Spiritual Life Retreat helps women feel God's presence

June 01, 2015

Submitted by Myrna Prentice
President of the Rocky Mountain Conference UMW

“I really enjoyed my first time here. It was so fulfilling and I'm going home feeling anew.”

Spiritually Empowering Women was the theme of this year’s United Methodist Women Spiritual Life Retreat held April 24 to 26 at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park. Almost 300 women, including 28 girls and young women, were encircled by “the sunshine, the misty rain which turned to snow, the animals roaming on the grounds and the beautiful mountains,” said Freda Rhyne.

UMW CEO and General Secretary Harriett Jane Olson led the group in “Reaching Down, Reaching Out and Reaching Up.” Linda Lloyd compared her learnings to "gardening and plants."

  • Reaching Down - If you don’t have the basic foundation or roots you may find yourself struggling …
  • Reaching Out - Like the leaves of a vine we connect with others and reach out, sometimes going beyond our boundaries to educate and offer ourselves to others …
  • Reaching Up - Stretch out, to fill and nourish. You might be the person that can inspire and encourage others to make a difference.

“I had taken my daughter, who is 13, and she had a great time and met new, healthy friends.” The young women were busy — creating community through games, hikes, and assembling 82 UMCOR Health Kits! Their Saturday evening presentation of “Just Do It” was not only full of energy, but thought-provoking.

The more relaxed, flexible schedule allowed for personal choices: yoga, walking the labyrinth, learning about prayer beads, participating in lectio divina, joining in book discussions, experiencing silence in the meditation room, participating in foot washing, creating crafts. According to Pat Bow, women were reminded of “the presence of God, the presence of risk, the presence of companions. Know there is a place for action and rest and find a place for growth.”