Thirty Years of Progress

Each year since nineteen-seventy-two
Nazarene women have gathered
Coming in large groups or few
For fellowship, teaching and worship.

They traveled from near and afar
Over Canada Central District,
Following the beckoning star
To Fair Havens or Muskoka Woods.

With excitement friends would meet
Perhaps not seen for a year
Since the last Women's Retreat
And now once more we are here.

The first year there were 159
And each year since then we grew,
Until they had to draw the line,
Or find us some place new.

Together we have laughed and cried,
Worshiped, listened and prayed,
And always Sunday afternoons
Wished we could have stayed.

We sang until our throats were sore,
Our hearts in worship raised,
We hungered and we longed for more
As our Saviour Christ we praised.

We've eaten all that we could hold;
In discussion groups we learned;
The crafts we made were gladly sold,
And Christ's Spirit in us burned.

Not just content to get away
To have a good time of fun,
We wanted our spirits to grow each day
And some life in Christ have begun.

Drawn closer together in sharing,
In listening and in love,
By mentoring and caring,
Christ blessed us from above.

Our topics covered women's needs
As presented in God's Word,
In hearts were sown the Gospel seeds
To all who truly heard.

So our Retreats have really grown
In every possible way,
Not just in mere numbers alone
But in lives more like Jesus each day.

We're glad Vi Armstrong heard the call
To start a Ladies’ Retreat,
And we're very grateful to all
Who serve when committees meet.

For each one willing to take the chair,
To plan the music or play,
Or organizing the programs to share,
And all who come here to pray.

Especially we thank the Registrar
Who does an incredible task
Arranging where all our rooms are
And answering each question we ask.

In thirty years much change is found,
We can see in many a face!
And some are now in Heaven's Camp Ground,
While new ones take their place.

But we can say as the years go by
Not only retreated have we,
But “Progress” is our battle cry,
As we pray “Dear Lord, use me!”

Honoria A. Groves

May, 2002