Christian men and women from across the peninsula are coming together to celebrate friendship and life's journey at a special event.
Aglow International, an ecumenical Christian group, is hosting its area spring retreat in Sequim with Jervae Brooks, the executive director for the international field.
Brooks has worked for Aglow International for 30 years. Based in Edmonds, she communicates with Aglow leaders in 165 countries.
"People love to hear about what's going on all across the world because as I'm able to share how people in other nations are looking to Christ, it links us together," Brooks said.
"It shows that we are a large family. It's fun to talk about because it's so diverse but we all have the same focus."
Brooks and her husband, Dwight, will speak about their faith and how they've overcome adversity.
Several trying events, such as losing a daughter in a car accident in 1992, Dwight being hospitalized for 55 days in 2008 and another daughter's struggle with drug addiction, have tested their faith.
Brooks said they would speak on how God has restored them and kept their relationship with each other and him strong.
They'll focus their three talks on the retreat's theme, "Celebrate: Preparing for the Journey" based on Revelation 19:7.
Not just a ladies' night
This year's retreat is the first time men have been invited.
Brooks said Aglow focused on women for 42 years because no programs existed like this.
"It's thriving in Europe for men," said Esther Fiddler, Olympic Peninsula area president.
"One reason why we've invited men is because it could start something locally."
Fiddler sent letters to every pastor in the area hoping for men to attend and offer feedback.
Aglow emphasizes that men and women reconcile in the body of Christ as God designed.
Brooks said she and
Dwight made a strong commitment to God six years after they married.
"We attended church but decided to make our relationship with God more real," she said.
All aglow for Aglow
The annual retreat has five peninsula Aglow lighthouses, chapters, coming together.
Kathryn Pacelli, Aglow member since 1978 and Olympic Peninsula vice president, said the group creates a sense of community for her and everyone who attends.
"No matter where I've lived or visited, I've been able to find that community," Pacelli said.
"It's helped further my faith with lovely, caring Christian women."
Brooks said it's a safe haven.
"For all of these years it's been a place for people to learn about God, be filled with the Holy Spirit, have a close relationship with God and letting him be a strong, beautiful part of the world," Brooks said.
"Just like in Sequim and all over the world, people can come together and grow in Christ and their lives can become full in what he teaches us."
"It's been one nation and one woman at a time."
Along with the Brooks' talks, Craig Buhler and Mary Moon will lead worship music and King's Way Foursquare Church's dance group Gateway Dancers will perform.
Aglow International of
Sequim meets the first Thursday each month at Trinity United Methodist Church, 100 Blake Ave., Sequim.
For more information on Aglow International of
Sequim, call Jenna Silliman at 681-2611. More can be found online at www.aglow.org.
For reservations for the retreat, call 683-3167 or 683-4710.
At a glance
• Aglow International Olympic Peninsula Area spring retreat, "Celebrate: Preparing for the Journey"
• Friday, April 30-Saturday, May 1
• Registration 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 23
• Trinity United Methodist Church, 100 Blake Ave., Sequim
• Three sessions with speakers Dwight and Jervae Brooks
• Cost: $80 for husband and wife for three sessions, plus meals; $55 for individual; $40 Saturday only; $15 per session. Send checks to Loretta Baughman; 983 N. Marriott Ave., Sequim, WA 98382