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Christ Church Pensacola holds Biennial Women's Retreat


Participants learned how to make colorful silk scarves which were blessed during the retreat.

Lively fellowship, creativity, and quiet spiritual reflection abounded October 20-22 at Camp Beckwith at the Christ Church Pensacola Biennial Women's Retreat. The Rev. Mary Alice Mathison guided the group throughout the weekend. Keynoting the retreat were the Rev. Marshall Craver and his wife, Jan.

"Spirit Space: More Life-Less Stuff," was this year's theme. Forty-five women from Christ Church Pensacola opened the retreat with afternoon registration and hospitality. Following dinner, the ladies enhanced the "more life" atmosphere with a joyous round of traditional group dances of international peace led by Craver. To close the evening in quiet spiritual contemplation, the retreat attendees participated in Compline, led by Mathison.

For early morning risers, Becca Schmidt and Janice George offered yoga sessions. Following Saturday morning breakfast, two "Spirit Space" talks were presented by Craver. His talks focused on ways to take time each day to listen to God, to articulate needs and fears, to express gratitude, and to open up to God's grace. During each presentation, retreat participants had opportunities to share their "spirit space" experiences.

On Saturday afternoon, Michelle MacNeil conducted a workshop open to all attendees entitled, "Dreams - Invitation to More Life." In "Making Space for Creativity," Emily Lantigua taught participants a quick and simple way to make colorful silk scarves. As a special closing workshop, Jan Craver led "Yoga: Removing Tension and Creating Inner Space" in the chapel.

On Saturday evening, Mathison presided at Holy Eucharist. During the service, she blessed the scarves attendees had made that afternoon. Following Holy Eucharist, attendees continued in fellowship by making s'mores and singing camp songs around a bonfire.

Rainy weather did not dampen the spiritual atmosphere on Sunday morning. Following breakfast, the ladies closed their retreat with a brief but structured worship service of prayers, readings, and songs. After "peace" all around, the ladies headed home to Pensacola feeling relaxed and renewed!

Pictured left to right; Amy Hoffman, Mia Jerrems, Lynn Burden and Amanda Dosher

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