Women’s Retreat 2014

The Women’s Retreat of the Presbytery of New York and New England was held on April 11-12, 2014, at the Lakeside Conference Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, with 98 registered, including 24 women who arrived on Thursday. The women from Covenant Presbyterian Church in Amsterdam NY undertook the task of organizing the retreat. This year marked the 20th anniversary of the retreat, and, appropriately, the theme for the retreat was, “Generation to Generation”.

Harleen Dizer, from Dayton , Ohio, and a member of Redeemer OPC, served as the main speaker. Basing the three main sessions on Titus 2:3-5, Harleen examined the relevance of women’s relationships today, (The Call to Mentor), the Biblical qualifications of a mentor, (The Qualifications of a Mentor), and how God expects us to grow through mentoring relationships, (The Commitment of Mentoring).

There were also a total of 6 workshops over the course of the 2 days: “You Will Know Them by Their Love – An Historical and Practical Examination of True Christian Hospitality”, Sessions I and II, led by Kathy Scarbrough and Cindy Gregson, “Women: God’s Instruments for Noble Purposes”, Sessions I and II, led by Olivia Durham, “Leadership Wives: The Conflict Challenge”, led by Dawna Selle, and “Being a Titus 2 Woman” led by Jan van der Jagt. The teen leader, Arden Detweiler, used Edith Schaeffer’s book “The Hidden Art of Homemaking” for practical discussions after attending the workshop on hospitality. For the past 20 years, the Lord has guided the planning of the retreats, which, Lord willing, has resulted in spiritual growth, a greater understanding of God’s Word, and a closer personal walk with the Lord in the lives of retreat participants.


The Women’s Council, made up of ladies from some of the different congregations in the presbytery, met on Thursday, April 10, 2014, to learn plans from the planning committee for this year’s retreat, and to discuss possible main speaker and workshop options for next year. We also sent a card of encouragement to Nancy Waters, absent from this year’s retreat, and a card of thanks to John Sanders, who for many years, until last year’s retreat, made recordings available to retreat participants.

At last year’s retreat, some of the retreat participants created individualized quilt squares , which the Retreat Committee assembled into a beautiful quilt/wall-hanging. The quilt was displayed this year in the Lodge for all to see, and will be hung each year at the retreat as a reminder of our praise to God for His faithfulness to us over the past 20 years.

The Lakeside Conference Center is the ideal location for this retreat. Although a longer drive is required of our northern sisters, it is fairly centrally located and offers the necessary accommodations to fit the needs of all who attend. It is a beautiful and tranquil spot, and even with price increases the last few years, is still very affordable.

The Committee wishes to thank those churches who assisted with additional funds to off-set the cost; as there are many hidden costs in making the retreat comfortable and pleasant. Thank you all for the monetary assistance, and for the prayers on our behalf.

We all look forward to next year’s retreat, which be held on April 17-18, 2015 at the Lakeside Conference Center. The ladies of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Barre, Vermont will serve as the Retreat Planning Committee.

Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow!

Marilyn Johnson
Retreat Planning Committee Chairman
Covenant Presbyterian Church
Amsterdam, NY