by Mary Ruth
Southeast Conference UCC planning representative
A wonderful retreat experience for 60 UCC women at the Southern Region Women’s Retreat was held at Mo Ranch in Hunt TX Oct 20-22, 2017. Leadership came from UCC South Central Conference women who did a fantastic job. The hospitality was outstanding, the accommodations more than comfortable, the worship creative (led by Rev. Anna Humble), the presenters inspiring, the fellowship ideal, the “Foster Kindness” service project meaningful (led by Rev. Nikki Stahl), the food excellent, the diversity enriching, the entertainment hilarious (led by Rev. Vicki Sheil-Hopper) and the leadership (coordinator Rev. Jasmine Quinerly) a blessing to all.
The weekend’s theme “Joyful Expectation, Peaceful Inspiration” led to ‘Inspiration Group’ leaders providing sessions for learning, participation and sharing with topics such as Mindfulness and Prayer (Wendy Heckler), Human Trafficking (Bert Perry), Praying in Color (Jenny Perkins), Beginning Tai Chi (Darlene Jones), Mission Trips as Spiritual Journeys (Rev. Liz Nash), Angry Women Change the World (Rev. Sabrina Jennings), Christian Feminism and Women’s Silent Voices in the New Testament (Susan Perry) and Journaling our Spiritual Lives (Karen Cotton).
Two special presentations, a silent auction (the shopping fix!), joyful singing, sorting and packing new clothing donations for foster children, and a fun time of magic and mayhem provided an interesting and entertaining time. ‘No cell phone service’, in the end, made it a real retreat and a blessing to enjoy. National UCC staff person, Rev. Susan Mitchell, shared with us her ‘abundance’ philosophy and a special message to women about ‘when you are running on empty, pull over’. Rev. Dr. Alice Graham from Mississippi enlightened the group on the ministries at the UCC’s Back Bay Mission in Biloxi and also shared her personal journey of faith and leadership.The generous offering at closing worship was given to Back Bay Mission.
This event is self sustaining by UCC women from the Southern Region (AL, MS, LA, TX, VA, NC, TN, FL, SC, GA) and occurs once every 2 years for women from 4 UCC conferences: South Central, Southern, Southeast and Florida. The 2019 retreat will be located in and hosted by the Southern Conference; location and date TBA. A 2019 planning team is forming. Thanks and appreciation go to the 2017 Planners: Jasmine Quinerly, Charlotte Albert, Carolyn Haverland, Karen Cotton, Pam Mayo, Ann Stockert, Yvette Scales, Marie Weatherspoon, Bert Perry, Mary Ruth, and Betty Griffin.
Mary Ruth of Pleasant Hill has served on the Planning Teams for UCC Southern Region Women since October 2014 and is pleased to announce that Clarice Mitchell of Pleasant Hill is now assuming that role.