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Church State Issues

Religious group gets free use of Bank One Ball Park????

Nov 16, 2010

By: Allison Denny

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/1117conference1017.html

I suspect this religious group is getting free use of the stadium violating the Arizona Constitution. I know Jerry Colangelo used to let these religious groups use the Bank One Ballpark for free or almost free.

Women of Faith conference draws thousands in Arizona

The Arizona Republic

Nov. 17, 2007 12:00 AM

The crowd of nearly 12,500 at Jobing.com Arena on Friday night wasn't made up of hockey fans. The crowd wasn't there for Hannah Montana or even a monster-truck rally.

The arena was filled instead with women coming together for the two-day Women of Faith conference, one of the largest female conferences in the country.

Since its inaugural tour in 1996, about 3.5 million women have attended the weekend event, designed to bring together Christian women of all denominations through worship, teaching and fellowship.

"Women of Faith is unique in that it is open to every woman all ages, all denominations, all stages of life," spokeswoman Briana Stensrud said.

The majority of the women who attend come seeking renewal and reconnection with other women, she said.

Sandy Gauthier and her 13-year-old daughter, Elena, of the Ahwatukee Foothills area, attended the conference for the first time this year.

"It's phenomenal to be in a room with this many women following a Christian life," Sandy said.

Sandy said the conference offers a weekend where she can forget about her everyday stresses and focus on her faith. "Sometimes our lives get so busy that we just have to stop and focus on what's important," she said.

The 2007 conference, themed "Amazing Freedom," features speakers who have traveled with the group all 12 years and some who are unique to this year's tour.

The weekend kicked off Friday morning in Glendale, this year's final stop, where guest speaker Beth Moore, a well-known author and speaker, addressed a crowd of 9,000. Moore's high-energy, emotion-filled sermon had women crying, laughing and cheering.

Diana Wiese has been following Moore's books and teaching for about six years. Wiese, 37, came to Glendale from Arizona City with 12 other women from her church to see Moore.

"She's even better in person," Wiese said.

Women of Faith is similar to the male-oriented Promise Keepers conference, both of which draw thousands to gender-specific, arena-size events, Stensrud said. The difference, she said, is in the mission of each organization.

"Promise Keepers is about getting men together to help encourage each other. Women of Faith is a group that wants women to be refreshed, encouraged and renewed."

Promise Keepers is based more in preaching and teaching, she said, while Women of Faith encourages women to express their emotions and relax.

"We're inviting women to take a few days to relax and be refreshed and reconnect with other women."

This year Women of Faith visited over 40,000 women in 28 cities across the United States and Canada.

The tour has stopped in Arizona four times, and the 2008 conference, titled "Infinite Grace," is scheduled for Glendale on Nov. 21 and 22.