question: “How did you keep yourself pure before marriage?”
The countless “deep” questions asked of the members of Point of Grace is what inspired them to found the Girls of Grace conference in 2002 with the hopes of “making a difference” in teenage girls’ lives by “coming alongside parents and youth leaders and sharing what we know the Word says.”
Point of Grace, a now five-time Dove Award-winning contemporary Christian music group, released its first album in 1993. The group has since released 16 albums — two of which achieved Platinum status. Leigh Cappillino, Denise Jones and Shelley Breen, the voices behind Point of Grace’s familiar harmonies, released their most recent album, “A Thousand Little Things,” in 2012.
Cappillino, who began singing with Point of Grace in 2004, said Girls of Grace strives to “give girls a renewed sense of confidence, a refreshed spirit and to open their eyes as to who they are by God’s own design.”
A one-day event hosted by Point of Grace, the conference’s target group is teenage girls grades 6–12. A variety of guest speakers and Christian musicians reiterate messages from Scripture at the conference while addressing topics such as body image, good health, relationships, fashion and good choices.
Girls of Grace speakers “resonate in the hearts of the girls,” Cappillino said. The speakers, selected depending on location and yearly Girls of Grace theme, share from experience and are sincere, something Cappillino said this generation of girls can spot a mile away.
This year’s theme, “The Beautiful Truth,” reflects on John 8:32 and the truth that God created each person in His image, beautiful and completely unique, Cappillino said. “Life is not based on numbers. It’s not based on jeans size, height or the color of your hair.
“With as many years as we’ve been doing [this conference] the common denominator is the same: (girls struggle with) self-esteem, feeling good enough, comparing themselves and feeling like (they are) the only ones going through what they’re going through,” she said.
But the conference is not just for the girls. Moms and youth leaders are encouraged to attend with the girls because, as Cappillino put it, “a lot of times the moms (or leaders) need [encouragement] just as much as the girls do.”
She said, on average, one out of every four attendees is an adult woman.
The conference recently added the topic of social media and the importance of boundaries associated with it.
“It’s a challenge not just for those girls. [Moms and leaders] have to be that role model. We have to hold ourselves accountable so our kids will see we are trying to be better people,” Cappillino said of social media and the issues that can arise from it such as low self-esteem, judgment and bullying.
But since the conference was created for teen girls and their leaders, what do they think of Girls of Grace?
On the Girls of Grace Facebook page, Facebook.com/girlsofgraceevent, comments like, “Can’t wait till next year” and “It was an amazing day” abound. One mom wrote, “Awesome day. My daughter is still talking about it. She woke up this morning with a new excitement in her eyes … I can’t thank you enough for being a catalyst in that.”
And that’s exactly why Point of Grace started the ministry in the first place.
Cappillino said, “I love (the conferences) because they inspire me, challenge me and encourage me in a way that I (think), ‘We can make a difference and it starts one heart at a time, one choice at a time.’”
The speakers also share about the importance of a personal relationship with Christ.
“Maybe today the ‘beautiful truth’ is that you need Christ in your life,” one speaker shared at a previous conference, Cappillino said. Each conference has a time of dedication and an opportunity for the girls to accept Christ, “which we know is the best Truth of all,” she said.
For more information on the conference or to purchase tickets, visit www.girlsofgrace.com.
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