By Roxanne Kauffman

Camp Luz hosted the 46th annual Ohio Mennonite Women’s Retreat from September 18-20, 2015, where 69 women were in attendance throughout the weekend.

Sisters Michele Rae Rizoli, Willie Stoltzfus and Ginny Hostetler shared their various gifts by leading music, worship and providing input to encourage and challenge the women to slow down and find new ways to connect with God. The theme was “Where’s the Pause Button?  Making Space for God in Everyday Life.”  They used humor and shared their own struggles to intentionally slow down, and nurture the spirit of God in the midst of busyness. They explored biblical stories, used various spiritual practices in each session and provided opportunity for the women to explore a variety of spiritual practices to connect with God during the weekend. The spirit of God was present as the speakers shared personal experiences from their multicultural life, which often resulted in laughter and at times tears.

Workshops offered during the retreat were “Creative Mothering” led by Becca Lachman, “Journal Keeping” led by Joanne Lehman and opportunity to spend time with Spiritual Director Beulah Steiner. Those who attended expressed great appreciation for each workshop and valued the opportunity to explore other ways to “press the pause button.” Several service opportunities such as writing cards of encouragement to residents of Adriel School and volunteering at MCC Connections in Kidron were offered, and many volunteers participated.

During the weekend, women were encouraged to and enjoyed taking walks, resting, walking the prayer labyrinth, shopping, game playing and exploring other ways to find their own “personal pause” and finding that special time to nurture our relationship with God.

The offering collected during the retreat was shared between support to Camp Luz projects as needed, and to support Ohio Mennonite Women for their own programs and ministries.