Mothers & Daughters Encouraged to "Stand Firm" at Retreat

By Samuel Girven -  October 24, 2022


Mothers & Daughters Encouraged to "Stand Firm" at Retreat

On October 7-9, 2022, Michigan Women’s Ministries hosted its annual mother-daughter retreat.

The retreat drew nearly 300 mother-daughter pairs to Camp Au Sable for a weekend of fun, bonding, and impactful messages. Known for its fun and energetic atmosphere, the retreat is specifically designed for mother-daughter bonding while also encouraging spiritual growth. 

“Our hope is that these relationships will grow by spending this weekend with each other in conversation and prayer time,” said Janie Harris, director of Women’s Ministries. “We hope that participants come away from the retreat with a better relationship with each other. And, most importantly, a stronger connection with God.”

‘Flipflop and Friends’ was the weekend’s theme. Event organizers hoped to encourage attendees to “stand firm” during their faith journey. “We kind of based it off Jude 1:3, which is focusing on not flip-flopping in our faith, but rather contending for the faith,” said Cathy Oliver, secretary for women’s and youth ministries.” Oliver said that they also encouraged attendees to focus on mending past mistakes. “Everyone flops sometimes.”

Organizers also included an important message in the latter half of the theme, ‘Friends’. “We also need to make sure our friends know about Jesus,” said Oliver. “We want to be true friends to them, and we want to bring them along. Grab your flip flops, grab your friend, and bring them to camp.”

Judy Ramos, a former teacher, and a pastor’s wife, was the main speaker for the weekend. Her messages drew from the weekend’s theme and encouraged participants to “stand firm” in their faith. 


Attendees were blessed by Harris' and Oliver's tasteful decorations.
Attendees were blessed by Harris' and Oliver's tasteful decorations.


The weekend was filled with opportunities to bond. These included mother-daughter pedicures, horseback riding, canoeing, craft-making, and go-kart riding. “There's so much stuff for them to do here.” Oliver said.

“My favorite part of the mother daughter retreat was simply spending time together,” said Tabatha Mattzela. Mattzela attended the retreat with her 9-year-old daughter, Elizabeth. “My daughter’s favorite part of the retreat was the horseback riding.”

For Mattzela and her daughter, it is their highlight of the year. “This was our fourth time going. We plan for it all year. I began this journey to strength our relationship at mother/daughter retreat, and now my daughter and I value our ‘our’ time. Now, the second weekend in October is always ‘our’ weekend.”

Plans have already begun for the 2023 Mother-daughter Retreat. “Our theme for next year is ‘Bee Our Guest’, which focuses on the Beatitudes,” said Harris. The retreat is scheduled for October 7-9, 2023. You can find out more information at