My first 'gig' after I finish my ministry placement in a little over a month now, is facilitating the Women's Weekend Away in Perth. This is an annual event that has been going for quite a few years now. Each year, the ladies invite a different facilitator to explore a theme throughout the weekend. I first led this retreat while still studying and it was a great time with a lovely mix of fun, laughter and reflection. Back then, we looked at the theme of creating space in our lives.
This year, I will be unpacking the theme 'Meeting the Mystics: Meeting Me'. I gave the committee a couple of themes to choose from and I am so excited they went with this one. Over the weekend, we will develop an understanding of mysticism that, I hope, removes the mystery and elitism of the term so that we can see where it is relevant for us today. We will meet some of the wonderful female mystics, including Julian of Norwich, Hildegaard of Bingen, Teresa of Avila and Therese of Lisieux. We will spend some time in quiet, some out in nature, some getting arty and some playing games.
My hope is that the women who come along will find a safe space where they can share their own experiences of God and their own spiritual journey. So often, people do not share their profound experiences out of fear that it is not seen as credible or in line with the beliefs of our faith community. The mystics of the past were often on the fringes of the church, as they were not afraid to speak out. I am looking forward to hearing the women who come along and helping their stories to be valued and validated.
It is shaping up to be a great weekend and, best of all, someone else cooks for you! If you are in or around Perth and are free from May 25th to 27th, why not come along and join us? For more information or to register have a look at the form.