During the peak of fall, as the crisp leaves drift toward the ground, the women of Ontario Conference enjoy an annual weekend escape. This year, the Young Women’s and Women’s retreat was nestled along the shores of Lake Rosseau at the JW Marriott in Muskoka, with its amazing facilities. The days were filled with passionate prayer and worship activities to draw us closer to the Lord. Women were encouraged to seek the Lord in the prayer room, take a prayer walk on one of the nature trails, find a quiet nook to commune with Jesus, and reconnect with others.
Our theme was “He Knows My Name.” In a world that continues to label and judge us, how wonderful it is to know that the same God who created the vast universe, majestic mountains, and picturesque sunsets decided the world needed each one of us too. He knows our name, every part of our personality, and the very hairs on our heads, and He has a prosperous future for us; and through the various challenge we face, He will sustain us.
The program featured several vibrant speakers. Nicolle Brisé, the main speaker, energetically shared her passion for Jesus and encouraged the ladies to grow where they are planted despite any roadblocks. “I really appreciated Ms. Brisé,” said attendee Joanne Hay. “She was powerful and knowledgeable about the Word of God. She also inspired us to be strong and never stop praying.”
Yvonne Rodney led a dynamic presentation and thought-provoking discussion on women and their identity. At the Young Women’s retreat, Patricia Lopez, Alana Mohammed, and Jordane Smith formed close bonds with the girls over the weekend. They poured into our youth words of wisdom, encouragement, and love.
The Spanish-speaking ladies were renewed by Eddy Gonzales’s messages and passionately encouraged by the teams’ leadership.
All the women were part of Beverly Logan’s honest and brave testimony. Beverly not only shared new resources and the latest books from Pacific Press Publishing but also gave out handmade packages of scripture cards to all the attendees. The ladies also had the option to receive pastoral care from Ida Smith. Together they found comfort in God’s Word and in prayer.
Overall, the weekend was filled with lively discussion, opportunities for spiritual growth, sweet singing, delicious food, and beautiful friendship. The women exchanged ideas for ministry, evangelism plans, and creative outreach projects. Attendee Barbara Dyett-Gordon expressed her appreciation for the dynamic speakers, uplifting music, and fellowship opportunities, also noting, “The chosen location took us away from the busy-ness of the big cities, so we felt God’s presence both inside and outside. It was a peaceful and happy environment. On Sunday we left refreshed, with the empowering formula: FAITH + PRAYER = VICTORY.”
Another of the retreat’s highlights was celebrating Joan Rogers’ dedicated ministry and years of service. The advisory teams and many church groups presented gifts of appreciation and bouquets of flowers and warmly shared their love and admiration. Throughout the weekend, attendees filled out gratitude cards for Joan Rogers’ ministry and completed a book of memories that was presented at the end of the retreat. The celebration concluded with a special prayer of blessing over Joan and Pastor Rogers and their continued service.
An event like this requires many hands, months of planning, and a willing team. Our sincere gratitude to all our presenters, volunteers, Joan Rogers, the Women’s and Young Women’s Advisory teams, and Ruth Weidner, who diligently coordinated the lovely weekend.