2019 Women Ministries Great Lakes Conference Fall Retreat Portage Lake

Pierced & Embraced – Women Ministries Fall Retreat 2019 Portage Lake

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” – John 11:25

October 4-6, 2019

How would you describe the love of God? Sometimes that love feels like a warm embrace. Sometimes it is more like a piercing jab. Always, it changes everything. This weekend we will dig deep into several encounters that Jesus had with a wide veriety of women in the Gospels to show how His love can be equally transformative in our lives today.


Kelli WorrallKelli Worrall, author, speaker, and Professor of Communications at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, is our speaker at the Women Ministries of the Great Lakes Conference Annual Fall Retreat, 2019, Portage Lake. She studied Communications and Spiritual Formation, and is passionate about helping other people understand how the experiences of their past have formed them, how to process those things well in the present, and how to communicate effectively about them in their relationships.

Worship Leader

Jessica is the Minister of Creative Arts and Worship at Fellowship Reformed Church in Holland MI. Jess is passionate about fostering spiritual formation through music, visual arts, Scripture, and prayer. She loves to empower the body of Christ to worship with a variety of worship languages and musical styles. Personally, Jess experienced God’s love and healing through music and desires to nurture a space where others can use their talents in worship of God. Jess has been married to Adam since 2002, and together they have 3 children, Natalie, Logan, and Sophia. Her hobbies include natural and holistic health, hiking, being outdoors, learning about the human brain, and most of all, Jess enjoys lots of laughter with family and friends.

Breakout Sessions

A wide variety of topics will be offered throughout Saturday afternoon. Return to our website often as more information will be on glcwomen.org as time gets closer. You can also visit our facebook page to keep connected with all that Women Ministries of the Great Lakes Conference has to offer.

Personal sessions with a trained spiritual director as well as a small group/breakout options to learn more about spiritual direction, with sessions on Spiritual Compass and the Prayer of Examen.

5K Fun Run/Walk/Crawl/Sleep In

Support Lycee Vanette (School for the Girls in Congo) on Saturday by participating and donating in the annual 5K Fun Run/Walk/Crawl/Sleep In!

Camp Activities

Portage Lake offers a wide variety of Camp Activities for your free time, from a giant swing, crate stacking, indoor climbing wall, pickle ball, to relaxing at Cool Beans Coffee Shop, long conversations and quiet time.

Want to start the weekend early?

Arrive any time after 1 pm on Friday and jump start the weekend. We are providing a number of options for you to choose from to make this time a blessing for you, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Sit by the lake with your Bible, a coffee, a book or JUST BE

Cost and Registration

  • Early bird registration – $135
  • Regular rate (after August 4) – $160
  • Day rate (no lodging) – $100
  • Friday Jump Start – $20

Arrival/Departure times

  • Friday Jump Start – any time after 1 pm (includes evening meal)
  • Regular arrival – any time after 4 pm (does not include evening meal)
  • Friday worship begins at 7:30 pm
  • Sunday departure – after brunch

Daily Verse

  • Jeremiah 32:17 July 11, 2020
    ““Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”



We love the fall Women Ministries Retreats held at Mission Meadows and Portage Lake. It is a time of being with God, laughter, community, learning, and just plain silliness. We plan for it all year long and are excited each year to reconnect with you. We invest in it because we want it to be 'the best'. So this year it is with a heavy heart and sadness that we have decided to not hold the Fall Retreats this year.

The retreat planning team sought input from the camps, from the speakers, and from previous attendees. The responses were mixed - some wanted to continue to hold it; others felt we should cancel. Still others felt we could make something work. We actively sought creative ways to allow retreats to move ahead. But retreat is about proximity. It is about being close and with one another whether eating in the Dining Hall, being in the cabins, playing games, worshipping, or praying. The potential spread of the virus keeps us from this reality.

This pandemic has thrown everyone into a new normal. The uncertainties of the virus leave everyone with an inability to plan future events. We looked at a reasonable vision of what retreat would be - one with social distancing, masks, and in accordance with appropriate board of health regulations. We felt we simply could not provide a retreat experience that would be in compliance with guidance from healthcare and public officials, our own high standards, and respect for the well-being of our community.

We want to thank you for your patience with us as we have sought to do the right thing both for retreat attendees and the long-term ministry of retreats. We are incredibly sad and grieve this loss along with you. It is a decision like this that makes us aware of just how special fall retreats are for everyone involved.
We can’t ever take this gift from God for granted.

We are continuing to explore some creative ways to 'retreat' during the next year. We know that this decision has an impact on the camps. We would encourage you to make a donation to either Portage Lake or Mission Meadows to ensure that their ministry continues.

We will keep you apprised of plans for 2021. Fall Retreat at Mission Meadows will be September 17-19. Fall Retreat at Portage Lake will be October 1-3. Watch the FaceBook pages for further information.

Thank you for your participation and your understanding. We are always available for your questions and comments.
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