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Girls of Grace: Conference helps teenage girls cope with today's issues

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Award-winning Christian trio Point of Grace -- Shelley Breen, Denise Jones and Leigh Cappillino -- will host Feb. 18's Girls of Grace statewide conference in Murfreesboro.
Body image? Self esteem? Eating disorders, sex and the downside of social networking?

Yuck, if you're a teenage girl, right?

Well, not if you're a teenage girl attending Girls of Grace, an exciting one-day event being held Feb. 19 at World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro, for girls 12 to 17.

"Girls and their mothers come from far and wide to attend these conferences," said Susan Niles, on behalf of the event.

Hosted by award-winning, multi-platinum selling trip Point of Grace, Girls of Grace will tackle issues teenage girls face through a fun platform that includes well-known featured speakers, lots of music and more.

"We've been singing together for many, many years, and about 8 or 9 years ago our dream came to fruition," said Shelley Breen, of Point of Grace, explaining the group's desire to start a conference for teen girls.

Breen said following their concerts, more and more girls would come to the trio for advice about tough issues.

"For us that's so hard," Breen said. "We are up on stage singing Christian music and (girls think) we have all the answers ... So many girls need a lending ear, and need answers."

Though there were certain things the ladies could help with, there were plenty of things they couldn't help with -- at least not in a 90-minute concert, Brean said.

But they could address the issues they were hearing about ... in a conference, maybe? With experts speaking on various topics? And singers to liven up the event?

Breen's passion for starting such a conference eight years ago was deepened by the birth of her own daughter.

"These girls 16-18 years old are the girls that are going to be influencing my daughter and I want her to have good role models," reflected Breen.

Girls from around the state are expected to sign up for the conference, which will feature music from not only Point of Grace, but also American Idol finalist Jason Castro, Meredith Andrews, Satellites and Sirens and Dara Maclean.

Featured speakers are Contance Rhodes (health/body image), Chris Wheeler (relationships/teen topics), Amber Lehman (fashion expert), Leigh Cappillino ('What's love got to do with it?'), Breen (Cooking with Grace), and Denise Jones (Discovering God's Unique Purpose for your Life).

"We'll be dealing with self-esteem," Breen said. "This comparing yourself to other girls is a huge issue."

Finding balance in social networking will be another hot topic of the day.

"It's a huge issue," Breen said. "There is a flatness to relationships now ... Why do we need to call a friend to say, 'How was your day?' when we can look on Twitter?"

A "classy not trashy" fashion show will add to the fun of the day, said Breen, who will also speak.

"I'm going to do a little cooking segment," she said. "Cooking is a lost art ... Have a girls fiesta night in ... Instead of staring at a movie screen or going out to dinner, why not get a group of girls together and cook in your mom's kitchen ... Trust me, your moms will love it."

Breen said mothers and daughters are welcomed to come together, or girls may come without their moms.

"About 50 percent of the time I'll see one mom come with six or seven girls," she said. "But girls can also come alone."

Registration is $50, or $80 for a mother/daughter ticket, or $37.50 for groups of 10 or more. A box lunch is $5. To register go to www.girlsofgrace.com.

Doors open at 8 a.m. at the church, located at 1921 New Salem Road, Murfreesboro. For more information call (615) 777-2227.

About Point of Grace

Since forming at Ouachita Baptist University 19 years ago, Point of Grace has emerged as one of the biggest names in Christian music with their signature The two-time Grammy nominees have sold more than 6.5 million albums and earned 24 consecutive No. 1 singles (27 total including radio staples "Steady On", "The Great Divide" and "Circle of Friends"). They've won 10 prestigious Dove Awards, including Country Recorded Song of the Year in 2008 for "How You Live" and Country Recorded Song of the Year in 2009 for "I Wish." They've also published a cookbook, "Cooking with Grace."

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