UCC Holds Successful Online Women’s Retreat
In what is now the norm, the annual Upper Columbia Conference Fall Women’s and Young Women’s Retreat became a virtual event. However, with more than 600 streams of the event, more individuals were able to be blessed by this event than in any “normal” year.
“Venturing into unknown territory of a fully virtual women’s retreat qualifies as an adventure that required work and creativity wrapped in prayer,” says Patty Marsh, UCC women’s ministries director. “God was faithful — blessings above and beyond what we could have imagined.”
Kara Johnsson, lead pastor of Oasis Christian Center in Vancouver, Washington, was the keynote speaker. Johnsson presented several vignettes describing Moses and his journey after Egypt.
Jeanne Ekvall, a health and nutrition counselor and educator, was joined by her daughters Melissa Gillham and Vanessa Willey. The three ladies presented some easy to make vegetarian dishes that are sure to delight any family. Ekvall also presented foods that can optimize your immunity during a pandemic.
Gretal Cromwell, a musician from Spangle, Washington, shared several musical performances, including “Be Still My Soul.”
Three special features filled the afternoon. Sheryl Janke, UCC women’s ministries event coordinator, shared how to start a card ministry in your local church. Debbie Nelson, an accountant from Spokane, Washington, provided several pointers for gardeners, along with a biblical application. BethAnn Moseanko brought several quilts from a veteran ministry she works with.
Though it was in a different format, many women received a blessing. “What a wonderful conference,” wrote one viewer. “It was just what I needed to hear. So encouraged after attending this event today. God is faithful! Thanks for what you do for the women in this conference. God is using you in a way you may not truly know.”
Another woman said, “I just want to say thank you to you and your team for putting together such a nice video retreat for us. I had four other women come over to watch with me, so we had some much-needed, in-person interaction. We could hardly stop talking so we could take time for lunch. We enjoyed the health talk and really enjoyed the main speaker. We concluded by going on a long walk together.”
If you missed the retreat, it can still be viewed at uccsda.org/womensretreat. The next UCC women’s retreat will be held on Sabbath, May 1, 2021, and feature Jean Boonstra.