July 8, 2019
By KRISTIN BROWN, Women’s Ministry Intern
With twinkling white lights dangling from the wooden rafters above, the voices of 93 women worshipping together reverberated powerfully throughout the room. Outside, the sun-lit grassy fields and forests seemed to echo in response, glowing bright green and creating a strong sense of peace. This group of Cherrydale women had set aside a weekend in June at Skycroft Retreat Center in Middletown, MD, to explore the topic “intimacy with God” and to grow deeper in relationship with one another.
Our three speakers from Cherrydale (Pam Hodge, Carrie White, and Rachael Gunaratnam) shared openly how God had drawn them close to Himself in His Word and through life’s circumstances—both the struggles and the joys. They shared how God expresses His desire for an authentic, intimate relationship with us and how Christ has made that possible through the cross. Often, it’s through seasons of suffering that we experience intimacy with our Savior. Though our circumstances may not change, we are transformed by Christ through times of intimate fellowship with Him and are better equipped to pursue what’s He’s called us to do.
Throughout the weekend, we cherished the gospel as we worshipped together, met in small groups, had a personal time of Bible study in the Psalms, and listened to a panel of Cherrydale women share their stories. We also enjoyed Saturday afternoon activities and down time, had lots of coffee, and roasted S’mores around the campfire. More than 34 women volunteered in serving one another to make the weekend so special. God did immeasurably more than all we could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)!
My highlight at the end of the retreat was hearing testimonies from women who felt more connected to one another and more at home in the church community because of the gospel and our time together. I was also delighted to see what a diverse group of women it was and how much we enjoyed worshipping Christ together. (Our worship team introduced us to a new song as our retreat theme song, “I Want to Know You”—click here to listen to a recording of us worshipping together that weekend!) It was a beautiful picture of the body of Christ.
I’m excited to stay on another year as a ministry intern here at Cherrydale and to join God in what He is doing in the hearts of women. Please join me in praying that God’s Word would remain the center of everything we do as we seek to make disciples who love God and people above all else.