Guest post by Gaye Swan, Women’s Retreat Team
Friday, Aug. 26 was a blustery day, to put it mildly! Yet even as the rains poured and the thunder rolled, ladies from all over the city made their cautious way to The Country Place in Moscow, TN, for CUMC’s 2016 Women’s Retreat. This year’s theme of Rest, Revive, Remain truly blessed all who braved the weather to be present.
The rain let up somewhat as attendees signed in, visited with each other and settled into their rooms. By suppertime, the air felt cool and cleansed, and after a delicious dinner, the group made their way to the cozy, welcoming chapel. Led by Abbye Pates and her wonderful music, the atmosphere filled with joy and excitement. Speaker Karen Barrows gave a brief message that whet our anticipation for Saturday’s teaching sessions.
“Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed Him, for they were all expecting Him…” begins a passage in Luke 8:40. The group of ladies gathered in His name on Saturday opened their hearts to expect and welcome Him. Using the story that continues in Luke, Karen used her own life as an illustration of how our Lord calls us to rest in Him and find revival for our souls. We found common ground with each other when we broke into small groups to listen and share after each session.
The retreat featured fun activities, such as painting and a photo booth with crazy props, and allowed time for reflection with a guided prayer walk that ended in a quiet outdoor chapel to pray alone or with a friend, or worship with Abbye’s music.
Our time of retreat closed with communion and a blessing that we might remain in our Savior! It was a sweet time of deepening our relationships with Jesus.
So many have let us know how much it meant to them:
“Thank you all so much for all the work you did to make the weekend special…The mounds of hard work you did for the retreat was obvious in how smoothly everything ran. Thank you for your care, your attention to detail and your prayers over the whole endeavor. It will take me weeks more to process everything that happened over the weekend, and I look forward to that journey with God. Thank you again for all you did for the women who attended to deepen our relationships with God. I am more blessed than I can tell you to be a member of such an amazing body of Christ and sisterhood of Christ. Thank you again.”
“The Country Place was beautiful, the food was awesome and Karen was great. It’s just enough outside of town to feel like you are truly on a time of retreat. I heard several people say they wish they could stay an extra day!”
“I wanted to say thank you…for many things. Thank you for hosting this retreat. Thank you for inviting Karen to speak. Thank you for wrapping your arms around our precious sister and friend. We sure do love and miss her. Thank you for all the hard work you and your staff did to prepare. Thank you for the lovely retreat center. Thank you for welcoming us from Naples. We felt like royalty. Thank you for blessing us. From the location and facility, staff, food, rooms, message, worship, prayers, small groups and activities, it was a beautiful event that I’m positive glorified God. Thank you for allowing us to participate and join your ladies to rest, revive and remain. It was so worth it! From the bottom of my heart…thank you!” —Teresa Hemmer, one of four ladies from Naples, FL, who came to the retreat to support Karen