SAPC Member Julie Cazin shares her experiences at the 2018 Women’s Connections Retreat. The retreat was held in August at the Montreat Conference Center.
What a wonderful experience to be in the mountains of North Carolina in August at the breathtaking retreat center at Montreat. This is the second Women’s Connection retreat I have attended and again have left feeling taught, touched by the spirit and more aware of the world and important issues around me.
The theme for this year’s conference was “Through the Valley” based on Psalm 23: Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
This theme set the stage for our keynote speaker, Kay Bowler, and her book: Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I Love. She is in her late 30’s , fighting stage 4 cancer, and talked to us about the Prosperity Gospel as she has researched it and has had to rewrite her own. She spoke with humor and tears, about her journey and her writing. She is an assistant professor in the school of divinity at Duke University.
I feel the choice in worship leaders is also important; that person leads us from Friday night through the weekend and sends us off on Sunday morning. This year Reverend Dr. Diane L. Givens Moffett led us in worship. She spoke with fire, love, conviction, and humor. Her daughter Reverend Eustacia Moffett Marshall led the music and carried us away with her songs, her voice and her leadership.
I attended a morning and an afternoon workshop on Saturday, both wonderful but very different. The first was on Faith Based Advocacy; energizing your congregation to stand for peace and justice. I chose to go because this is not something I engage in very much and felt the need to learn and see how the church supports and creates change. I left with some good ideas and things to share with those who lead this effort here at Saint Andrews.
My other workshop was called On the Journey with Dr. Seuss. It was led by Edna Bacon , an artist and potter and lover of Dr. Seuss. The session was based on a lesser-known book of his called Beyond the Zebra. How much we can learn if we do not stop at Z both in the alphabet and in our lives!
Next summer the main speaker at the women’s connection will be a Sikh woman named Valerie Kaur. Her theme will be Using Love to Change the World, which goes hand in hand with the ways of Jesus and I hope to learn much from her next year as I go again to the mountains and find God there. Why don’t you join me? (E-mail Julie at email@example.com)