Does God really want to dwell in us? If we know the answer is yes, do we truly believe this?
That was the topic discussed by over 50 women from Christian Reformed churches in the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. They gathered in Charlottetown, P.E.I., on May 26-27 for a women’s retreat. Women from these churches have been meeting for approximately 50 years, ever since a “Maritimes Ladies Rally” was started by the first generation of CRC women in the Maritime provinces. It was and still is a way to connect and encourage one another.
Focusing on Psalm 90, keynote speaker Rinda Dean, challenged the women to see that God longs to dwell with us. Dean has a doctorate in theology and is gifted in counseling and mentoring. She spoke about the things that hinder us from dwelling with God and looked at ways to engage the Spirit and invite God to dwell within. “One of the lies that Satan, the enemy, tells us is that we don’t belong, a lie of the enemy to separate us. . . . When we are the body of Christ, gathered in and knit together in spirit . . . that is where the Holy Spirit dwells,” said Dean. “It is that part of our being that we are to lead with. That is where we connect most deeply. That’s what makes us one in Christ.” Dean pointed out that in Christ, we need to set aside our differences. In Christ, there is no gender, appearance, nationality, or political persuasion—only the Spirit.
The weekend event included Charlottetown Art Quest, organized by Elizabeth Nieuwhof. Teams followed clues to find places or sculptures of cultural and artistic significance in Charlottetown. They needed to take a photo at each site before opening the clue for the next site. The women also played Chocolate Bingo.
Worship was led by the Charlottetown worship band. “It was such great worship,” said Linda vanKampen.
After more fellowship, the women returned home, expressing appreciation for spiritual nourishment, worship, speakers, small group leaders, and organizers.