WORTHINGTON — Like many events that involve larger gatherings of people, the fourth annual Women Seeking God conference in Worthington is going virtual in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Optimistic organizers see the change as an opportunity to reach even more women through a livestream event from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 25, which women can either watch from the comfort of their own home or in a watch party hosted by their church or among a gathering of friends.

Kristin Appel said the conference has grown to become a regional event in its four years, and with the conference going online this year, there’s the potential for even more growth.

“Anyone can watch from anywhere — good can come from bad,” she said.

This year’s conference theme is Drawn, following previous themes of Create, Be and Multiply. The companion verse is Jeremiah 31:3.

“It kind of has good timing,” Appel said of this year’s theme. “I think people are naturally drawn to something that’s comforting. We’re looking to God at this time. God is drawing us to him.”

Traditionally a Friday evening and Saturday conference at a Worthington host church, this year’s event has been shortened to a three-hour livestream program complete with inspiring music, a motivational speaker and messages of hope.

“We’re still committed to provide the same quality conference,” Appel said.

Conference speaker is Debbie Griffith, of International Falls. Griffith describes herself as an animated entertainer and passionate encourager activated by God’s grace to help people live freely, in his goodness.

Griffith founded Everyday Matters, a 60-second radio feature now airing on more than 100 radio stations.

Griffith states on her website, debbiegriffith.com: “I love to talk. I love to share stories that bring hope to your heart and laughter to your bones. Get ready for a show, because I love to entertain and come on stage as one of my characters.

“It may be that you’ll meet Annie Oakley — armed and ready to share God’s peace. Or perhaps Super Susie Christian with her hard hat and plank screwed to the side, so you can see your need to get the log of judgement out of your own eye first in order to see clearly to love others. I have God’s Word and I’m not afraid to use it and use it I will to bring God’s Good News to you.”

Griffith will livestream her talk from St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Worthington, which is one of three churches already planning to host a watch party. (The other Worthington church sites thus far include American Lutheran and Living Waters). Worship Leader Mandi DeYounge, formerly of Worthington, will livestream from The Log Church in Cross Lake.

“We have people interested in hosting watch parties, but we would like even more,” said Appel. “If someone is interested in hosting at their own church or their own house or another venue, that would be awesome.”

Appel suggests individuals interested in hosting a watch party reach out to the organizers through the Women Seeking God: Drawn Facebook page or call Love, INC at 727-7291.

The organizers are a group of five women, following the original mission to bring women together in a multi-denominational event to worship together, learn together and build community.

“It’s women encouraging women,” Appel said.

Individuals interested in taking part this year are asked to register on the Women Seeking God: Drawn Facebook page or by calling Love, INC. There is a suggested donation to help cover costs for the speaker and technology.

Also, Appel encourages people to like the Facebook page for uplifting Bible verses, thoughts and devotionals related to this year’s conference theme.