The weekend started with a wine and cheese welcome social on Friday evening. Connie Sipes led a seminar focused on building relationships through hospitality. Mrs. Sipes shared tips for an elegant, no-fuss, budget-friendly evening that still gives you time to build bonds with guests. She demonstrated by cutting small bell peppers into flowers in just a few seconds and showed how to make a delicious dip to place on top of sliced cucumber. After the seminar, the women enjoyed dessert and fellowship.
Sabbath morning began with two seminars by Kathe Myers. The first session was an important discussion on the meaning of modesty. She explained that modesty is more than hemlines and necklines—it’s about having a humble estimate of one’s importance and consideration for others. Everyone enjoyed a lighthearted video, which highlighted some modesty challenges. The second workshop tackled the tough question of how to help a fellow church member who has strayed from God’s way. Various scenarios were discussed in small groups to explore biblical strategies to “turn a sinner form the error of his way. . . ” (James 5:19-20 James 5:19-20  Brothers, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
 Let him know, that he which converts the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
American King James Version×). After a delicious lunch, Sabbath services included two sermonettes given by ministerial trainees Steven Britt and Joshua Creech. Mr. Britt spoke about joy and how we can find joy together and be unified as one body. Mr. Creech encouraged the attendees to properly love others by loving themselves and allowing God’s love to pour out to others. The pastor of both congregations, Steve Myers, gave the sermon. Mr. Myers focused on how we can build each other up through encouragement. By submitting ourselves to God through His Spirit, we can be knit together in love and allow biblical encouragement to lead to unity.
After services, the ladies enjoyed a popcorn bar and a guided Sabbath walk. Each group was led through the beautiful grounds of the community center. The groups had questions to consider and discuss about how to become more unified and hospitable. There were also fun activities to help us get to know each other and learn how to recognize and stop gossip. After the walk, the ladies enjoyed a meal and fellowship.
Finally, there were two seminars focused on friendship. Katie-Jo Dacey and Katie Gatlin gave the first seminar discussing the difficulties of rooming with your best friend as well as tips to be a better friend. Then Debbie Kieviet spoke on the qualities of a true and loyal friend with practical ways to encourage lifelong friendships.
After the Sabbath the ladies enjoyed cheesecake dessert, fellowship and games of Pictionary and trivia.
On Sunday morning Debbie McNeely spoke about building relationships through community service. She gave us examples of how to include young people to help build relationships across generations in our service. Next, the ladies took part in a profitable and enjoyable service project making homemade lap blankets. The blankets were presented as gifts to local widows and shut-ins.
After lunch, the weekend’s coordinator, Lizzy Creech, gave a wrap-up talk summarizing the outcomes of the retreat. Many individuals volunteered their time and effort to create this successful event. It was a wonderful opportunity for the ladies to learn many ways to become more closely knit together.
Linda Merrick and Kathe Myers