Some Good News 8/17/23

Participants who attended Montreat's Women's Conference share their reflections on the weekend.

by Rev. Mary Kay Collins on August 17, 2023

To read this week's First News Weekly, click here.

Around 16 years ago my Aunt KK had a vision and a mission to bring a different kind of Women’s Retreat to Montreat Conference Center. She wanted the Women’s Connection to be a time away for women of all ages, backgrounds, and locations to come together and be inspired, refreshed, and to connect. FPC women have been going off and on over the years to the Montreat Women’s Connection and this year 15 of us drove to the mountains for a wonderful weekend. The conference title was “Seen” and New York Times best-seller Kate Bowler was the keynote speaker. There is so much I could say about our time together. I asked our participants to share their reflections on the weekend and want to share those with you.

At this year's women’s conference….

  • I learned that God connects your story with others in ways you’d never imagine.
  • I felt inspired by Kate Bowler’s message, enjoyed and felt stretched by the two workshops I selected, but truly treasured and felt blessed by connecting with the beautiful women of FPC.
  • I enjoyed being with the authentic, beautiful women from FPC. I was moved by the sound of so many women reciting the Lord’s Prayer together in worship. 
  • I was surprised that I could learn so much in just 2 short days!
  • The most meaningful part was actually CONNECTING - to new and old FPC friends, to the refreshing natural surroundings, and to God. What a gift it was!
  • I felt the Holy Spirit in our shared journeys and hopes…in hundreds of women’s voices joined in song, with harmonies and countermelodies beautifully and surprisingly appearing… in Kate Bowler’s words and witness…and in new and strengthened bonds with my FPC sisters. Abundance!
  • I was reminded in a powerful way that we are each, no matter anything (perceived worth, sinfulness, strength, or lack of belief, for example) SEEN and LOVED by God. I cherish the new connections made with FPC sisters and the newfound bond in Christ of our WC group. And to have all this among the beauty of Montreat was such a gift.
  • Connecting with each other, the speakers, nature, and God. It was wonderful to get to know the FPC members and a delight that the various ages melded well together. It was a delightful experience with fun, smart, women.
  • Being assured we are…seen and love pervades each memory of this full weekend.  The presence of the Holy Spirit among the unity of faith of 600 women was and is such a blessing.

Thanks be to God for the time away we were able to enjoy together. Won’t you consider joining us next year? Blessings,

Mary Kay Collins

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