Diocese of Central Newfoundland’s Women’s Weekend, 2022

The chapel at the Women’s Weekend
Marilyn Dowden

The Annual Diocesan Women’s Weekend was held in the Diocese of Central Newfoundland from September 16-18, 2022. A total of 57 ladies took part in the weekend including a couple of our sisters from the Salvation Army and a lady from the Diocese of Eastern Nfld. & Labrador. The theme for the weekend was “Listening for God; Growing in Grace.” The speaker was The Rev’d Hannah Dicks.

Registration began at 4pm, but a number of ladies arrived before then as they couldn’t wait to see old friends and make new ones. Excitement grew as more and more ladies arrived, were welcomed, registered, and were assigned their rooms. Everyone was not only physically hungry for the great meals we knew we would be offered, but also spiritually hungry for what God had to offer us throughout the weekend.

The first assignment for the team was not only registration, but also setting up a worship space that would become the chapel for the weekend. It included an altar, space for our music team, and seating for all ladies.

After a delicious meal (prepared by the staff) and some getting connecting and reconnecting with one another, everyone gathered at the chapel for our opening worship. Each lady was given a song book prepared by one of our committee members, Veronica Rogers, for their use throughout the weekend. Songs/hymns were chosen by the committee members in consultation with members of our music team. Our theme chorus was “Open My Eyes, Lord. I want to see Jesus.” From the moment the worship began, it was evident to everyone that we were on “Holy Ground,” and that the the Holy Spirit was moving among us.

Following worship, we gathered in the conference room for ice-breakers, singing, laughter, and fellowship. To complete the evening, there was more food, card playing, singing, and sharing (which went on into the night).

Saturday was a very busy day. Following breakfast and our morning worship, Rev’d Hannah began her first of 3 sessions, speaking to us about “listening to God and growing in grace.” Her talks were very inspirational, at times emotional, and very thought provoking. She was certainly a blessing to us all as our guest speaker. She gave us many lessons to take away with us. Thank you, Rev’d Hannah! Our day also included a prayer walk.

In preparation for our supper on Saturday, the members of the committee took it upon themselves to beautifully prepare the dining room (with the staff’s approval and support) for the ladies to enjoy a very relaxing meal. Everyone was so pleased and appreciative

Following our nightly worship, everyone, despite the time of day, was rearing to go. There were many skits, much singing, laughter, and fun. It began in the conference room and then moved to the area in front of the fireplace, with more singing and even a few dances, while others chose their favourite card games.

On Sunday morning, we gathered for the Holy Eucharist with Rev’d Hannah as our presider and preacher. Our day concluded with a delicious cold plate supper, prepared by the kitchen staff. With many hugs, a few more tears, and some reluctancy, we left to go back home.

A great debt of gratitude is extended to the members of our planning and organizing committee; Marilyn Rogers, Veronica Rogers, Marilyn Dowden, and Daphne Parsons; thanks also to our diocesan staff, and the staff at the Lions Max Simms Memorial Camp, for making the weekend such a joyful and wonderful experience for us all. Thank you to those who captured the many beautiful moments for us on your cell phones.

We extend many thanks and much appreciation to our music team for the many ways they blessed us through music and song: Major Donna Anstey, Marilyn Rideout, May Feltham and Gertie Hodder. You made such a good team in so many ways. Thank you to Lorraine Morgan for entertaining us with her beautiful voice and music as well. Your joy was contagious!

To the staff at Lion Max Simms Memorial Camp, we want you to know that you are loved and appreciated. You go every step of the way to make us feel welcomed and comfortable. You have become like family to us.

To all our ladies that attended: thank you for coming. You were all a blessing to each other in so many ways. You shared both laughter and tears. As someone said, “ I came here as a stranger, and I am going home as a member of a whole new family.”

Last, but certainly not least, and above all else, we give God thanks for our wonderful Women’s Weekend of 2022, and pray that we will have the opportunity to gather again in 2023!

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