Single Moms Retreat

Single Moms Retreat

Gather with single moms from across Minnesota for a weekend of biblical teaching and a time to relax, refresh, and have some fun.

Our mission is to show attendees extravagant love and encourage each woman to dream BIG dreams with God.

Join Us:

  • June 2-3, 2023
  • Lake Geneva Christian Center (Alexandria, MN)
  • Main Sessions, Multiple Breakouts & Lots of Giveaways, including Car Care, a Spa, Boutique, Library, Girls Night Out, and much more!
  • Attend, Volunteer, Invite, or Donate
  • Register (Please note: tickets are non-refundable but are transferrable.)




  • Licensed hair stylists are invited to volunteer with the SMR Salon & Spa on Friday. Email with interest in being part next year, in 2023.


  • Licensed Massage Therapists are invited to volunteer with the SMR Spa on Friday or join the event as an exhibitor. Email with interest.


  • Donate new/like-new (only!) Bibles and children’s books to be given away in the Kids Library. Email with interest.
  • Print receipt for donated merchandise.




  • Donate finances toward event costs and scholarships.
  • This event would not be possible without the generosity of individual and corporate sponsors and donors.  Email for details on sponsorship opportunities and benefits!


    • Donate a gift or gift basket for one recipient, or donate a session gift for all attendees. See our wishlist, and RSVP with what you would like to give. Donations are being accepted through May 14.
    • Print receipt for donated merchandise.


      2023 Featured Guests

      Dawna Johnson
      Jennifer Maggio - Speaker

      Jennifer Maggio is an award-winning author and speaker, whose personal journey through homelessness, abuse, and years of parenting alone led to the development of the national nonprofit, The Life of a Single Mom. At 19, Maggio was pregnant for the fourth time, living in government housing on food stamps and welfare. She shares with great openness her pain, mistakes, and journey to find hope. She ultimately became an 11-time Circle of Excellence winner in Corporate America, but left it all behind to ensure that no single mom walks alone. Over the last ten years, her ministry has served 750,000 single mothers. Maggio is author to four single parenting books, including Overwhelmed: The Life of a Single Mom. She has appeared in The New York Times, The 700 Club, Joni & Friends, Dr. James Dobson Radio, and so many more.

      Learn more at

      Rebekah Hagan - Speaker

      Rebekah Hagan is one of today`s youngest speakers on the issues of teenage pregnancy, abortion, and abortion pill reversal.

      Raised in a Christian home where abortion was never discussed, Rebekah`s life in pro-life ministry was unplanned and fueled, instead, by her firsthand experience. She became pregnant at seventeen with her son, Eli, and again with a second child while in her first year of college. 

      Feeling ashamed and fearing that she would lose her family and be forced to drop out of school, Rebekah thought that raising two children alone would be impossible. At just over seven weeks pregnant, she began a medication abortion that changed her life; however, her story did not end there.

      Her story has been shared by local and national media, as well as religious and secular organizations, including Vice News HBO, Focus On The Family, Students For Life, Live Action, Heartbeat International, Epoch Times, and World Magazine.

      A passionate advocate for grace-centered outreach, Rebekah Hagan uses her story to unravel the mindset of women in unplanned pregnancies, and to equip and encourage others to lead with hope and compassion.

      Rebekah is a graduate of William Jessup University and a Mission Advancement Officer at Heartbeat International. She and her family reside in Northern California.

      Learn more at

      Nick Gray - SMR Featured Speaker
      Nick Grey - Speaker

      Nick Grey is the lead pastor of Reach Church in Alexandria, where his wife, Reba, also serves as the Connections Pastor. Nick loves his family, is a huge Minnesota Vikings fam, and enjoys mountain biking. Raised by a single mom, he looks forward to sharing a message of hope during the Single Moms Retreat.

      Dawna Johnson
      Reba Grey - Worship Leader

      Reba Grey graduated from North Central University as a worship arts pastor in 2012. She is a mom of 3, as well as a pastor at Reach Church in Alexandria, MN, alongside her husband, Nick.

      Reba grew up as a pastor’s kid and, after experiencing a lot of hardship in the church community, has developed a heart for authenticity, health, and passion in church leadership. She desires to raise her kids with a love for Jesus and the Church. She has a passion for worship and helping people encounter the Holy Spirit through her music.

      Dawna Johnson
      TRU-SERVA - Artist

      Marcus Montana, known as TRU-SERVA to his music audience, is a passionate man whose mission is to help others find true life.

