About 60 women between the ages of 20 and 80 gathered for a Mennonite Church Alberta women’s retreat at Sylvan Lake on May 22-24, 2015. They joined together to worship, pray, learn, share in meals, and most importantly to laugh together at the Saturday night variety show.
Faye Reynolds of Lethbridge, director of women’s ministries for Canadian Baptist Ministries, used the book of Colossians and personal stories and humour in her sessions. She emphasized that for women to thrive it must not be at the expense of others—men, other women, other cultures or impoverished nations. We must work together to thrive by abiding in God’s amazing love that flows through us from the Vine. We are the branches, and it is God, the gardener, who should be concerned with the fruit we bear; our focus must be to remain connected to Christ the Vine.
Retreat organizers arranged to partner with a mission project to support a Vietnamese Mennonite Church Calgary project entitled “Cosmetics for Cows,” which collects unused makeup that is resold in Vietnam to buy cows for people in Vietnam. Tea towel sets were also available for sale to contribute money for the same project. The support for this project was a huge success!
The summer-like weather was simply remarkable, encouraging women to walk by the lake, read by the small chapel or enjoy the view of the lake and visit in the shade. As well as the gifted speaker and meaningful worship, the excellent accommodations, delicious food and beautiful setting made for a fantastic atmosphere. Many participants and organizers are looking forward to next year’s retreat.