October 2006 - Vol. 1
Fullness of Life: a Retreat for
by Myriam Torres, Janice Firn, and April Bartlett
Group photo from left to right: Myriam Torres, Angelique Ortiz, Amy Apostol, Julia Quillen, Ruth Gryniewicz,
Janice Firn, Anna Imgrund, Heidi Fenton, Liz Crabtree, Esther Benson, Sonya DeVoir, and April Bartlett
On September 15-17, 2006, the single women in the Word of Life and Work of Christ communities in Michigan had a get-away weekend retreat at the Farmstead Inn in Shipshewana, Indiana, a beautiful Amish and Mennonite town. This retreat was a response to several single women feeling that the Lord was inviting his women to come away with him to be refreshed and renewed through prayer and fellowship. The theme for the retreat was from Song of Songs 2:13b, “Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me," and from John 10:10b “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” The women desire to grow more deeply in love with Jesus and to allow him to lavish his love upon them.
The weekend focused on relaxing, enjoying one another’s company, and giving and receiving encouragement from one another. Janice Firn led the weekend and gave an inspiring talk on "Fullness of Life: Created by Love for Love to Give Love," calling us to greater holiness and enriching our lives with God’s faithful love. April Bartlett prepared a meditation using the Song of Songs theme for our Saturday morning prayer time and led us in worship. It was uplifting and inspiring to worship together. Along the theme of fullness of life and being more free to embrace the life God has called us to, Myriam Torres gave a PowerPoint presentation on spiritual and practical approaches to our finances (it wasn’t as boring as it sounds), followed by a lively discussion. But the highlight of the weekend was the time we spent together relaxing, having fun, enjoying the Amish atmosphere during our shopping excursions, and using the Farmstead Inn's pool and hot tub.
We want to take this opportunity to recognize all the single women in the Sword of the Spirit for the sacrifices they have made to be in the Sword of the Spirit, for the services they do for community, and for the example they are of God’s love and grace to our communities and to the world. As Myriam remarked, “Here we have women with a strong and deep relationship with the Lord who are deeply committed to the mission of the Sword of the Spirit. I am very impressed with the quality of our single women; they desire to love the Lord and to build his kingdom; community would not work as well as it does without their willing sacrifice and service.”
[Myriam Torres is a senior woman leader in Word of Life community and Janice and April are both involved in the Word of Life youth program in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.]