      Growing up in a single parent home in Lacombe, LA outside of New Orleans, he was forced to raise himself while his Mom worked two jobs to provide for the family. Trapped in a materialistic society he chased after self-satisfaction, experiencing a void of true love. He was left broken after a long pursuit to fill that void, until one day….

      At age 16, while TRU was at the end of his rope, drained from the emptiness of unfulfilling pleasure, he came face to face with Christ. He chose to take a spiritual step and committed to a personal relationship with Jesus.

      TRU felt a calling to use his talent of hip-hop to help change lives. From a young age, hip-hop influenced his style, language and attitude and it felt natural to use this genre of music and way of life to help reach people. Through his rap lyrics, he portrays a powerful message of the cross and of a positive change. He sees himself as an over comer and example of hope to many, where he stepped above the trap of being an African American male dead or in jail by age 25.

      A strong vision for connection is what this musician strives to accomplish each and everyday. TRU aims to make a connection between the streets and the church, saying “The walls of the church need to fall down and people need to get out of their seats and go out.” He also wants to see the connection between generations, where he can speak to both kids and adults.
      Learn more at or by following @truserva on social media.

      Kendra Roehl
      Kendra Roehl - Emcee

      An unstoppable desire to help the hurting led Kendra Roehl to become a social worker and then foster care parent of dozens and adoptive mom of three. Today, she continues to care for others as a founder of The Ruth Experience, frequent speaker and author of five books, including 100 Days of Kindness. She is a Single Moms Retreat advisor with Bridging the Gap and is excited to be returning as an event emcee.

      Mykelti Blum
      Mykelti Blum - Emcee

      Mykelti Blum is a speaker, podcaster, and founder of Heart of the Brave Ministry, which includes the Empower Hour Podcast, live messages, video devotionals, and the “Living In” women’s conference. Mykelti is also active in the Bridging the Gap community and hosts their E^3 Podcast. Mykelti loves helping women through personal reflection and building community with others. Her favorite activity is encouraging women towards pursuing their goals, dreams, and living in their purpose.

      Dolores Smith and Angie Neisinger
      Dolores Smith - Girls Night Out Emcee

      As the Emcee of the Girls Night Out, Dolores Smith understands that life’s challenges can overwhelm each one of us even on our best day. Her “glass half-full optimism” spills over into her service as a Bridging the Gap advisor and in her career as a Learning and Development manager. Dolores’ motivating passion is to bring people together to discover and embrace all the joy life has to give.

      2022 Breakouts

      2023 Details Coming Soon
      Faith Fitzgerald - SMR Breakout Speaker
      Faith Fitzgerald: Practical Career Skills and the Enneagram

      Could you use some inside advice on navigating the job search process, landing the ideal job for you, handling life on the job, or getting the most out of a career? If so, this session is for you! We will be covering seven practical career skills and tools, including the Enneagram assessment, to help you excel in the workplace.

      Faith is very passionate about helping others find careers that utilize their God-given gifts, talents, and interests. She has over 20 years of experience in Recruiting Management, Consulting, and Career Development, working in large corporations and recruiting firms, providing search services to a broad range of specialized industries. Faith is currently CEO of Fitzgerald Recruiting, a professional search and contract staffing firm. She has a BSBA in Management from the University of ND.

      Darlene Cook
      Darlene Cook - How to Strengthen Your Joy

      Many of us have experienced challenges in the last few years that have resulted in fear, isolation, depression, addictive behaviors, and more. In this workshop, you will learn tools for how to increase joy in your life, overcome negative thinking patterns, and be more relational. These tools will help you have more joy–strength to enjoy life, even in the hard seasons.

      Darlene Cook serves as the Program Director at Door of Hope Ministries where she ministers to women who have experienced trauma and abuse through support groups, individual prayer ministry, and teaching at conferences and workshops. She shares from her own experiences of loss and how she has found hope and healing through the Holy Spirit. Darlene is a mom of four adult children and grandmother of 17 grandchildren. She is a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God and is passionate to help others walk in the joy of the Lord she has experienced.

      Linda Greene
      Linda Greene - Reclaim Your Emotions

      As a previous single mom, Linda knows the mental struggles of self-worth and longing for permanent solutions but settling for temporary ones. In this workshop, you will gain tools to overcome mental battles and experience freedom by learning to master your emotions.

      Linda Greene is a lover of Jesus, a wife, and a mother to three beautiful children. She is passionate about seeing people set free and walking in the power and authority God has given them!

