YCWU Leadership Retreat, 2015
STEPHANIE OLSON – On July 23-26, women gathered at the Cenacle Retreat and Conference Center in Chicago for the YCWUretreat. There were nine participants, four state or national board members, the continuing YCWU representative and myself, the outgoing YCWUrepresentative. The incomingYCWU representative, Moriah Solomon, was able to attend as a participant. It was a great opportunity for her to hit the ground running.
Reflection from Incoming YCWU Representative Moriah Solomon
YCWU Leadership Retreat, 2013
August 9-11 was the leadership retreat for young women in Church Women United. We met at the Cenacle Retreat and Conference Center in Lincoln Park. Lincoln Park is a neighborhood on the north side of Chicago. The center provided a great location for us, close to Lake Michigan, the Lincoln Park Zoo and the neighborhood which is full of great boutiques and restaurants.
The young women came from various locations: New Mexico, Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland and Massachusetts. Eight National board members and one state president were also able to attend. The numbers worked out well with each young woman was paired with a mentor from the board. As is often the case the mentors learned as much from the mentees as the mentees gained from the mentors.
The weekend was full of activities. Everyone arrived Friday and we did some ice breakers to get to know each other. Marilyn L. went over the history of the movement. The story of how the movement of Church Women United started is powerful. If you do not know the story, then ask women in your unit or read about the founding.
Saturday was the day of workshops and activities. Blanche S. went over what advocacy is, how it is used within the movement and what one needs to become an advocate. Djamillah Samad then went over the cause of equal pay, which led to some interesting discussions. This was also the launch pad on which the young women decided which cause they would like to champion in their area, and perhaps beyond in the future.
Some topics had overlapping themes, but each young woman has a unique perspective on what they want to do and why. The topics range from voting rights to financial awareness, self love, and empowering young women to minister to addicts. I know we all look forward to hearing what the women have done and plan to do. If you have questions about any of the projects, please let us know. We will connect you to the appropriate young woman or get an update to pass along.
Saturday evening we went to see a play called “Nickel and Dimed”. The play is based on the book of the same title. The play fit very well with the theme of the weekend. It was also neat in that there was some audience participation. One of our retreat participants was asked to participate in the discussion!
Sunday was the last day of the retreat. We were able to bond with each other very quickly over the weekend. Each day we also did one of the worships from the next set of Celebrations. Be sure to ask your young women to participate in your celebrations. Thanks to the participants and the board members and state president who were able to attend. We are in the beginning stages of planning the next retreat for next summer. Details will be coming soon. Thank you all for the prayers and support; it meant a lot to everyone involved.