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Women’s Retreat rescheduled for Next Year because of Florence

To retreat almost always brings us restoration and new energy for carrying on with daily tasks, and for treating ourselves, and loved ones better. Women from around thirty-two churches, near and far, have been experiencing this lift of strength and joy, going on their eighth year. Even though it’s been necessary to cancel this year’s Women of Faith Retreat, it’s important to recognize what the organizers give to this community each year, and to be reminded what we have to look forward to again in better weather.

“In 2010, the pastor brought this idea to Mary Adderton, which is the head deaconess at our church, and she was thinking about it, and she for years has gone to a retreat that started in the basement of her friend’s house with only fifteen people.”

Linda Cardwell described how she, her dear friend, and now her daughter-in-law continue to organize the event together, even with Mrs. Adderton having moved away.

“And she had a lot of ideas about the retreat and everything, so she pulled us together to see what ideas she could float on us, and what we could give back to her..

Our first retreat was September the 18th 2010.”

She emphasized how the event brings together women of all ages and from all stages in their faith journeys.

“And we implemented to that you don’t have to go to a church. Just be a woman because sometimes with jobs, and today’s life, you don’t have the time, or you just can’t get to church, but that doesn’t mean you’re not a child of God.”

By 2016, Women of Faith had outgrown Piney Grove Baptist Church, and Lifeline Ministries in Mitchelltown made their worship center available for the large congregation. That was the year Renee Cardwell, Linda’s daughter-in-law, joined the retreat.

“I was honored to be asked to be the opening speaker that year which was really different for me because I’d never spoken in front of such a large crowd of people.” While speakers offer personal, individual stories, each retreat has a common theme through it all.

“ It will come out through our songs, and though our messages, and through our dances. We just spend the day praising the Lord as sisters in Christ, all together.”

Linda added, “And when you come for that day we hope something is said, verbally or in a song or a dance, that you take something with you that would last, and go with you not only for that day, but for a time.”

The planned theme this year “actions speak louder than words” turns out to be fitting after all. It’s a good one to keep in mind while preparing for, and responding to, extreme weather While we may be required to retreat for the weekend, each in our own way, rest assured one group of women will begin again, planning and connecting with everyone who will be eager to return to the Women’s Retreat again next year.

“It could be months out, and I’ll hear, ‘Oh, what’s our color going to be this year?’ They don’t want to miss out. Are we getting ready for the retreat for next year? And it could be months out. But it is something that has really bonded a lot of women in this community, and those who wouldn’t necessarily praise together on Sunday mornings, we all get together on this Saturday afternoon, and spend time together, and it has really united a lot of women in this community.”

Information about a future Bath County Women of Faith annual retreat is available by talking with Linda or Renee Cardwell, and staying tuned to Allegheny Mountain Radio.


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Amanda is the WCHG News Reporter. She began news reporting in January 2015. She’s lived in Bath County with her husband Bill Reagan since 1994, and has been an active AMR listener since then. She and Bill make their home between Williamsville and McClung with their daughter Catharine (16), and son Will (14). Her kids know most of her favorite musical artists, but rarely let her listen to them. While Amanda has spent a good bit of time traversing the mountains back and forth from Charlottesville, Staunton and Lexington, she is excited about getting to know the new beat towards Frost and Monterey. She is forever grateful to Bonnie Raltson for introducing her, with such care, to all of the ups and downs of scheduling stories, and of sound-editing technique.

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