Outdoor Ministry of the MN Conference hosted its first in-person event for 2022 at Camp Onomia September 9-11. Twelve women from eight UCC congregations participated in the annual Women’s Retreat. With the Theme of “Women as Storytellers and Healers,” we learned about historical women and the strength and resilience their stories give us. Through our own work, using discussion, creating artwork, and meditation we acknowledged our own stories to share with others.
Here are a few reflections from participants:
“Sandhill cranes greeted us and an ever-changing lake engaged our senses in times of reflection during the Women’s Retreat at Camp Onomia last weekend. In this beautiful setting, thoughtful leadership guided our diverse group of mostly strangers on a journey of story telling with words, bodies, images, and sounds. Laughter and a few tears wove us together into something more than we were individually before we came. What a blessing it was!” —Diann Anders, Mayflower Community UCC
“Thank you for a fabulous weekend! This was my first time going to a MN UCC women’s retreat. I was hesitant to step out of my comfort zone, but I was greatly rewarded! The women’s retreat gave me time to connect with women and nature — and through/with them — enhance my mental and spiritual well-being. With a perfect balance of programming and free time, I found time to connect, reflect, read, hike, and just to be.
I was particularly thankful for time to reconnect with God in nature. Quietly walking through the state park, sitting on the dock as waves rolled by, watching the fog lift off the lake in the morning, or the light rain fall in the sunlight just beyond the protection of the tree canopy, places for reflection and peace were easy to find. After such a crazy couple of years it was a wonderfully refreshing weekend! I enjoyed the nature, and it was greatly enhanced by the women I met. The programmatic piece was thoughtful and did a wonderful job of reminding me of the importance of telling stories, both my own and those of women throughout history. What a joy to meet such a variety of wonderful women and to hear their stories! I look forward to building on these relationships at future conference events!” —Becky Sicoli, St. Paul UCC on Summit