A Dream Comes True UCC Holds First Hispanic Weekend Retreat

What once was a dream became reality as the first Upper Columbia Conference Hispanic Women’s Ministry Weekend Retreat was held at the Richland, Wash., Clarion Convention Center, April 17–19. But it almost became a disappointment.

The night before the big event, the convention center chef resigned and cleaned out his office, taking with him all the menus and meal preparation plans for the weekend. In spite of this setback, the replacement chef worked feverishly with the event planners to come up with a new menu that changed the culinary course of the program, setting an excellent precedent.

The idea for the weekend began years ago in the hearts of three women: Sue Patzer, Linnea Torkelsen and Gayle Haeger. Because of their love and care early on, the weekend became a reality. It is the first time UCC has been able to hold a weekend event for Hispanic women. The event hosted 278 women, including 46 teenagers, who enjoyed keynote speakers Evelyn OmanÞa and Celina Dawson. They also attended seminars on Sabbath by doctors Evelyn Rodriguez and Nidia Vyhmeister.

Special resources and training were provided for women’s ministry leaders. Every leader received a yearly curriculum to help them minister to the women in their church for the coming year. Every participant received a folder filled with books, audio CDs and DVDs.

Not only was this year’s event a huge success, but plans are already in the works for next year. More than 180 women preregistered for the 2010 conference.

Over the years UCC Hispanic Women’s Ministries leaders have envisioned a thriving Hispanic women’s ministry offering resources and events for the Hispanic women in the conference. Today we can say “… our baby has grown up!”

Featured in: June 2009


Jay Wintermeyer

North Pacific Union assistant to the president for communication and Gleaner editor