Concordia Women’s Ministry hits Joshua Tree
The Concordia Courier
By John Symank | 2/10/2023
From Jan. 13 to Jan. 15, Concordia’s Women’s Ministry had the opportunity to make a camping excursion to Joshua Tree National Park, where they enjoyed fun, games and the company of like minded Christians.
The retreat was intended “to focus on being in God's wonderful creation away from distractions,” said Lillian Hall, a senior and one of the event coordinators. “The weekend was centered around the theme of seasons. Specifically, the various seasons and stages of life that we all experience as well as some of the challenges we confront on a weekly basis.”
Hall coordinated the event alongside Emma Johnson, junior, by planning housing, food and transportation, as well as marketing the trip to ministry leaders and those interested in participating.
The event was led primarily by a guest speaker, who determined the theme for the outing. This year’s trip was led by Noks Shabalala, the Minister of Small Group and Connection for abbey west.
“The interactions between the women, Noks' devotions, and the breathtaking hikes in Joshua Tree were some of the trip's highlights,” said Hall. “The meals around the campfire, small group fellowship, and hiking in Joshua Tree, were all shared favorites. Many of the ladies attending the retreat had never been to Joshua Tree before, so it was very special sharing those first experience memories.”
“One of the highlights for me was being able to overcome outdoor obstacles,” said Johnson. “Since we were camping in January there were things that we had to consider much more than if we had gone to a typical retreat center. But it was so amazing to see everyone work together to ensure there was always a fire to keep everyone warm, and that the food was prepared efficiently so we could enjoy a meal after a long day of hiking.”
“Taking a group of college girls out of our Irvine city lives and throwing us into the great outdoors presented some challenges but it was so rewarding to see everyone working together as a team from start to finish,” Johnson added.
While this event is in the rearview mirror, there will be other opportunities to participate in Women’s Ministry activities in the near future, and with abbey west. On Sat., Feb. 11, the group will be hosting a Galentine’s event from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in the Heritage Garden.
Johnson also advised to “keep your eyes peeled for posters and social media posts about special worship nights that Women’s Ministry will be co-hosting with other branches of abbey west.”
Abbey west will also be hosting a Super Bowl Party on Sun., Feb. 12, starting at 3 p.m. in Good Shepherd Chapel, and will be hosting a Presidential Disc Golf Tournament on March 11.
About John Symank
John Symank is the Local and Global News Editor for the Concordia Courier, Concordia University Irvine’s student-led newspaper. He is currently a junior, completing a BA in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Mass Communication, and a minor in Business Administration.
As the Local and Global News Editor, John writes articles about world events and happenings around Irvine and the surrounding areas. He works with students and professors to get opinions on these events and express the opinions of campus, and uses these viewpoints to construct well informed and instructive stories.
John has been writing or editing for newspapers since 2017, when he began writing for his high school newspaper, The Californian. He hopes to use his experience both with The Californian and The Courier to build his skills as a writer.
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