From May 23-25, LEFSA’s annual women’s retreat took place at Cenacle Retreat Center in Ronkonkoma, Long Island. Twenty-two women attended. Sessions revolved around women being empowered for change; praise, promise and prayer; and speaking life through the power of words. Minister Carl Petrus was a guest speaker during one of the sessions.
LEFSA has separate annual retreats for men and women. There are several sessions during the retreats, each of them put together and facilitated by team members. During the sessions we pray as well as reflect on the scriptures and readings that are relevant to the theme. The purpose is to expand on the themes, discuss them, share around them, and apply them to individual experience as well as to systemic and social problems.
During the rest of the time participants have time to relax, reflect on what has been said during the sessions and participate in activities offered by the retreat site. Retreats give an opportunity for many people who may be currently homeless to spend a night in their own bed, in a privacy of a single room, enjoy peace and quiet as well as surrounding nature. The retreats are also a way to continue to build community and foster a place where spiritual and emotional healing can happen.
Reflections from previous women’s retreats at Cenacle:
“I experienced the holy presence of God, His voice, and love through different conversations. There were no distractions”.
“I had some heavy burdens and God picked them up during this retreat, I experienced freedom”.
“I needed to feel love, and I did during this retreat. It was a strengthening experience. I was loved by all the women at each gathering. I am going back with a renewed sense of strength and hope”.
“I have reconnected with God, my awareness of each topic was raised by people’s individual stories. I reconnected with nature, which reminded me of home. It was comforting to be in such a spiritual place, you can’t buy something like that”.
“We all have such a similar life experience, we are called to make a difference, there is such a power and strength coming out of each woman here”.
“Cenacle means God’s presence. And through that presence I received peace and love”.
“I saw God’s manifestation among each one of us, through the stories, and what God has done for us. Doesn’t matter where we were, Jesus was there to pick us up. We shouldn’t be ashamed to talk about what God has done for us. We all have similar experiences, and we don’t know what is ahead of us”.
Enjoy these additional photos from our retreat.