by Rev. Dr. Jerry Troyer
ANTN Board President
It seems like every year, we say that “this year’s ANTN Retreat was the best ever.” But at the risk of repeating myself, the 2023 Retreat really was the best yet! Many of us are still in the afterglow, after an amazing week of inspiration, connection, music, reconnection, and just plain fun. My heartfelt thanks to the Retreat Team, Board of Directors, volunteers and everyone else involved in creating such an extraordinary experience.
In addition to receiving the wisdom and insight of our Keynote and Power Talk presenters and musicians, Monday night we continued our tradition of giving back to the Kansas City community. We met the Executive Director and two students from The Sewing Labs, an inclusive and welcoming organization teaching the legacy of sewing for employment, entrepreneurship and enrichment. (Thanks to Rev. Dr. Martha Creek for the suggestion!)
When their worlds came crashing down in the mid-2000’s Lonnie Vanderslice and Kelly Wilson pulled out their high school sewing machines and fell back on a skill they learned at an early age - sewing. With a great deal of work and creative planning, they ultimately built an award-winning soft furnishing manufacturing company in Kansas City named Weave Gotcha Covered! It's a social enterprise located in the urban core, which provides employment opportunities for economically challenged women.
Believing others could use the power of a sewing machine to create economic freedom, they founded The Sewing Labs in 2016 as a 501(c)3.
Thanks to your generosity, ANTN has donated $1,500 to The Sewing Labs.
It’s not too early to begin making plans to attend next year’s Retreat! We’re back at Unity Village, October 7-11. Visit our website for more information and to enjoy early bird discounts!