Monday, November 08, 2004

Re-entry is Tough....

So, were back now from our community retreat...., and I'm sure that many of us are feeling at least a little jolted by the abrupt return to life as usual. Being able to be together for a whole weekend sitting around the fire, laughing, sharing, walking, musing, cooking, and looking, is truly a small foretaste of what heaven must be like. I found it to be a very inspiring time, and I want to thank everyone who had a part in making it possible. Its times like these that really confirm for me our status as brothers and sisters in Christ, a spiritual family that is blessed to be a blessing.(There's More)
If I could bottle up any single stretch of time and share it with someone else as being representative of who we are, I think that this past weekend would rank right near the top of my list. Judy and Jen did an absolutely wonderful job of planning the weekend, and the more than thirty people who showed up all played an indispensable role in creating a welcoming and engaging atmosphere. And it all added up to the creation of many already treasured memories.

And of these memories there are several in particular that spark my imagination. The first was Geoff's idea to place a beautiful rainbow colored stole around Kim's neck after she was baptized. It was meant to symbolize her entrance into the priesthood of all believers, and it added a very rich, verdant, visual image to the sacrament of baptism. That was a great idea Geoff! Another great memory was seeing the unmistakably genuine emotions of Kim in response to her being baptized. It was so obvious to me that God is really working in her life, and that her baptism was truly an outward and visible sign of an inward spiritual grace. And last, but certainly not least, I thoroughly enjoyed my small role in helping to cook the Saturday night meal under the able supervision of James Walsh. James has such a dynamic gift for hosting people through ministries of food & fun (partying), and its so energizing to see him continuing to grow and develop that gift within the body. So, thanks again to everyone for making this past weekend possible-I owe you all a deep debt of gratitude for giving me a place to call home!

3 comments:

geoff said...

Agreed, Billy. It was a fantastic weekend: Kim’s baptism/ordination was a definite highlight. The stole has become a symbol of hierarchical church power so it was great to see it refilled with the power of foot-washing servanthood (the stole is said to have its origins in the towel Jesus wrapped around himself to wash the feet of the disciples). I thought the games Todd arranged for us were also a highlight – Laura Flowers affirmed her puzzle-master status in “Team 2”. Personally, I loved the landscape. I’m reading Wendell Berry’s “Jayber Crow” at the moment and it was like I had walked into the novel….right down to the farm nestled in the pinch of the Ohio River. Thanks to everyone for making it a precious part of our story.

Ps: please send me any photos from the weekend – digital (scanned) pics are best. When we have a collection I can post some here.

lisa g said...

I too agree that so much of the weekend was wonderful. One part that was really special to me was the morning breakfasts. I loved everyone rolling out of bed and gathering in the cabin. There was good, hot coffee and a warm breakfast after a night in the cold. The kids were playing and being passed around so everyone could have breakfast. It was just great to be in one room with so many people I care about!!! It kind of reminded me of Christmas mornings when I was much younger and we still travelled to spend them with my extended family. I don't think I have ever really experienced that feeling as an adult, and it is just another way that I have come to understand what a wonderful blessing it is to be part of this family.

billy said...

Lisa,

Thanks for your image of Christmas morning celebrations with your family. I was really moved by it and stirred to further reflections about our identity as brothers and sisters in Christ. I have some pretty positive memories of Christmas mornings with my family, but I'm somewhat saddened because those memories are clouded a little by the fact that there was never anybody else but my immediate family participating. And some of my best memories have to do with things that I got instead of things that we did together. But at any rate, its good to reflect upon them and I'm glad that you've guided me back in that direction. I hope that we can keep growing closer as a spiritual family.