Ellipsis is a ministry for women and teen girls, that was established in 2014 as the women’s ministry for The Breakthrough Fellowship located in Smyrna, Ga. under the vision and direction of Rev. Jennifer Watley Maxell, affectionately known as Rev. Jenn. When the ministry was founded, Rev. Jenn was in seminary and a professor wrote “try and ellipsis,” after crossing out some words on one of her papers. Not remembering what an ellipsis was, she looked it up and found the definition, which stated that an ellipsis is “a grammatical symbol represented by three dots (…) which indicates that an author has omitted something purposefully from a sentence with the intention of more to come later.”
Reading the definition led to Divine revelation for Rev. Jenn. She thought, “Wow! That’s what Christ does for us as women. God omits things like sin, shame, anger and condemnation and replaces them with a promise of who we are and more to come.”
After graduating from seminary, Rev. Jenn was led to seven conferences. During the final conference, God spoke to her and told her that, “[She] had next.” Confused, Rev. Jenn asked, “God, there are 750 million women’s conferences. Why do you want me to do another one?” God’s response was that he wanted her to plan a conference that she and other women like her would attend.
Ellipsis was created for women and girls who love the Lord, but never quite fit into the “church” box. We are creatives, who may have grown up in church not really feeling like we belong; or who have been in church all their lives and now find themselves in a season where they are looking for something different. A different way to see their own story and to engage with and experience the Christ story.
As a ministry, we know that women have a unique relationship with Christ. We believe that Christ speaks to us differently than He speaks to men. In scripture, we see so many times where Jesus interacts with women, particularly young women, and has a transforming, healing effect on their lives. Yet, a lot of times in our own lives and our own church experience we don’t really experience similar healing and transformation. We pray that God will deliver us, we pray that God will restore us, we ask for strength to get through what we have to get through but do we really expect healing and transformation?
When women and teen girls come to Ellipsis, whether it’s the conference or one of our events, our prayer is that women and teen girls will experience true healing and transformation. When we leave Ellipsis we will not be the same way we were when we came. We will have unpacked our issues and discovered our own story in the presence of our Divine loving God.
Weather attending our spring conference or one of our many events throughout the year, our goal is to facilitate life-giving moments of transformation and healing. Of course, the preaching and teaching moments are always so significant and poignant, but one of our goals with Ellipsis is to also provide hands-on experiences which allow attendees to unpack and examine their own issues leading to restoration and refreshment in their everyday lives. We believe our faith should engage all parts of us including those not traditionally associated with church. Whether listening to a great speaker or teaching that will sometimes be deep or heavy– because we need to do that deep healing work, we will have a cooking demonstration or yoga or fashion show in between.These moments allow us to get to know God and each other in a different way. It allows us to engage each other in Christian sisterhood through channels we don’t often get a chance to.