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Sibley women bask in God's glory at retreat

Catholic Globe report

Women of St. Andrew Church of Sibley and St. Mary Church of Ashton recently participated in a retreat titled SeaSide Escape.

Christy Funk, pastoral minister, called it a wonderful opportunity for women who had participated in the retreat to have a chance to escape and to bask in God's glory. They reflected on Psalm 46 10-11: "Be still, and know that I am God." 

“We learned that things don't always go as planned and there are bumps and detours along the way, but if we trust in God and put our faith in him, we will be rewarded,” she said. 

Funk pointed out that the idea to hold the women’s retreat came from Bonnie Gregg and Jan Walton, who are part of the Women's Guild of St. Andrew's.  They had helped to direct a retreat that St. Andrew's had two years ago.

The women were set up in groups of four to five.  There were seven sessions that reflected on different topics.

The sessions included:
Session 1 - Beach Bag - Doubts become baggage weighing us down! 

Session 2 - Sunshine - Friends are like sunshine - they brighten our days, warm our hearts, and help us see the good things in life.

Session 3 - What would your life be like if you truly could make time, move faster or slower simply by pouring sand through your fingers faster or slower?  Most people have wished they could take time into their own hands.

Session 4 - Waves - Slow down.  Relax.  Reflect.  Be restored.  Place yourselves at a peaceful beach without a lot of distractions - a beach where you can sit and listen to the calming rhythm of the waves as they crash on the shore over and over again.  During this session they spent 30-45 minutes in reflection, prayer and quiet.

Session 5 - Pearl - Pearls represent something of beauty and value.  Did you know that you are a pearl?  God is constantly working in your life, making you more into his perfect image.

Session 6 - Starfish - These ocean creatures have many interesting qualities - they can re-grow their arms.  It needs to stay in the ocean where it can have the nutrients it needs, but these creatures can heal and re-grow when they have been damaged.  By listening to God and obeying him, even though life can still be a challenge, God will listen and meet one’s needs.

Session 7 - Message in a Bottle - they reviewed information from each session.

The overall session was based on the Book of Genesis, the story of Abram and Saria and Hagar, their difficulties and what happened to them and how they were changed to Abraham and Sarah. 

“Retreats offer us a time to slow down and pay attention to God and his teachings.  We explore our faith,” Funk said. “We have an opportunity to share with others and form a bond during a retreat that we can take with us when we leave.  We can get so busy in our day-to-day activities that we sometimes forget about God.  A retreat also offers us a time for quiet, reflection and prayer.”

She thanked the many people who helped make the day such a success from those who attended to the leaders - Mindy Nasers, Bernie Willadson, Bonnie Gregg, Carole Hensch, Nancy Nasers, Jan Walton and Kathleen Osterman – to those who provided the food and clean up. The music was led by Sandy Butler and Rachel Loutsch.

Funk also extended thanks to the women who helped her organize the event to that was “such a relaxing and enjoyable retreat.” 

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