St. Stephen's retreat, speaker, aim to help participants rejuvenate
By Joanne Barron
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Shari Dale admits she is shy by nature, but she also is passionate about what God teaches through Scripture and sharing what she learns.
Dale, 59, of Moon Township, a member of St. Stephen's Church in Sewickley, has been putting aside that shyness to speak in a variety of venues about Christian-based topics focused on practical application of scripture.
Her next presentation will include three speeches on the topic “Traveling Lightly,” during a St. Stephen's women's retreat set for Jan. 17 and 18 at Martina Spiritual Renewal Center in West View. This is the fourth year for the retreat.
“Shari Anne will be speaking for the second time, because she was so well received when she spoke two years ago that our women have been asking for her to return,” said church member Julie McCormick.
“Traveling Lightly” is based on Jesus speaking to followers in Luke 9:1 3ESV: “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics,” Dale said.
“We hope to explore the following questions interspersed with practical traveling tips: Why did Jesus tell His followers not to take any provisions for their journey? Not even an extra tunic? What if they had matching shoes? What does He ask us to unpack and set down? What does He ask us to carry every day of our lives?” she said.
Dale said the traveling lightly topic has been “on my heart” for many years.
“When my husband (Fredric) proposed, his only pre-nuptial request was that I promise to pack lightly in order to handle my own bags during business trips with him. This was long before suitcases on wheels,” she said. “More importantly, many of us live burdened with weight we're either simply in the habit of carrying or others have imposed on us. Jesus addresses those issues in the New Testament. There is no greater source of wisdom.”
The retreat is open to anyone and begins with a dinner Jan. 17, followed by Dale's talk, an optional worship/Communion service with St. Stephen's pastor, the Rev. Bill Henry, Dale's second talk at breakfast the next day, free time and activities, and Dale's final luncheon talk.
Each talk will be followed by a small group discussion and Dale will create a devotional handout for the women's personal use.
“There will be time to sit around with a cup of coffee and get to know each other, or time for silent reflection and prayer. We hope the women leave the retreat refreshed and rejuvenated spiritually, physically and socially,” McCormick said.
At St. Stephen's, Dale, formerly of California, serves on the pastoral care team, plays in the bell choir, and this summer, she and Fredric will be mentors to engaged couples who plan to marry at St. Stephen's.
She attended college in California where she studied psychology. She serves as area director for part of of western Pennsylvania for Community Bible Study.
CBS conducts several non-denominational Bible study classes in the Pittsburgh area, throughout the United States and around the world, designed to be comfortable for those who have never opened a Bible to the advanced Bible student, Dale said.
St. Stephen's hosts two classes, one for women and one for children.
Dale has presented speeches for St. Stephen's Side by Side ministry for single mothers, at church dinners and a Christmas women's brunch.
Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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