“Celebrate The Lord of the Dance” was the theme for the 2015 Southern Region Women’s Retreat. This retreat was hosted by the Southeast Conference. Over 120 UCC women attended from the Southern, Southeast, South Central and Florida conferences:
- Florida: 35
- Southeast: TN (25), MS(11), AL(13), GA (4) SC (2)
- Southern: NC (10), VA (10),
- South Central: TX (5), LA (5)
Sumatanga Conference Center in Gallant, Alabama was the setting for rest, renewal and rejuvenation. The retreat featured morning vesper services in the chapel, opening worship led by Leslie Etheredge, Saturday evening Taize service led by Clara Benson, and Sunday morning closing communion led by June Boutwell. Other activities included danceshops (not workshops), a silent auction, a fair trade store, and a meaningful service project.
Bus loads of women poured into the beautiful mountain setting where the leaves were just beginning to become fall picture perfect, and the lake was still and silent. Rocking chairs on the porch and beautiful weather were a great combination to foster a reflective atmosphere. Music and dance was provided by Safe Harbor Family UCC in Flowood, Mississippi which was lively and had everyone moving and swaying. The service project was led by Eunice Carrasco-Hill from Franklinton Center at Bricks, “Literacy: Learning through Rhythm”, and provided books for Birmingham preschoolers.
Danceshops were inspiring. Topics included Rising from the Ashes, New Members: Moving Forward, Practicing Intimacy with God, Dancing with the Stranger, Making a Joyful Move, Stories in Black and White, Caring for Ourselves, Dancing Liturgically, Learning to Heal Ourselves, Holy Humor, Crossing Borders, Boogieing with the Bible Babes.
Thanks to Rev. Jasmine Quinerly of South Central Conference for the original article. The 2017 Southern Region Women’s Event will be hosted by the South Central Conference.