2023 Ancient Faith Women's Retreat ($250.00-$975.00)

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The 2023 Ancient Faith Women's Retreat
The Myrrhbearers: Following Christ in Grief and Joy

The Ancient Faith Women's Retreat seeks to create a peaceful, loving, and reflective gathering of women who have come to learn, worship, make friends, and rest at the entrance into the holy Nativity season. The full schedule of sessions and activities will be posted shortly.

Registering with 1 or 2 roommates? Please know the details of your roommate and event package needs before completing your registration! In the ADDITIONAL ROOMMATE INFO spaces provided above, enter the name, email address, and menu selection for each roommate. Separate the information with commas (Ex. Jane Smith, janesmith@emailaddress.com, Gluten-Free). As the registrant, your information will be provided during billing and checkout.

More Information (Travel and lodging)


Antiochian Village Conference Center
140 Church Camp Trail
Bolivar, PA 15923


Thu, Nov 09, 2023  –  Sun, Nov 12, 2023

Event Package Details

Private room, 1 person, meals and sessions
This registration is for a private room and bath, all meals, and sessions for 1 person.

Shared private room, 2 people, meals and sessions
This registration is for a shared private room and bath, all meals, and sessions for 2 people.

Shared private room, 3 people, meals and sessions
This registration is for a shared private room and bath, all meals, and sessions for 3 people.

Meals and sessions only, 1 person
This registration is for daily attendance with no lodging. It includes all meals and sessions for 1 person (Fri-Sun).

*Registration costs will adjust based on Menu Selection.
**Refunds up to 30 days before the event. If room accommodations must be changed, we will not perform partial refunds or partial additional charges. All refunds will be in full, and a new registration must be purchased.


The Myrrhbearers as Mediators • Dr. Edith Humphrey

We will consider the special work of the myrrhbearing women as mediators, that is, those who “go between” by means of their loving actions. This is seen both in their desire to care for the body of the LORD on behalf of the grieving Christian community, and in their calling to tell that community the special joy of Jesus’ resurrection, that death has been overthrown! We will place their calling as mediators in the context of the gospel, where women are pictured as having this special role, and in the company of the mediating Theotokos.

Edith Mary Humphrey is the William F. Orr Professor Emerita of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and a devoted member of St. Nicholas Parish, McKees Rocks, Pittsburgh. Before coming to Pittsburgh, she lectured at several Canadian universities, serving as Dean for Augustine College, Ottawa, while also serving as music director and organist for St. George Anglican Church, Ottawa. Married to her husband Chris for 48 years, and an Orthodox convert since 2009, she is a mother of three (Orthodox) daughters and sons-in-law, and by February will have 23 grandchildren. Since her retirement in January 2021, she has continued to teach in various milieux, write, and speak frequently in Christian and academic contexts. She is the author of numerous articles and eleven books, including (most recently) Mediation and the Immediate God, and her children’s novel Beyond the White Fence. In a few months, we will see the publication of its sequel, Down the Valley, written for ages 9-15, in which six young people travel in time and space to meet the saints for whom they are named.

The Myrrhbearing Women, or How to Become an Ecclesial Person • Elissa Bjeletich Davis

Our goal, the ultimate purpose and meaning of our lives, is to live in communion with God and with one another. To do this, each of us must become an ecclesial person, a true member of the Body of Christ, filled with the vigor of eternal life. We’ll get to know the myrrhbearing women, and through them, to see the journey we must all take, through death and into abundant life. As we die to ourselves, Christ comes to us, our Holy Myrrhbearer, bringing our dusty bones to life, and inviting us into the Kingdom, now and forever and unto the ages of ages.

Elissa Bjeletich Davis hosts several popular Ancient Faith Radio podcasts: Light Streams In, Everyday Orthodox, Raising Saints, Dear Parents, You’re Not Alone (with Christian Gonzalez) and Tending the Garden of Our Hearts (with Kristina Wenger). She is the co-author of Tending the Garden of Our Hearts: Daily Lenten Meditations for Families (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019) and also of Blueprints for the Little Church: Creating an Orthodox Home (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2016), and a contributor to The Grace of Being There: Single Mother Saints in Our Lives (Park End Press, 2022) and Behold a Great Light: A Daily Devotional for the Nativity Fast through Theophany (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2023). She is the author of Welcoming the Christ Child: Family Readings for the Nativity Lent (Sebastian Press, 2017), and In God’s Hands: A Mother’s Journey through Her Infant’s Critical Illness (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2013).

Elissa directs and teaches Sunday church school at Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church in Austin, Texas, and serves as the Camp Director at Camp Emmanuel, the Metropolis of Denver Greek Orthodox summer camp in Colorado. She has contributed to several national curriculum projects, and teaches two courses at St. Athanasius Academy. Elissa serves as President of the Advisory Board of Youth Equipped to Serve (YES), a ministry of FOCUS North America. She and her husband, Chris, live in a house full of kids near Austin, Texas.

The Myrrhbearers • Mother Katherine Weston, LMHC

Abbess Katherine will reflect on the development of the virtues and the practice of music in following our Lord. Drawing on her 17-year practice of pastoral psychotherapy she will bring out the spiritual and psychological aspects of fostering hope. As a composer she will touch on the use of music, the ‘language of the soul,’ as we seek to increase in hope and to follow Christ more closely in grief and joy.

Mother Katherine Weston was brought up in the Episcopal Church and converted to the Orthodox faith in the 1980s, drawn by the beauty of the icons and the music. She has been a nun for 32 years and the superior of the St. Xenia Monastic Community in Indianapolis for most of that time. In the 1990s she was active in the fight against present-day slavery and human trafficking, but this led to a concern for the psychological trauma that may persist even after securing freedom. This led her to earn a master’s degree in counseling from a local seminary and launch a private counseling practice where she specializes in trauma-informed care.

More Information

COVID-19 Information: Currently, there are no restrictions in place.

Who's Invited: The Ancient Faith Women's Retreat is for Orthodox women who are college age and up! This is an openly, joyfully Orthodox event. You do not have to be Orthodox to attend - if you want to be there, we want you there.

Roommates: Please note that Ancient Faith is NOT able to find you a roommate. You are responsible for finding your roommate and arranging to purchase your registration together. The price listed is the total price for room, board, and sessions. It should be divided in half for two roommates and in thirds for three roommates.

Driving: There is plenty of free parking at Antiochian Village, so if you're within reach, this is a great way to come.

Airports: If you are flying in, your best bet is Pittsburgh International Airport. There is a closer, smaller airport in Latrobe, but the only carrier is Spirit. There are also Amtrak and Greyhound stations in Latrobe, which is 20 minutes from Antiochian Village.

Airport Transportation: Group transportation will be arranged to and from the airport and will be sold separately at a later date. We will email you the details when available. You are welcome to make separate arrangements, but do keep in mind that Uber and Lyft will not provide service to Antiochian Village from the airport.

What to Wear: This retreat is a come-as-you-are party! Please feel free to wear comfortable clothes. The weather will be cold, so dress accordingly, especially if you're someone who likes to go out for a walk during her free time. We will be celebrating Divine Liturgy together on Sunday morning, so please bring "church clothes" for that.

Questions: Please don't hesitate to contact Ellie Bernasol at ellie@ancientfaith.com with any questions.

We are looking forward very much to spending time with you in November!

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