Women’s Spa for the Soul


Saturday, January 25, 2020
(Snow date: Saturday, February 1st)
9:00 am to 6:00 pm
 Doors open at 8:30 am




The Kingdom of God Through Our Stories       Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed . . . yeast in bread . . . a banquet . . . a garden.  Through metaphors like these, we can begin to understand the Kingdom of God. Jesus also taught us about the Kingdom of God through stories. He said “There once was a man on a journey who was beaten by thieves and left to die. . . .  A father had two sons and one wanted his inheritance early. . . . There were nine maidens who waited for the bridegroom to come. . . .”   Through story-telling, Jesus teaches us what the Kingdom of God looks like, who is invited into it, and how it comes about.  We relate to and remember these stories and through them the Kingdom of God comes into being—and we come to recognize the Kingdom of God in our own lives and stories. 


This year at their retreats, the Women of South Church will look at the Kingdom of God through Jesus’ stories and OUR stories.  Jesus’ stories can help us see the Kingdom of God in our own life stories and embolden us to tell them.  As we become willing to share our own stories and by encouraging others to do the same, we affirm our experiences of God’s kingdom and we help grow it.  


The Rev. Gayle Murphy will be our worship leader at the Spa and will lead the longer Women’s Retreat in March.   She has a long history with South Church because it is the church in which her three sons grew up and the family nurtured.   South Church supported her as she attended Seminary and was ordained, and she served as the Church’s Minister of Volunteers.  Gayle is now called to minister to those outside of the church and her current focus is Caring Clergy, a program for training clergy to do compassionate funerals after a substance use death.   Gayle loves to bicycle with her husband, do handwork, and enjoys her growing family of 3 1/2 grandchildren.


Spa Offerings      Our Spa will provide you peace and solitude and wonderful connections with other South Church women.  Following our opening worship, participants will partake in a variety of 45-minute morning and afternoon workshops that offer diverse spiritual tools and practices. (Two of the workshop offerings will be 105 minutes.) Both lunch and a light supper will be offered. A chat room and prayer room will be available all day. The Church’s labyrinth will be available in the afternoon. Together we will also worship and participate in a special service project.


Overview of Workshops




8:30 – 10 am Doors open at 8:30.

Opening Worship at 9

Session 1: 10:15-11

  • Kingdom of God

  • Joyful Adventure

  • Journaling - this double session meets 10:15-12

Session 2: 11:15- 12

  • Meditation

  • Music

12:15-1:45 pm

  • Lunch and group service project

Session 3: 2:00-2:45

  • Kingdom of God

  • Veil Dancing

  • Zentangle - this double session meets 2-3:45

Session 4: 3:00-3:45

  • Dreams

  • Resiliency in Aging

4:00 – 5:00 pm

  • Closing Worship

5:15 – 6:00 pm

  • Supper



The Kingdom of God Through Your Stories - The Rev. Gayle Murphy     Two ideas come together in this session and our overall theme.  The first is how Jesus tells stories as a way that helps us understand, remember, and live into their meaning in our own lives.  Through stories he calls us to help create the Kingdom of God here on earth.  Then we will consider how telling our own stories helps us claim Jesus’ stories as our own – how living them helps us experience the Kingdom and sharing them helps spread it.  By encouraging others to find and tell their own stories, we further expand and strengthen the Kingdom of God in our world.   In this workshop, we’ll talk about these ideas and create a safe space to tell some of our own stories of God’s presence in our world.  (Being offered at two times.  Limited to 25)


The Joyful Adventure of Unleashing Our Divine Purpose - Kit DeVries, Ph.D.     Our Christian beliefs challenge us to grow up and become partners with God.  In psychology we learn that mid-life and beyond are our individual opportunities to play – “the third stage of individuation.”   When we combine God’s will and our psychological beliefs we enter a new life of play and adventure.  Come, learn to play with God’s will for our lives.  (Limited to 14)


