Fun, fellowship, food.
Three things women can expect next week as the "Live It Up" conference gets underway at the Grove High School Performing Arts Center.
The brainchild of Grove author and speaker Lori Klickman, the event teams up Klickman with Patti Beth Anderson and Susie Niehus, for a one-day faith based event on Saturday, Sept. 8, for women between the ages of middle school to senior adult.
The conference name comes from the way Klickman signs posts on her blog "Live It Up For Jesus."
"For most people, 'Live It Up' means partying," Klickman said. "For Christians, Jesus promises us abundant life."
It also means, she said, to "Live It Up" means living an abundant life.
"We have a life to live," Klickman said. "It means we stop looking back, because we aren't going in that direction.
"We need to move forward, with hope. I want to be the one who says [to women] come on, get up."
Working with Niehus and Anderson, as well as a team of volunteers from various churches within the Grove area, Klickman developed the one day conference.
"It's a day designed to empower women," Klickman said. "It's for women of any walk of life."
The event has been endorsed by the Grove Area Ministerial Alliance.
"It will be filled with dramas, videos and music," Klickman said. "Susie is going to start the day, and I'll be sharing from life experiences."
Anderson, Klickman said, will bring a dose of drama to the event.
Grove native Rachel Johnson-Tuttle, who leads worship at a church in Texas, will bring the special music, while Adlee Pierce, daughter of Greg and Brandi Pierce, will bring a special message through dance.
"We want women to leave encouraged, with a fresh perspective on moving forward with their life," Klickman said. "It will be a fun day, not that we won't get personal, but it is designed to share laughter between girl friends and inspiring."
How it all began
This is the second women's conference organized by Klickman under her ministry umbrella "Outside of Ordinary."
Last year's conference, entitled the Brave Conference, grew out of Klickman's writing, but also tapped into her love of serving others with in a ministry setting.
"I feel like I'm home again," Klickman said. "I used to be a youth pastor. I realized that I was made to encourage women."
She jokes that her journey to becoming an inspirational speaker took a "really weird path," but she believes she has found her calling.
"I want to inspire women," Klickman said. "It brings me joy and it brings me where I 'm doing what I was called to do.
"It doesn't matter how hard I work at it, the time it takes is so satisfying."
Klickman said she counts it as a privilege to live out her ministry in this new way.
"If God can use me to bring joy to someone, it's like a party every day," Klickman said. "I want to bring joy and hope to women."
The conference, which begins at 9 a.m., at the performing arts center, is free and open to all women, no matter what faith or denomination.
More than 27 different ministries, organizations and retailers, geared towards women will be on site, offering a variety of information and products.
Three food trucks – including Potlickers, Ginger Jake's Gourmet Hot Dogs, and Ropin' Flamingo Italian Ice – will be on site to provide lunch, for a small fee, to participants.
"My heart just hearts for people who don't have hope," Klickman said. "When I know hope is readably available, how can I not share with them."
Behind her message
Throughout the day Klickman plans to share from her book "Dumpster Diving," which includes a variety of stories from her life.
Many of the stories emerged as Klickman was developing messages to use during worship services.
"I would tell stories from my life, but twist it around to relate to communion," Klickman said. "I've been collecting crazy stories [for years]."
At the encouragement of two different authors, Klickman began combining her tales into what eventually became a collection of 52 stories.
With the book, she jokes can either read straight thru, or have "coffee with Jesus" once a week, and dive into one of the stories.
The book is available for $15 locally at Grand Home Center, Redemption Implements, Sissy's Place, Polished Salon, and Heart and Soul Gallery. Online it's available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
For more information, or to register for the conference, persons interested may visit https://outsideofordinary.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.