      Lois Breit
      Lois Breit: Breaking the Cycles of Abuse & Gaslighting

      Lois will discuss and offer resources to women who are in or have come out of an abusive situation (mental, emotional, or physical). She will help you recognize patterns and offer boundaries to protect yourself in the future. This breakout will cover the following topics:

      • What causes women to return (or be tempted to return) to an abusive situation?
      • How to break an abusive family cycle.
      • Where does your feeling of confusion, lack of confidence, or that you are going crazy come from?
      • What is “gaslighting” (a devious form of abuse)?
      • How can you recognize signs and set boundaries to avoid being “gaslighted?”

      Lois Breit is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God and works as a U.S. Missionary to Single Moms. She raised five children as a single mom and uses her life experiences to bring a message of hope and life to all women. She writes books and articles, hosts podcasts on her website, and trains church leadership to better reach their single parent community. 

      See more: or (Lois has resources available in English and Spanish.)

      Nick Gray - SMR Featured Speaker
      Nick Grey: Single Moms Raising Sons - Guiding In Spirituality, Sexuality, and Stewardship

      As the son of a single mom, Pastor Nick Grey will share some of his own story and life experiences, as well as insights into raising sons to be young men who are deeply committed to their faith in Jesus.

      Nick Grey is the lead pastor of Reach Church in Alexandria, where his wife, Reba, also serves as the Connections Pastor. Nick loves his family, is a huge Minnesota Vikings fam, and enjoys mountain biking.

      Sonja Bindert SMR Breakout Speaker
      Sonja Bindert - Understanding the Bible: Where Do I Start?

      What is the Bible, anyway? Where do I even start? The Bible can be a daunting book, but with some basic training and knowledge, you can understand God’s Word! This is no time for doubt, insecurities, or procrastination–it’s time to learn all that God wants to teach you about Him.

      Sonja is a wife of 21 years, a homeschooling mama, and a volunteer advisor for Bridging the Gap. God has used His Word, mentors, and life’s circumstances to drastically transform her heart, mind, and soul. Now, she wants to help others on their journey of discovering Him and seeing their life dramatically transformed by the power of His Holy Spirit!

      Pamela Beaudry
      Pamela Beaudry: Self Care to Soul Care

      Let’s debunk myths of self care and look at ways to incorporate self care into our lives with intentionality and accessibility. Through this session, we will also discuss how well-done self care is also soul care.

      Pamela was raised by an amazing single mom (Lois Breit). She is an ordained minister, former foster parent, and a Licensed Graduate Social Worker. Pamela is a school social worker and lives with her family in the Twin Cities.

      Lois Breit
      Lois Breit: Dating - To Run and Be Bold or to Have and to Hold

      If you’re ready to date, are thinking of dating, or are already dating . . . this breakout is designed to help you and your children navigate the dating process in ways that benefit the whole family. Lois will share tips on the importance of including your children in this decision, ways to avoid repeating past mistakes, watching for red flags (run), courage to break things off (be bold), and signs of a healthy relationship (hold).

      Lois Breit is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God and works as a U.S. Missionary to Single Moms. She raised five children as a single mom and uses her life experiences to bring a message of hope and life to all women. She writes books and articles, hosts podcasts on her website, and trains church leadership to better reach their single parent community. 

      See more: or (Lois has resources available in English and Spanish.)

      Mykelti Blum and Diane Shirk
      Mykelti Blum & Diane Shirk: Understanding Attachment and its Impact on Relationships and Parenting

      Everyone has an attachment style they developed from their childhood. Your attachment style can impact you, your relationships with others, and most importantly, your parenting. Come learn from a single mother/daughter duo why attachment is so important, what your attachment style is, and how to use this knowledge for your own self-reflection and relationships with others. We will also share fun and encouraging ideas you can use to build a strong bond with your kids!

      Mykelti is a licensed social worker and has experience working in adoption and teaching on trauma and attachment. She is a podcaster, author, speaker, and founder of Heart of the Brave Ministry. Diane is an author, freelance editor, and single mom. She encourages women to learn, self-reflect, and find healing so the past does not control your future.

      Lisa Elorriaga - SMR Workshop Speaker
      Lisa Elorriaga: Budgeting-Gaining Freedom Through Money Management
      Budgeting doesn’t need to be stressful or confining. By implementing some simple tools, we can gain freedom from our finances and even make a little room for fun. Join us for some simple principles that you can implement right away and change how you feel about money.
      Lisa is a single mom of 16 years with a college age son. She believes every challenge we overcome, when shared, can be used to encourage and heal. She is passionate about helping other single moms navigate their current situation and has learned quite a few tips along the way. She has worked in the financial services industry for 18 years with a focus on process improvement and has navigated the pressure of managing finances as a single mom.
      Sonja Bindert SMR Breakout Speaker
      Sonja Bindert - It's Time to Get Off the Merry-Go-Round of Codependency

      Do you feel like you’re going round and round in circles of dysfunctional relationships? Whether you might find yourself controlling others or being dependent on a controller, this class is for you! Join me as we unpack codependency and learn what tools we can put into practice to bring us to a healthier place.

