BY LISA ELLISON
Renew, a six-week women’s holistic health event held twice a year in Morgantown, returns Tueday to Kingdom Evangelical Methodist Church, 540 Fairmont Road, Westover.
The Renew retreat will host girls and women through Nov. 21, with a different speaker each week.
Sessions will be 6:30-8 p.m. each Tuesday.
Denise Tonkin is the founder and facilitator of Renew, a program of The Way, through The Source Foundation.
Although registration has closed for this fall retreat, Tonkin, invites additional registrants.
She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and by text or call to 304-612-8860.
Another retreat will be in the spring.
Tonkin holds several credentials, including LPC, MBA, ALPS, and CMHIMP. She was born in northern Canada, but moved to West Virginia as a child. Tonkin grew “a passionate love for the mountains,” she said.
She has a bachelor’s in psychology, and continued with a master’s degree in counseling. She became a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in two years, before adding a master’s in business administration (MBA) in 2012.
Tonkin has served the community for more than two decades in diverse capacities. These efforts have included faith-based services such as preaching and discipleship for Canadian missions, crisis work, clinical management, military work and multiple program developments in the local area, she explained.
In 2015, she was moved to “leave the corporate arena and open her own practice,” Tonkin said. She became a licensing supervisor for newly graduated therapists in 2016. She then began to focus on clinical counseling and biblical discipleship for girls and women and continues this today. Tonkin described a “deep longing to empower girls and women to see how beautiful and truly loved they are — finding healing and freedom to thrive.”
She has focused services on the “whole self’ since 2020.After many years of not feeling her best, she pursued “natural medicine.” The results were so profound in her own life that she pursued this professionally and became a certified integrative medicine provider for mental health.
She lives in her “house in the woods” with her husband and daughter.
Renew aims to empower women within their God-given identity first, then towards a life of wellness, community and thriving so they can fulfill their unique purpose, she said.
“Girls and women of all ages are welcome to attend the retreat with Renew. We have seen women of all walks of life as a part of Renew, anywhere from ages 10 and up. The largest part of the population is probably around age 21-50,” she said.
What began in 2021 with 35 attendees is now hosting more than 275 for the retreat, and she said, “we hope to continue to see it grow. We have seen a steady upward growth with no definitive difference in spring/fall registration numbers.”
The scheduled speakers are:
- Week 1: Stephanie Solomon
- Week 2: Marion Moreland
- Week 3: Lesley Cain
- Week 4: Jadyn Davis
- Week 5: Natalie Bailey
- Week 6: Tonkin
Tonkin described each speaker:
- Solomon “is a powerful woman of God who has a deep desire to see women find their identity in God, and be set free from the burdens and bondage of life. Her heart for others shines through everywhere that she goes.”
- Moreland “is an incredibly skilled licensed counselor and spiritual director who has been in the field for many years. She directs retreats across the country and has shared the stage with nationally known speakers. She desires to see women connect within themselves and helps them find the courage to find joy, again.”
- Cain is “a refreshing, beautiful and successful medical provider and senior officer for WV Caring, Hospice and Palliative Care who encourages women daily to be who they are in Christ. Cain embraces life as it comes and trusts in God first, to live from a place of joy and peace.”
- Davis is a senior nursing student at WVU and Tonkin said, “Davis is a powerful woman of God who desires to help others become free and truly thrive in their own lives. Her effervescent spirit and love for others shines through dynamically on a daily basis.”
- Bailey is “a top, nationally known fitness and health coach. She loves the Lord and she loves people. She aims to help others reach true breakthroughs in their lives and fulfill their dreams and calling.
Tonkin and the other speakers want to “intertwine holistic wellness with Christian faith because we believe God is the center of all that we do. He is our creator, our breath and ultimately, He is our purpose. As we seek to be whole in our wellness, we can then genuinely fulfill the unique purpose God has placed for each of our lives.”