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Gilmont Women’s Retreat 2013 Sum it up in a word: blessed.
“The best part of any conference for me is always interfacing with everyone who is there. The leaders/speakers were wonderful women. Camp Gilmont is peaceful and allows us to focus on each other, with no distractions.” One of the participants shared.
Women gathered from far and near at Gilmont, February 8-10, 2013 to share stories of God’s great love and mercy, to fellowship, and to retreat together, exploring the work of God’s angels and how they have touched our lives.
Veeda Javaid, Executive Director of Presbyterian Education Board in Pakistan (PEB) was in the country and blessed us with her testimonies from abroad. Her witness to the work of the Presbyterian Church in Pakistan was full of stories of God’s provision over past generations. Angels of love and mercy have been working to reestablish the PEB schools to the superior level of education that they had enjoyed prior to government nationalization in 1972 and to fulfill PEB’s mission of providing quality educational opportunity to the poor masses, without regard for caste, color, or creed.
“The very existence of a women’s retreat is great,” shared one of the ladies. “The exposure to Veeda and the Pakistani culture helped to humanize the people of that country.”
Rev. Dr. Lucia McKee Kremzar, shepherdess for the retreat guided worship, prayer, and focus on the theme, Whom Shall I Send. Lucia’s heartfelt prayer for her life was answered during our time together as God used her to spread the Good News. She led participants through a time of testimony to ways in which God is using their church bodies in their communities. These ideas enlightened and engaged the group, inspiring new ideas to take home.
Kay Jordan brought a special friend, Rev. Bette Dobbe, who shared a few stories with us about being one of the first female pastors in the U.S. – what a character, we loved her! Kay also brought lovely scarfs from the S.H.E. project that supports the women of Pakistan who would otherwise have no way to support their families. Another special guest was Mary Alice Harry our Grace Presbytery PW Moderator.
Free time on Saturday was enjoyed in a variety ways. Jane Els, hosted Gilmont Afternoon Tea Time with hot tea, cheese crackers and fresh baked orange/cranberry scones, a real treat! Some shared an episode of Downton Abbey, some hiked to the top of the hill, and others opted for time alone for reflection. Evaluations indicate that ladies enjoyed the newly remodeled rooms in the lodge as part of the Adopt a Lodge effort. And the food was great, as one participant said, “Incredible food. Appreciated the diversity of the meals and the taste was excellent. Favorites were the fish and rice, homemade vegetable soup, and the chicken salad.” Women from FPC Tyler “Knit Wits” sold their beautiful knitted scarfs, washcloths, baby items, etc. 100% support for Camp Gilmont ministries.
Gilmont was home for the weekend for ladies who came to learn, explore and be challenged… and all of this blessed our lives! Sunday morning February 10, Lucia announced that Main Street Presbyterian Church had lost their church structure. We prayed and sent our blessings through our worship offering to our friends in Christ in Honey Grove.
This final quote included a few personal details about what this participant thought was great about the event: “The new people I met. LOVED the drum circle. LOVED the Taize’ meditation. The food was wonderful and the constant availability of coffee and teas was nice. Every single woman (and man) was warm and friendly…how often do you find THAT in the world?!”
We are looking forward to next February and the fifth annual Gilmont Women’s Retreat. Hope you can join us!
Lucia serves as pastor at First Presbyterian Bridgeport and as Grace Presbytery PW Bible Study Moderator.
And from 2012…We’d like to share a write-up from the 2012 event by Marla Grant, former Moderator Grace Presbyterian Women, from the First Quarter 2012 PW Innovator Gilmont Retreat in Innovator; and a church participant from 2012: Westminster Presbyterian Dallas: see page 3