      Sonja is a wife of 21 years, a homeschooling mama, and a volunteer advisor for Bridging the Gap. God has used His Word, mentors, and life’s circumstances to drastically transform her heart, mind, and soul. Now, she wants to help others on their journey of discovering Him and seeing their life dramatically transformed by the power of His Holy Spirit!

      Jen Thelen
      Jennifer Thelen - Painting Class: "Reclaimed" (Capacity: 25)

      Jennifer enjoys bringing women together to build connection and be creative through a hands-on sign painting class. Join her for a fun, interactive breakout session, and learn how to paint a “Reclaimed” sign that you can take with you–a reminder that you, too, are reclaimed for a purpose, and God loves you. (This class is available for 25 attendees on a first-come, first-serve basis.)

      Jennifer Thelen is a social worker and has been a single mom for the past nine years. She has two adult children, ages 20 and 22. She finds joy and beauty in all sorts of craft projects and spends a lot of her free time sharing that beauty in hand-painted signs made from reclaimed wood. She has experienced how God can reclaim our brokenness, fill us with joy, and help us see the beauty in life each day. We are reclaimed for a purpose.


      Can’t find what you’re looking for? Submit a question HERE.

      Friday Schedule

      • 1:00 pm – Registration + Car Care Check-in (Gym)
      • 1:00 pm – Free Time: Diva Boutique/Spa/Exhibitors/The Bridge Shop/Geneva Java
      • 5:30 pm – Dinner
      • 7:00 pm – Opening Celebration: Jennifer Maggio
      • 9:30 pm – Concert with TRU-SERVA + Girls Night Out Party

      Saturday Schedule

        • 7:00 am – 5K Fun Run/Rollerblade/Bike & 1 Mile Walk
        • 7:00 am – Breakfast
        • 8:15 am – Car Care Breakout
        • 9:00 am – Morning Celebration: Rebekah Hagan
        • 10:30 am – Coffee Break
        • 11:00 am – Breakout Sessions 1
        • 12:00 pm – Lunch & Free Time: Diva Boutique/Exhibitors/The Bridge Shop/Geneva Java
        • 1:30 pm – Breakout Sessions 2
        • 2:30 pm – Closing Celebration: Nick Grey
        • 4:30 pm – Car Pickup



      Car Care

      The Car Care team will be offering free safety and fluid checks for those vehicles that check in by 5:00 pm on Friday, June 2. Each driver must provide proof of insurance in her name upon checking-in her car. Please take all necessities out of your vehicle when dropping it off. You will be texted or called when your vehicle checkup is completed.


      • Volunteer with the Car Care Team
      • Learn More or promote.
      • Donate (Please be sure to add a message to allocate donation to “SMR2023.”)
      Diva Boutique

      The Diva Boutique is an SMR store with thousands of pieces of new and gently used clothing, shoes, jewelry, and accessories. Each attendee will have the opportunity to shop for free and take home a select number of items! Also stop by the SUB Shop for a free set of undergarments.

      Geneva Java

      Specialty coffees, smoothies, & more will be available for sale at the Geneva Java!

      Girls Night Out!

      Don’t miss the Girls Night Out party with music, Bingo, bonfires, pizza, rock climbing, Diva Boutique shopping, the Spa, and more!

      The Bridge Shop

      The Bridge Shop is a boutique store and located at Lake Geneva Christian Center. Operated by BTG volunteers, its purpose is to donate proceeds to one MN or international humanitarian-project annually!

      We offer beautiful and unique gifts, home décor, jewelry, accessories, and more!

      Stop by between 10:00 am-5:00 pm or 9:30-11:00 pm on Friday and 10:00 am-5:00 pm on Saturday.

      1 Mile Walk or 5K Run/Rollerblade/Bike

      Join us bright and early on Saturday to exercise with new friends!


      The SMR Spa–offered by Willmar AG–includes free nail painting, foot soaks, hand massages, and more! We know you’re going to love this area!

      Audio/Video Archives

      Single Moms Resources

      Single Moms Facebook Group

      Thank You, 2022 Sponsors

      Email us to learn about sponsorship opportunities.

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