Saturday, June 01, 2013

Elim Women's Retreat - Day 2

What a day!!

We started the morning with our opening worship session. We led our great group of ladies in singing All Creatures of Our God and King, Be Thou My Vision, and God of Wonders. To prepare their hearts and minds for the message, we sang Gerald's brand new song, All I'm Called To Be (the song written for last Sunday's ordination service.)

Tara Rye's message on the praying life of Jesus is powerful. She has a great balance of scripture, explanation, and personal testimony. It's a simple structure, but rich in information and application.

At lunch, we were treated to an amazing family reunion. A few months ago, one of Tara's family members was researching their family tree online when they discovered they had relatives in Peterborough. This was a whole side of their family they didn't even know existed. Not only did they live in Peterborough, but one of them worked at Elim Lodge! Tara's family also made the trip here from their various homes in the States, so today at lunchtime, they were all reunited with this newly discovered side of the family! The internet at its finest.

The ladies were given the afternoon to explore the beauty of Elim (or just take a well earned nap), and we took the time to prepare for our concert. We walked over to the chapel and within minutes, the skies opened up and we finally received our long anticipated rain storm. Happily, a great group of ladies braved the weather and joined us for our concert.

This was a new concert format for us, and it was so much fun! We played some new songs, encouraged a little sing along, and had the opportunity to share a bit of our story. The room felt so spirit-filled! People were singing along, worshiping in their chairs. There's nothing like sharing a song we wrote, and then having people come up to us after saying, "I need that song! That's my story!"

After supper (side note: the food here is awesome!), we experienced the challenging side of technology. The computer was down, which meant no lyrics on the screen for the worship! We loved the songs we'd chosen - fun, joyful songs for Saturday night - so we made a few wee adjustments, and started our set.

I just have to say this too: this is such good timing by God. If this had happened last night, it would have felt like a bumpy start to the weekend. But by tonight, we'd all had a chance to worship together and build trust. When I encouraged everyone to sing tonight without the words, I could feel we were all in it together.

We had a raucous time with Lean on Me, Wade in the Water, and Just a Closer Walk. People sang, clapped, and danced. It was awesome!

We'd chosen a worship song to close out the night, but Tara's teaching brought us to daily provision. When she used the word "manna," I knew we had to sing Living Manna. The evening ended with a beautiful sense of gentleness. We lingered, enjoying treats from the kitchen and sharing stories.

One more worship service in the morning. Time is flying by...

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