The magnificent mountains surrounding the Laurel Ridge Conference Center rang with joyful sounds during April’s Southern Province Women’s Spiritual Life Retreat, led by the Rev. Dr. Nola Reed Knouse, director of the Moravian Music Foundation.
“Jesus-God With Us,” the theme of the retreat, and was illuminated in every session. Friday night’s group session included views of many pieces of artwork depicting Jesus. We could see how every culture that believes in Jesus pictures him in their image and in the context of their culture. Every participant had her favorite image.
Saturday morning, the group was guided to use the scriptures to explore “Who Was Jesus,” and “Who Is Jesus.” Saturday afternoon’s session titled, “Singing Jesus,” gave the group the opportunity to “make” music to accompany songs from Sing to the Lord A New Song, the new Moravian songbook published this summer (see story on page 17). The instruments used ranged from traditional horns and woodwinds to finger cymbals and children’s rhythm instruments including an alligator shaped xylophone. Joy filled the conference center.
Sunday morning’s Holy Communion not only gave us the opportunity to share the sacrament but to also sing again. The songs were many and moving and truly refreshed the soul.
This year’s Retreat featured numerous opportunities for fun and fellowship. One participant brought collars of a musical print she had made for everyone. Each person made a table placement with her favorite hymn as the main feature. The mats were moved for each meal to facilitate eating with different people at each of the six meals. Making s’mores on the terrace the first night, gathering for a group picture, doing crafts, watching a movie and eating popcorn; all contributed to a memorable weekend.
We felt truly blessed to have had such a meaningful experience and to have been immersed in the understanding of Jesus-God With Us.
The planning committee for this lovely retreat included Rev. Cheryl Cottingham, Barbara Howard, Betty King, Cindy Lamb, Tamra Thomas and Patti West, all members of the Provincial Women’s Board.
Plan to join us at Laurel Ridge in 2014 on May 1-3, for another wonderful experience.
Janet T. Doub is a member of the Provincial Women’s Board of the Southern Province
From the August 2013 Moravian Magazine