The selected theme recognizes our need for strength to cope with what life gives us, as well as laughter to enjoy life more fully.
That theme was developed throughout the weekend, incorporating both of these vital aspects. The event began with many arriving Friday and settling in to relax and meet with friends. Sabbath morning we enjoyed inspiring special music selections (a duet by Kourtney Kovanis and Kaylee Tomes, a vocal solo by Sylvia Kennedy, a flute solo by Liz Russell and a women’s ensemble with 11 ladies participating).
The sermon fit the theme well and set the tone for the weekend. Jon Garnant, an elder in the Los Angeles congregation, shared the examples of Abraham and Sarah, bringing in the strength aspects they had, and also the laughter side. (Their son’s name, Isaac, means “laughter.”)
The theme was expanded in the ladies’ Sabbath afternoon presentations. After welcoming comments by Jean Marini, Suzanne Miller began by sharing personal examples of how in a trial we do need strength—but we need a good measure of laughter as well. Deborah Barr followed by giving us scientific insights on how laughter works—also focusing on how God gave humor and laughter as a gift to us. Ingrid Helge shared the inspiring story of the strength of will of a man who escaped from a Soviet labor camp in World War II and walked to freedom from Siberia to India. We ended the Sabbath afternoon’s sessions in a jovial way when Carolyn Greinke led an interactive session with the focus on humor and laughter. After a delicious Mexican buffet dinner, the rest of the evening was free for purchasing raffle items or for fellowship.
On Sunday morning, three ladies (Angela Balow, Shaylee Tomes and Carole Johnson) shared valuable lessons learned in their lives. An interactive discussion followed, led by Rocio Gonzalez, focusing on the strength of the armor of God (Ephesians 6).
On Sunday afternoon, after a deli sandwich group buffet, Sherry Ellis shared “That Which Does Not Kill Us Should Make Us Stronger.” Sherry related anecdotes from her life when strength—and laughter—helped her to tackle issues. Jean Updegraff presented the closing comments. The Women’s Weekend moderator Sylvia Kennedy expertly wove the presentations together with a great deal of humor.
This year we again had a fundraiser raffle to benefit both Good Works and LifeNets. The 36 items raffled plus direct donations brought in $1,704!
The ladies left the Weekend encouraged, uplifted and better equipped to live their lives with strength—accompanied by needed laughter.