Ministry Retreats Foster Community and Leadership
The Washington Conference uses ministry retreats as a time for community building, spiritual development and training — for people of all ages. Here are a few highlights from those offered this fall.
Introducing a New Director
The annual women's and teens' retreat in Ocean Shores, Wash., provided an opportunity to officially introduce Eileen States, incoming ministry director.
States brings a rich background of pastoral ministry and leadership to this department. In this part-time role, she replaces Wilma Bing, who is now a full-time associate pastor at the Auburn Academy (Wash.) Church.
Training Ministry Leaders
Ministry leaders who attended the Impact Your World spring weekend retreat met with Gayle Lasher, Washington Conference Bible worker/trainer, for a one-day fall training session in four Washington locations — Burlington, Federal Way, Olympia and Poulsbo — to further equip them to give Bible studies, pray with power and share their faith.
A Coronary Health Improvement Project leadership training weekend was held in October at Sunset Lake Camp, in Wilkeson, Wash., to train local health-ministry teams to present 30-day, 16-session, video-based curriculums. Sixty individuals from 17 churches participated. These represented 13 churches from Washington, two churches from Idaho and one church each from Oregon and Hawaii.
Another leadership retreat for youth Pathfinder and Adventurer leaders was held at Sunset Lake Camp in early November providing a weekend of training and inspiration, including more than 40 breakout sessions, expert presenters and networking.
Fostering Family and Community
Beyond training, retreats foster a sense of family and community. For example, Hispanic women fellowshipped together at the Spanish women's ministry retreat in Gig Harbor, Wash., where they learned they were God's precious gems.
Additionally, families with children ages 4–9 attended the 15th-annual Adventurer Family Campout at Sunset Lake Camp where they explored God's amazing creation.
More than 50 people attended the annual Celebration of Family Recovery retreat at Fort Flagler in mid-October. Participants learned about accountability in recovery, surrendering impossibilities to Jesus and renewing a relationship with God.
Sunset Lake Camp held a father-son retreat in mid-October where 18 fathers and sons enjoyed hands-on interaction with the camp's herd of horses. They experienced valuable life lessons as, they learned to win the horses' hearts through servant leadership.
"God does amazing things when we step away from the ordinary and pause to focus on Him," says David Yeagley, Washington Conference youth director, and organizer of many of the retreats. "This fall I've seen young people give their lives to Christ, families reconnect and leaders be inspired to greater service. That's the power of retreats."