Women's retreats ... why do people go? Usually people have a strong opinion regarding the value of such events. After all, women cry at them and sometimes they even act silly and "frou-frou" — definitely not someplace most men would be comfortable.
A study done by a UCLA medical team found that the well-known "fight or flight" reaction to stress actually has a third option when it comes to women. Females generally experience something akin to "flocking" that, when done appropriately, will result in the release of the hormone oxytocin, which helps lower stress and increases women's overall sensations of peace and well-being. That's the "why" of retreats — well-being.
This year's Idaho Conference women's retreat in Boise, Idaho, was a highlight in well-being. The keynote speaker, the Voice of Prophecy's Elizabeth Talbot, brought home the point that we are beloved by our Heavenly Father. We are good enough and called to be His children. It was a marvelous presentation of the true gospel.
Having an event at a public venue always has its drawbacks: staff working on the Sabbath, poor acoustics for the musicians, serving good vegetarian meals and, of course — cost.
On the other hand, the wonderful thing about a public venue is the people at the hotel who are touched by "accident" — the worker who meandered in and out changing drinks, the staff member handling the sound system and table sets, and the administrators and clerks who observed the attendees' behavior even when they didn't realize it. There was even a former Adventist son supervising the evening meal and room setup who thought it might be okay to come back and visit an Adventist church again.
God was and is working in their hearts imperceptively. Talbot took time even after a long day of preaching to share with a hotel employee God's love for her.
There are so many things happening about which we know not ... but God does. All we do is come!