Journal Keeping - Joan Borton     A journal can help us recognize the creative energy of God in our lives. It can serve as a companion in the process of making changes. The workshop will provide a few experiences for participants whether you are new to journals, have started and stopped writing in one, or are an on-going journal writer. Please bring something to write in and a few colored pens. This will be a double session.  (Limited to 12)


A Journey to Find and Connect with Christ's Infinite Love and Energy - Lynne Bloomquist, Certified Hypnotist and Stress Reduction Specialist     Prayer, meditation and reflection bring us closer to Christ. He willingly shares His Abundant Energy with those who learn where it hides in plain sight. This guided imagery will show you some of the many ways Christ makes His Energy and Love available to us. (Limited to 25)


Music Within, Music Without – Liz MacLellan, Degree in Psychology and Music     This time together will include simple activities and exercises that allow you to explore and choose sound, rhythms, silences and music that calm, energize, transport or engage you.  The primary goal is a welcoming space to create, renew or remember easy and accessible ways to connect with self, neighbor, world, spirit of God (as defined by you). You are invited to define what music is for you. It may be a traditional song composed of musical notes. Or, maybe the sound of a beautiful sunrise. All materials will be provided to increase the possibilities of discovery - and yes, even some fun!  No musical background or experience required.  (Limited to 25)


Feeling the Flow of the Holy Spirit With Veil Dancing - JoAnne Miles-Holmes     JoAnne will bring her box of colorful veils and teach the group basic veil dancing movements including dances for individuals and group patterns.  Feel the flowy fun and the graceful graciousness of God.  No dance experience is needed.  All are welcome and adaptions can be made for any physical challenges. (Limited to 10)


Zentangle – CZT Instructors Fran Irvine & The Rev. Emily Geoghegan     Loving Kindness and a Valentine for you.   We'll start with a short loving kindness meditation and then create a tangled valentine.  Some experience with the Zentangle method helpful but not necessary.  This will be a double session.  (Limited to 10)


The Mystical, Marvelous, Magical World of Dreams  - Kit DeVries, Ph.D.     Why do we dream?  How can we make sense of them?  What is symbolism?  Let's find meaning in our dreams and nightmares.  Bring dreams . . . and nightmares!! (Limited to 14)


Resiliency is a Key Trait in Aging Gracefully – The Rev. Michelle DeCoste          We will explore what resiliency means and share stories of our own path of aging with an eye towards discovering the threads of grace woven within our own journeys. In our time together we will name some spiritual habits that help us to be pliable in the changes that life brings and discover in a fresh way the power of spiritual resiliency.    (Limited to 10)



Start Planning for the South Church Women’s Weekend Spiritual Retreat in March 2020!


If this day retreat appeals to you, please also consider joining us for the Women’s Weekend Spiritual Retreat on March 27 – 29, 2020.  The location is at the beautiful Marie Joseph Spiritual Center in Biddeford, Maine. The program will further explore the theme of The Kingdom of God Through Our Stories.  Register early and get an early-bird savings. Start planning now! Registration forms will be available at our January 25th Spa for the Soul. Financial assistance is available.



Choose the Best Option for You


  • Print, complete and mail your registration form with payment to: South Church, 27 Pleasant St., Concord, NH 03301. 

    • Please note on the memo line: “Jan 2020 Women’s Spa for the Soul”

  • Register online



The deadline to register is January 19.


Please understand that we cannot promise any refunds if you withdraw your registration after we have our final count on January 19.  However, if the retreat is postponed due to heavy snow, we will offer refunds to those who cannot make the snow date.




$30 per person, includes lunch and supper.  


Participants will be asked to bring a snack or desert to share, and/or a donation for our group service project.


If financial concerns limit your participation, please speak confidentially to Rev. Carlos Jauhola-Straight about the availability of scholarship funds. These funds were donated by participants of past South Church Women’s Retreats to help make these retreats available to all South Church women.  Availing yourselves of these funds will honor their hopes and have no impact on South Church’s operations or mission work.