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A Relevant Conference for Today’s Christian Woman Blogger and Writer

Relevant Conference co-founders Sarah Mae, Jessica Heights and Dana Adams
By Lisa Littlewood

For a Blogging and writing conference only two years young, The Relevant Conference, hosted at the Sheraton Hotel in Harrisburg, P.A. October 27th-29th, has made waves in a high energy, high intensity social media culture, as one of “the” conferences to attend for Christian women who are interested in writing and connecting through social media outlets. While this year’s gathering was only the second since its inception in October 2010, the event was completely sold out and carried a wait list of hundreds of women hoping to find tickets.
     Started last year by co-founders Sarah Mae, Jessica Heights and Dana Adams, the event has already attracted the attention and involvement of big name Christian sponsors such as Zondervan, Focus on the Family, Operation Christmas Child and (in)Courage Online (a division of DaySpring).
Mae, Heights and Adams met at a conference for “mom” bloggers in 2010. While they were inspired and encouraged by the event, the three women felt the need for a space in which Christian women interested in writing and blogging could come together. By the time they returned home, they were not just planning new blog posts, but an entirely new blogging conference (which they pulled off in just a few short months!).
     This year’s event boasted well known speakers such as New York Times acclaimed author Ann Voskamp (author of One Thousand Gifts) and Tsh Oxenreider, author of Organized Simplicity and founder of SimpleMom.Net a popular site with more than 35,000 followers. In addition to Voskamp and Oxenreider, attendees heard from a number of other women who have found a sphere of online influence through their own blogs (you can read more about the speakers here) and writing ventures.
Despite the surprise of heavy snow outside, threatening to deter flights and trips home (and offering quite a shock to women from places like California and Texas) the atmosphere was warm, energetic and enthusiastic.
      In the words of Cyndi Spivey, blogger, conference attender and pastor’s wife from Kentucky, “Snow in October. Uggh! Thankfully we were nice and toasty inside and I don’t think we missed a beat. In case you don’t know, The Relevant Conference, is a women’s conference for bloggers who have a heart for Jesus. Not all of them blog about Him specifically but we all have Him as our common thread. We eat lots of chocolate and drink lots of coffee…...heaven!”
     And, in the words of the conference organizers, “Relevant is the proverbial comfy chair in which we meet, tell, listen, and love deeply for a weekend as our souls are refreshed and our mission renewed.
October Snow in Harrisburg, PA ( photo taken by Cindy Spivey)
     Our goal at Relevant is to minister to the woman, the blogger, the story teller. We want to love you well, encourage you, and spur you on; we desire to see your soul refreshed among kindred spirits.”
The organizers of Relevant are incredibly encouraged by the way the conference has transpired. “It’s been a wild ride,” said Mae.
      They are already beginning planning for next year’s event which they hope to host in a larger venue and be able to offer more tickets (only 200 were available this year), while still keeping to their desires to create an encouraging and intimate space.
     For more information check out their website at www.therelevantconference.com.

Lisa Littlewood is a local freelance writer and mother to two energetic girls. She blogs about her adventures in writing and motherhood at www.littlewritermomma.com