Sep 19, 2015

AWM Retreat May 22-24, 2015

Alberta Mennonite Women THRIVE!

Mennonite Church Alberta Women gathered for another exciting annual women’s retreat at Sunnyside Christian Retreat Centre, Sylvan Lake, Alberta on May 22-24, 2015. The theme, THRIVE, was both inspiring and reflective as women from across Alberta, between the ages of 20 - 80, explored what it means to thrive in Christ. Approximately 60 women joined together to worship, pray, learn, share in meals and most importantly to laugh together at the Saturday Night Variety Show.

The speaker, Faye Reynolds of Lethbridge, Director of Women’s Ministries for Canadian Baptist Ministries, led women through the book of Colossians as well as a number of complimentary biblical passages. Reynolds incorporated her interactive nature, musical abilities, personal stories and humour into her sessions. She emphasized that in order 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 for us 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, but our focus must be to remain connected to Christ, the Vine.

In considering others around the world, 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 a book by the small chapel or enjoy the fruit we bear, but our focus must be to remain connected to Christ, the Vine. the lake-view and visit in the shade. Aside from the gifted speaker and meaningful worship, the excellent accommodations, delicious food and beautiful setting made for a fantastic atmosphere. The response was resoundingly positive and many participants and organizers are looking forward to the next Mennonite Church Alberta Women Retreat in May 2016.     
Submitted by Darlene Schmidt
THRIVE Organizing Committee

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