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Embrace: Women’s Event

Life is messy, beautiful, complicated, and wonderful. Join us for a day to embrace our lives, our stories, our creativity, our health, our communities, and our faith. The day will include a great keynote speaker, live music, incredible workshops, and hope-filled messages. We look forward to everyone leaving feeling inspired, connected, and loved.


Email Kristin if you have any questions!

Regular Pricing: $60 | Registration closes Aug 22nd

Childcare and lunch are included in the cost of the ticket.

We are offering discounted pricing for volunteers and scholarships upon request. You can sign up here to volunteer the day before or the day of the event. If you have questions about either, please email Kristin Steed.


We will have two sessions of workshops throughout the day. Below you will see the details for each option. You’ll have the opportunity to attend one workshop per session.  You will submit your choices during online registration. Should you have any other questions please email us.




Danielle was born in South Korea and immigrated to the States when she was 14 years old. She was raised in Deer Park, TX and went to UT Dallas to study Biology. After college, Danielle served as a secondary Science educator at inner city schools while pursuing her M. Div. degree at Perkins School of Theology. She is the author of “The Sanctuary for Lent 2022,” and one of the contributors for devotionals, “Living Gratitude” and “All the Good Devotions for the Season.” She currently serves as the Associate Minister of Adult Discipleship at Custer Road UMC in Plano, TX. She is married to David, and they have a dachshund mix dog, Methuselah, Thusie for short.


Stefani is an avid reader of fiction and enjoys indoor cycling whenever she can refrain from turning the next page of her book. She can be found preaching in our modern worship service on Sunday mornings while her 2-year-old runs around the congregation. Stefani has a special passion for United Methodist polity and women of the Bible.


Pastor of Adult Discipleship at Christ United loves a great cup of coffee, Parks, and Recreation, making people laugh, and having people over in her home for a meal that Scott prepares. More than anything, Raegan loves being with her family and raising three incredible kids, Andie Jane, Jude and Morgan Mac with Scott.



EMBRACE JUSTICE – Rev. Holly Bandel, Associate Pastor at First UMC Dallas (more info to come)

EMBRACE CREATIVITY – Karyl Patredis is a Modern Pastoral Intern at Grace Avenue UMC and a student at Perkins Theological Seminary. Only behind God, her family, and all of God’s people, is her love of crafts! She is an avid Cricut-er and seamstress. She enjoys making clothes, cards, and gifts, and tinkering with embroidery. Karyl finds so much joy in taking her love of Christ’s creative spirit and translating it into stress-relieving works of art for people to construct and enjoy. 

EMBRACE MENTAL HEALTH – Christy Doering is a long-time Christ United member who has worked in mental health for more than 10 years. After years of working as a social worker in acute inpatient psychiatric settings, she opened her private practice in 2017 and specializes in maternal mental health, parenting, grief, and trauma. 

EMBRACE SPIRITUAL DIRECTION – Diana Wright is a consulting psychologist, spiritual director, and current student at Perkins School of Theology. As a member of Christ United Methodist for over twenty years, she has taught adult Sunday School classes, led bible studies, and taken the speaker role for a past women’s retreat. Diana brings a passion for helping others strengthen their relationship with God through a variety of spiritual practices. For interest in spiritual direction, she can be contacted at diana@unearthinggrace.com.

EMBRACE SCRIPTURE – Laura Hudec has enjoyed teaching Latin in the Dallas area for 25 years, presently starting as a new teacher at Jesuit this month. A proud Baylor Bear, she also has a graduate degree in Classical Languages from UD and is presently studying towards a Master’s degree in Theological Studies at SMU-Perkins. She has been a part of the CUMC-Plano family since 1986, and was confirmed, married, and baptized both her children here. You can find her, her husband, Jay, and her two boys, JD and Austin, in the church hallways regularly, and Laura proudly serves on the Worship Committee, in the Music Ministry, and in the Assisted Living Ministry communities.  She also serves as laity on the North Texas Conference Delegation for General Conference and Jurisdictional Conferences, and is happy to engage in conversations about her hope for the future of the UMC.  

EMBRACE SELF-AWARENESS – Barbara Petsel LPC, FT, RN, CDWF is nationally board certified in counseling and thanatology (grief and end-of-life issues). She has worked as a counselor, workshop provider, consultant, head nurse, and group facilitator. In 2019 she retired from her private counseling practice. Her past experiences include facilitating cancer support groups and grief groups for Cancer Support Community, facilitating grief groups at hospitals and churches, personal growth groups for REACH (nonprofit for disabled adults), and Personal Growth Groups, and providing workshops for professionals as well as for lay organizations. She states that her faith, belief in resiliency, the opportunity of listening to personal stories, and her ability to laugh at herself have given her fertile ground for her own personal growth and working with others.  

EMBRACE SEXUAL HEALTH – Cheryl Bishop, Family Ministries Director at First UMC Richardson (more info to come)

EMBRACE LIFE’S SECOND HALF – Christie Varner, well known, experienced, and respected Bible Study leader in Plano (more info to come)