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Café Chocolat promises to be inspiring event

February 14, 2014
Pierce County Tribune

Sampling fine chocolates, checking out biscotti and scone recipes, painting backdrops of French Bistros, and rehearsing drama presentations are the things the women at Calvary Church in Rugby have been busy with the last several months as they prepare for "Caf Chocolat," a women's retreat they are hosting for the Rugby community the weekend of Feb. 21-22.

Why Caf Chocolat? It might seem like an unusual name for a weekend retreat, and indeed it is, but the name reflects a theme that centers around fine chocolate (something many might consider to be one of God's best ideas) and compares it to God's extravagance toward us, His extravagant love, grace, mercy and kindness.

Following on the heels of last year's Beth Moore retreat which was attended by about 70 women, this year's event also promises to be a unique experience for those attending. According to Theresa Kifer, one of the presenters at the event: "We wanted to find a theme and teaching that would minister to women across denominations, so we chose to focus on God's goodness and grace toward us. Scripture tells us that God has lavished His love on us. Our goal is to create a sense of that extravagance, and our metaphor is chocolate!"

One special aspect of the retreat will be the sampling of handmade truffles as part of the weekend's main teaching lesson. Annie Hennen, a North Dakota native, and a chocolate scientist with Cargill, Inc., in Lancaster, Penn., is supplying the Calvary women with 400 handmade truffles. Hennen makes and sells truffles as a hobby, but also has assisted many non-profit organizations in fundraising. She is the niece of Rita Sveet, another weekend presenter.

In addition to the central teaching, women will also have breakout sessions to learn the art of arm-knitting, something relatively new that's making its debut on the arts and crafts scene, along with session choices for card-making, and quilt-tying. A corner bookstore will feature books, CDs and inspirational items from leading Christian authors at reduced prices.

The retreat begins with registration at 6:15 p.m. on Feb. 21, and concludes at 9:00 p.m. On Feb. 22, it will continue from 8:30 a.m. until approximately 3:30 p.m. Evening snacks will be provided on Friday, along with breakfast from Caf Chocolat on Saturday and a noon lunch featuring delicious homemade soups and breads, all free of charge. The retreat will be held at Calvary E. Free Church, 305 4th St. SW in Rugby, at the cost of $15, plus $3 for the craft session. Women are asked to pre-register by calling the church office at 776-5131, emailing Sarah at or registering online at

- Submitted by

Calvary E. Free Church



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