Not often enough, I get an email like the one found below. I just have to share the encouragement.
We have met several times over the years, but I would forgive you if you didn’t put a face with this name. My wife and I live in Westchester and have come to PCC services over the years. Mostly on Easter because my grandmother lived at the Canterbury, and anyone who went to Dallas Seminary she approved of and wanted to hear speak. She lived to 106 and, full disclosure, it was a shock to us when we went to our own Easter service after she passed because we had never been before.
While we attend church in West LA, my parents live in Palos Verdes and we like to drop in and visit when in town. This year our church had a men’s retreat and my wife was chagrined by the fact Cornerstone didn’t have a women’s retreat.
During the announcements at PCC they said they would be having a women’s retreat at Forest Home. My wife immediately leaned over and whispered, “I’m going.” I leaned back, my arm already around her, and said, “The women’s retreat is for their church and I don’t think it is appropriate you join.”
She leaned back in and said, “I’m still going. If they have spots, I am going.” When the last song was being played, I excused myself and went to pick up our kids. Back on the patio, I found my wife signing up for Forest Home. I said to her, “Are you sure this is okay, do they have enough room?”
To which she replied, “I am going, and I am taking a friend.” I really didn’t have words, mostly because my three-year-old was socking away donuts in her mouth like it was the last meal before she went into hibernation.
Here is where it gets interesting. Somehow you had two spots. Monica called a few close friends, straws were drawn, and up the mountain went my wife and Meredith. They had a fantastic time. They were touched by the speaking and warmth of the women in the PCC cabin times of sharing.
Coming off that mountain they agreed to approach our pastors with doing a women’s retreat. God clearly saw purpose in this weekend. Our pastors agreed, assembling a teaching team from our church, and booked Forrest Home Ojai for the first Cornerstone women’s retreat.
In an act of faith, our church put down the deposit to allow 80 women to come. By the time the dust settled, 110 women signed up. The retreat was held in early October and it was a huge success.
But as my wife was telling me all this, I couldn’t help but think back to that day on your church patio. Peninsula welcomed my wife and her friend with open arms. Had they not, none of the 110 women who went to our retreat would have had the experience they did. Thank you Peninsula, the leadership on your women’s retreat, and the women on the retreat who were so open to both Monica and Meredith. Great things continue to come out from that weekend, and your church body was instrumental in it all. – Jonathan Lee