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Earlier this month, nearly 300 women gathered in Hershey, Pa. (self-proclaimed Sweetest Place on Earth) for the “Sweet Moments with Jesus” conference-wide Women’s Retreat. The event featured programming in English and Spanish languages, as well as special programs for young women age 15-21.

Keynote speakers Diane Sedgwick (English) and Leticia De los Santos (Spanish) used personal stories and humor to remind attendees of God’ great love for each person and His desire for a close personal relationship with them.

Seminar topics covered how to make Sabbath feel like the dessert of the week, dealing with conflict, using God’s Word in prayer, healthy relationships, and using social media in a Christian manner.

Referring to the weekend, one attendee said, “It’s like a faith shot in the arm, which I needed.”


Longtime women’s ministry volunteers Phyllis Lanning and Carol Byrkit, both members of the Williamsport, Md., church, were honored for their service.

Each retreat involves a service project and this year attendees donated toys and made 78 fleece blankets for patients at the nearby Penn State Children’s Hospital. Marilyn Scott, associate pastor at New Hope church in Fulton, Md., led the group in a prayer of blessing on the blankets, toys and especially the recipients.

Several of the Hispanic churches made dresses from paper goods and displayed them in a fashion show on Saturday evening. There were lots of things to do throughout the weekend—spending time in the prayer room, visiting with friends, shopping at the on-site Living Well book and health-food store, playing board games and taking morning prayer walks.

"It's a real blessing to be able to meet and connect with other women to build stronger relationships," said another participant.

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