By Karis Rogerson
News Editor

At last weekend’s Women’s Retreat, attendees not only learned about healthy relationships but also formed community with each other.

This year’s retreat took place Oct. 4-6 at Aldersgate Camp, near Ravenna, Ky. The event was planned by a planning committee made up of ten students and staff members.
Senior and Aldersgate Assistant Residence Director (ARD) Hannah LeCompte was on the planning committee for the retreat. She said, “We met about three times as a group to discuss plans for the weekend.”  

Glide-Crawford ARD Kaity Scanlan added, “My role was to help brainstorm ideas, help with registration and sign-ups and help set up.”

The committee was involved with planning all aspects of the event, including the speakers. This year’s speakers were Courtney Patty and Becca Mathews, Resident Directors (RDs) of Aldersgate and Kresge, respectively. 

LeCompte said, “Every year, the women’s retreat speaker alternates between a speaker that is either faculty or staff at Asbury and a guest speaker from off campus.” According to Scanlan, Patty and Mathews were chosen because the committee believed they would be able to weave their own experience into the subjects they discussed.

Mathews said she and Patty were approached by Joy Ireland, who told them that, according to students in a brainstorming group, “A topic of interest to them was friendship and [their] friendship had been noticed.”

The theme for the weekend was “Stranded,” and was based off Eccelsiastes 4:12: “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

As for what she and Patty wanted the women to learn, Matthews said, “[Patty] and I were hoping that the students would gain an understanding that friendship is hard work–but very worth it.” She continued, saying, “We were hoping they would begin to see that in order to be in a healthy friendship, it is important to be on the road to personal holistic health that is based in Jesus Christ.”

“The whole weekend was about relationships,” Scanlan said. “We discussed barriers of a friendship and how to pour into one another.”  

Chealsea Allen, a senior who attended Women’s Retreat for the second time this year, said she had not been aware of the theme until chapel last Friday. She said, “God really put a particular relationship on my heart that I had been struggling with and turns out the whole weekend dealt with friendship relationships.” 

Lizzi Smith, another senior who had attended two previous Women’s Retreats and was on the planning committee, said she appreciated that Patty and Mathews were able to teach “without getting cheesy or emotionally manipulative.”

Approximately 50 women attended the retreat; according to senior Kelsey Huck, about half of the attendees were seniors. “That was fun, just that I knew people, and then I also got to meet [some] of the younger people, “Huck said.

This year was Huck’s first time to attend the retreat; she said she signed up mostly because she knew the speakers and was excited to hear what they had to say about the topic. 
Because she had never attended a Women’s Retreat, Huck said she had no expectations of the event. “I was just hoping I would get something out of it,” she said. “It was a lot better than I expected.” Her first positive impression came from the natural beauty of the surroundings. “Aldersgate Camps…is in the beginnings of the mountains. It was really good weather, there were animals–I loved the goats.”

Smith said, “[The retreat] definitely exceeded my expectations and then some.”
According to Scanlan, her favorite part of the retreat was “when we all poured into one another and wrote on each other’s arms words that described the person, such as joyful, caring, adventurous, conqueror, perseverance, etc. 

Allen said, “God really opened up my heart and allowed me to have a love for people and for my one friend in particular.” 

Scanlan added that Patty and Mathews “showed us that even though they are friends, it has taken work, and everything they discussed with us about friendship came from their relationship.” 

“The biggest thing that I got out of it was the importance of vulnerability and that real friendships take work,” Huck said.

For Allen, the lesson that stuck the most was that, “It is best to be fully and completely open with your friends about how you are feeling and how they might have made you feel. When both friends do this, their relationship is strengthened and reaches new levels.”