Sabbath, October 23, was a special day for over 100 women who attended the Michigan Women’s Ministries One-Day Retreat held at the beautiful Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester, Michigan. The day was brisk and occasionally rainy, but inside the large, white event tent, everyone was comfortable and anticipating the music and speaker for the day.
Jane Harris, Women’s Ministries director for the Michigan Conference, warmly welcomed everyone and Lansing members Donna, Olivia, Sofia, and Maia Hall led an enthusiastic song service. Dee Clements, Women’s Ministries board member, read a scripture passage and prayed, followed by a thought-provoking monologue by Wendy Pletcher.
Pletcher is also a member of the Women’s Ministries board. Her brief monologue focused on Luke 10:40 when Jesus and His disciples were guests at the home of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. Pletcher portrayed Martha and what she might have been thinking as she attended to the guests.
As the monologue came to a close, guests understood how easy it can be to get caught up in working for God and how to “choose what is better.” There are definitely times when it is better to be doing the work we’ve been called to do, but there are also times when work can wait, and we need to sit at the feet of Jesus, as did Mary.
Jenifer Daley, administrative pastor of Pioneer Memorial Church was the main speaker. In her presentations, Daley posed the question, “How do we journey through the seasons of life well so as to flourish amid change?” Like Naomi and Ruth, guests learned that we flourish better together when we live grace-flavored lives—when we acknowledge our need for grace and when we extend to others the grace they need.
We can see through grace-filled eyes, speak grace-filled words, and live with an attitude of grace. In a cold, calculating world, we are often blessed more than we realize because God weaves His grace into the tapestry of everyday life to meet our needs, give us hope, and guide us to flourish. God’s grace propels His peculiar people to flourish as we live His peculiar purpose supported by His peculiar promise.
Just prior to a short break, Harris and board member Sarah Canada shared the blessings of hospitality and friendship evangelism. They provided excellent ideas to reach neighbors, colleagues, and friends who may not know Jesus intimately.
Lisa Jardine, member of Pioneer Memorial Church, followed Daley’s second presentation with a lovely concert, including a number of her own compositions. It was a beautiful way to end this portion of the day.
Participants were treated to a delicious vegetarian meal before the return drive to their various homes across the state. The weather cooperated so those who were interested took self-guided tours of the gardens on the estate.
This was the first time Michigan Women’s Ministries has hosted a one-day getaway. Based on attendance and comments received by attendees, it was a well-received and much appreciated event.