I'm thrilled about the StoneBridge women's retreat coming up in March. To be honest, I'm usually excited about something. I'm like one of those yip-yappy dogs nipping at your heels, so excited to see you. And a lot of the time what I am thrilled about is God's work in and through the people of StoneBridge.
As prayer coordinator for Vine Life, I have been praying about the women's retreat for a few months. As a member of the Vine Life leadership team, I have heard about the preparation already well underway. With some of the leadership team, I visited Ridgecrest Conference Center in July to check it out; it's a wonderful place to get away!
But it's as an individual woman I am most excited about the retreat. I have been on three StoneBridge women's retreats in the seven years I have been at church. I have loved every one of them! I have talked with women whose counsel I sorely needed and didn't even realize it. I have laughed till I cried playing board games. I have soaked in truth from the speakers and then discussed those ideas in small groups. I have shopped, taken naps, and praised God in song. I have seen women comfort others who are hurting. I have spent desperately needed time alone praying and crying out to God. I have met new friends and reconnected with old ones. I have consistently left retreats thinking "My cup runneth over."
My heart yearns for you to experience all of that! The women's retreats have been highlights of my time at StoneBridge. I am excited to be leading prayer again for the retreat. I am praying earnestly for women to come to the retreat who never have, weren't able to before, or who were not at StoneBridge during previous retreats. Of course, I want everyone to come but if you have never experienced one of our women's retreats, my prayers are focused on YOU. Because I want you to experience the grace, the joy, the healing, and the refreshment that my sisters in Christ and I have.
If the women's retreat is not yet on your calendar, I hope you will immediately start praying! Pray about attending and pray that other women will be able to come as God intends. Come to our Vine Life prayer times and pray TOGETHER for the retreat. Pray for all the plans being worked out right now; pray for Laura Bansek, Vine Life director, and the leadership team. Pray for the army of volunteers that is needed to make this retreat happen. E-mail Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to help. Ask God to show you how you can support His work though this retreat. Maybe it's not your year to go, but you could support someone financially, stuff retreat packets, or cover for someone who would normally be serving at church that weekend.
We worship and serve a great, big God. And He can do great, big things! One of my consistent prayers for the retreat is that God will change the women who attend in such amazing ways that when they return home, to their neighborhoods and workplaces, Christ will impact people through them. We want the retreat to be just that for you - a retreat, a time of spiritual refreshment where you draw close to the your Savior and to your sisters in Christ. But we want even more that you leave ready to obey and honor God in all things, loving those around you.
Mark your calendar for March 15-17. Pray daily. Offer to volunteer. And watch God work!