Saturday, April 7, 2018

Create in Me Report: Day 1

This year is the first year that I've ever blogged from the Create in Me retreat.  In the past, the Internet connection has been more trouble than it's been worth to me, and most years I didn't have/bring a laptop.  I'm also posting more to Facebook this year, which is appropriate, since I'm the social media coordinator for this retreat.

Later, I'll reflect on whether or not this connectivity is something I want to continue.  I have been good at not staying online any longer than necessary to post to the retreat's Facebook pages.  I don't want to drive 12 hours just to stare at a computer screen.

I'd miss a good retreat if I did that.  My friend who came with me for the first time is having a good time too, and that's important to me.  Let me write a few comments about the first day.

We have a great Bible study leader in Kevin Strickland.  He's younger than I am, but we went to the same undergraduate school, Newberry College, and he was a counselor at Lutheridge, where the retreat is happening.  He's gone on the be one of the Bishop's assistants, at the office for the whole Lutheran church (of the ELCA variety).

We're enjoying a wide variety of creative activities, from the traditional (decorating eggs with wax and dye) to the non-traditional (making ornaments out of magnolia pods and beads and ribbons).  I often find it almost too overwhelming on the first day, and this year is no exception.  But others have jumped right in, and I'm happy to see the Faith Center buzzing with activity.

I feel some ownership of this retreat, even though I didn't help plan it much.  Some years, I've driven to the planning retreat in the fall.  One year I tried to Skype in.  Last year, I couldn't do a thing, because the group was meeting just as Hurricane Irma came ashore.  This year, I might try to make it in person.

But I digress.  Back to yesterday.  We finished the day by having a great worship service.  We usually hold it in the chapel, but I'm glad that we didn't yesterday.  It's cold and wet here, and the chapel is very open to the elements.  Yesterday, we held the service in the dining hall, which had its advantages and disadvantages.

I liked most of it, but it was strange to commune each other around the table, instead of coming to the altar as we usually do.  But it worked.  Kevin Strickland delivered a sermon that made me miss my grandmother, who, like Kevin's grandmother, had a magical fridge that was always full of great food, like something out of Narnia, as he put it (the metaphor doesn't work if you think about the wardrobe from Narnia strictly, but it works as an imaginative symbol).

We finished the service, and some folks turned in for the night, while others went to the Faith Center for one last chance to eat and work on craft projects.

It's been a great retreat so far, and we've got a full day ahead.  I am looking forward to it!

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