by Sara Blank, Bethel Mennonite Church, Mountain Lake, Minnesota
I have heard it said that "life is what happens when you are busy making other plans." So often I feel like I'm so busy making plans that I do miss out on the life that is happening right now. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Women's Retreat is a time and place to stop, slow down, and set aside the calendar and the schedule(s).
On September 15-16, I was challenged to "enjoy the process." Sometimes the process is where we find joy and meaning and the product or the end result is of little value or significance. Our guest speaker, Heather Goertzen, spoke candidly with us about the historical and cultural facts surrounding the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus. She asked us obvious questions that we often miss and challenged us to look at this familiar story with fresh eyes and hear it with new ears.
Women's Retreat is many things to many women; rest, relaxation, learning, studying, socializing, eating, singing, sleeping, exploring. These are the things we look forward to that nourish our souls and replenish our spirits. I relish the chance to retreat for an entire weekend.
Swan Lake Christian Camp hosts the annual Women's Retreat in their newly completed Retreat Center. We leave the cabins for kids and enjoy the comfortable rooms with unique and charming decorations. The camp staff takes care of our daily needs. Meals and snacks are provided; Mary uses tired and true camp recipes that are proven crowd pleasers and leave us more than satisfied.
In addition to good food, relaxation and worship, on Saturday afternoon we were offered many process-driven activities to choose from. Guided sessions included an Anabaptist Prayer Service, marbling, and making puff pastry. Other activities and options are also always available; trails for hiking, benches for sitting, kayaks and canoes for floating, beds for napping, and puzzles, games, tabes and chairs for visiting. At women's retreat, there is something for every personality--those who are adventurous (or not) and those who are extroverts (or not)!
Mark your calendars now. Next fall's Women's Retreat will be held September 21 & 22, 2019 at Swan Lake Christian Camp.