United Methodist Women - Western North Carolina Conference

Turning faith, hope and love into action on behalf of women, children and youth around the world

Spiritual Growth Retreat


You asked…we listened!

We have expanded the retreat to include two nights, and MORE spiritual growth opportunites for YOU!

Download the 2019 Spiritual Growth Retreat flyer!

Worship, fellowship, time for reflection, break out sessions, and more! Break-out opportunities will include: bible studies, meditation and prayer settings, discussion groups, interactive spiritual growth activities, sing-walks and more. Sign-ups for break-out opportunities will be made available in May.


2019 Spiritual Growth Retreat

June 13-15, 2019, Lake Junaluska

Theme: Thorns & Roses

Retreat Leader: Clara Ester, Deaconess
National Vice President of United Methodist Women

2019 Spiritual Growth Retreat Info Flyer [PDF]


Retreat Registration: 

Online Registration Open February 1, 2019 thru June 9, 2019

  • Coming in June! 2019 SG Retreat Program Book – THORNS & ROSES (PDF)
  • 2019 Spiritual Growth Retreat Info Flyer.  Share it with your friends!
  • On-site registration at the retreat – $25.00 per person
  • Get a DISCOUNT! Register early and ONLINE! Online advance registration, February 1, 2019 through June 9, 2019 is only $15.00 per person! Use the online registration link shown above.
  • Advance registration fees are transferable, but non-refundable. So, if someone registers for the retreat, and is unable to attend, their registration fee is not refundable, but it is ok for someone else to attend in their place.
  • Register yourself AND others! Our online registration offers the opportunity for you to register up to 35 guests at the same time that you do your own retreat registration. Help other members of your local unit to register online — especially those who may not use a computer!
  • Our online reservations process through Constant Contact uses ProPay or PayPal to securely process payment of the registration fee. Both are secure, widely used processors of online payments. If you choose “Pay with Credit Card” in our online registration, you will be able to enter your credit card information right on our registration system screen, and your card will be processed by ProPay. This option should be very simple and straight forward.  If you choose to use PayPal, you will be redirected over to the PayPal website to either use your personal PayPal account, or to process your credit card transaction as a PayPal guest.



Lake Junaluska Housing Reservations:

Reservations for housing at Lake Junaluska must be made separately from our retreat registration. To book Lake Junaluska lodging for the Spiritual Growth Retreat:

  • Beginning February 1, 2019, call the Lake Junaluska reservations department at 1-800-222-4930. Then select 1 for the Reservations Department, and the next available agent will be glad to assist you. The Lake Junaluska reservations team is on duty from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
  • Housing in Lake facilities fills up very quickly, so make your reservations early. We encourage you if at all possible to stay on the grounds to help support the facilities at Lake Junaluska. If the Lake facilities are full, there are lots of motels near the Assembly grounds, visit the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce or the Maggie Valley Area Visitors Bureau for more information on available accommodations.

Retreat Leader:

We are EXCITED to announce that Clara Ester, Deaconess, and National Vice President of United Methodist Women, will be our retreat leader for the 2019 Spiritual Growth Retreat. Clara has an inspiring life story, including her service for 36 years at Dumas Wesley Community Center, a national mission institution in Mobile, AL.
Read more about Clara Ester:



Music Leaders:

Our music leader for 2019 will be:   Rev. Rhonda Smith, Minister of Music at First UMC, Hickory

Retreat Schedule:

Coming in June – 2019 SG Retreat Program Book – THORNS & ROSES (PDF) – Click to download

SCHEDULE OUTLINE – New Programming for MORE Spiritual Growth Opportunities!

Thursday, June 13:

  • Thursday Dinner: Welcome & Fellowship Pizza Party
  • Thursday evening: Opening plenary. Speaker: Clara Ester

Friday, June 14:

  • Friday morning: Morning Praise. Speaker: Clara Ester
  • Friday afternoon: Break-out Spiritual Growth sessions will include: bible studies, meditation and prayer settings, discussion groups, inter-active spiritual growth activities (additional fees may apply), sing-walks and more. Sign-up for break-outs will follow in May.
  • Friday evening: Evening Vesper & Holy Communion / Concert by Junaluska Singers

Saturday, June 15:

  • Saturday morning: Morning session (later start time to allow for breakfast & check-out.
  • Saturday afternoon: Following lunch closing session – Sending forth with Clara Ester

Hands On Mission Opportunity

Our Hands-On Mission Opportunity for the 2018 Spiritual Growth Retreat will be: UMCOR School Kits. In some countries, children don’t have books or school supplies. Many have no schoolrooms; classes are held in inadequate or half-destroyed buildings, tents, or even the open air. School kits may be these children’s only educational resources.

Kit Value: $11 per kit

Download: UMCOR School Kit Assembly Instructions (PDF) | UMCOR Page about UMCOR School Kits

Other Information

  • Registration will open at 2:00pm, downstairs in the auditorium of Harrell Center.
  • Check in time at the Lake hotels is 4:00pm. You are encouraged to register before going to your accommodations, especially if you are arriving before 4:00PM.
  • Watch for information about Program Resources hours.
  • Singing will begin 15 minutes before each session, led by our music team.
  • Be sure to bring your Bible, note pad, and pen so that you may study and take notes to help you remember the messages you receive.
  • Dress comfortably, wear good walking shoes. Bring a warm sweater and rain gear, just in case the weather is cool or rainy.
  • Emergency Telephone Number: The Assembly’s switchboard number is 828-452-2881. Please leave this number with your family in case of an emergency.
  • If you need Child Care, you may make arrangements in advance by calling Lake Junaluska at 1-828-452-2881.

Lake Junaluska is a beautiful place where you can spend some quiet time in reflection, study, and prayer with your United Methodist Women sisters. We trust that your retreat will be a special time of renewal and spiritual growth. Please be in prayer for the retreats and the retreat leaders.

Other Opportunities for Spiritual Growth and Reflection During Your Stay:

  • The Memorial Chapel will be available for personal prayer time.
  • The Susanna Wesley Gardens
  • The International Prayer Room
  • The Junaluska Cross
  • Walking by the lake and enjoying the roses.

Register for the 2019 Spiritual Growth Retreat!

Countdown to 2019 Spiritual Growth Retreat!








Have a question? Need more information? Contact Martha Efird, our conference 2019 Mission Coordinator for Spiritual Growth

Download our Thorns & Roses Logo:

Basic Retreat Logo JPG

We all need a break from our busy lives, a time for reflection, a time to listen for God’s guidance. We are so busy doing all the things we are called upon to do, we don’t often take the time to slow down, to sit back and think about the things that are really important. Join us to pray, to listen, to study, to fellowship with United Methodist Women from across the conference, and to spend some quiet time in reflection.


Martha Efird, Chairperson;  Julia Willis, Joanie Strohm, Nancy Reigel, Renee Hayes, Carolyn Payne, Linda Greer, Sibyl Long, Lorraine Burns, Sandrea Williamson

A retreat is a time to reflect upon your relationship with God. It is a time to be attentive as God speaks to us. The committee has worked hard to plan an inspirational retreat. We anticipate a wonderful time together. We hope you will meet us by the lake in June.


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