Monday, September 26, 2016
Going to The School
I'm still trying to process everything.
Upon arrival, we delved right into it all. Sixty-eight people getting to know each other a bit while doing their best to absorb an incredible amount of information and trying not to be distracted by the beauty of the lake on the other side of the windows. Evening prayer ended our time together until the next day.
That first night, we went to bed after just a taste of what was to come. Falling asleep to the sound of waves lapping the shores of Lake Ossipee, I was excited for the day ahead.
Waking at 4:30AM and unable to get back to sleep, I lay awake praying about the day ahead and many other things. As the sun hinted its appearance, I made my way outside to take in the glory of a Lake Ossipee sunrise. The magnificence of the unfolding dawn anticipated the richness of the day to come.
Briefly retreating from the chilly morning air to slip on some socks and wrap myself in a blanket, I returned to my Adirondack chair perch and some wonderful conversation with fellow early risers.
Walking to breakfast, a bit of anxiety grew about the tasks ahead. Would I find this all too challenging considering my health issues and memory problems? Would I be able to find a study group to join that would work with my schedule? Was I taking on too much?
Sitting down at a big round table for breakfast, my friend Suzanne and I introduced ourselves to the others dining with us. The usual where-are-you-froms and what-church-do-you-attends led us to find that we were all from the same basic geographical area, close enough to perhaps form a study group. We shared a meal and great conversation and planned to talk more that evening.
Weeks later, I'm still trying to process the rest of the day, which consisted of morning prayer, learning sessions, bathroom breaks, lunch, more learning, some getting to know the people at our tables, more learning, and a break before dinner. During that break, we signed up as a group with our friends from breakfast. No more worries about that aspect of being a student in the New England Synod School of Lay Ministry!
Sitting aboard the pontoon boat, my mind reeled with the beauty of the people with whom I had spent the last twenty-four hours, of the water and surroundings, and of the shared faith which brought us all together to expand our understanding.
Dinner was followed by yet another opportunity to learn and share with each other. Evening Prayer closed the day for some, while others made our way to a campfire by the Conference Center, where stories and laughter abounded. I sank into bed that night thoroughly exhausted in the best possible way.
Rain greeted us on our final morning at Camp Calumet. Just one more conversation-filled breakfast, a final wrap-up session, and we were on our way to worship and then home. As I drove, I found it difficult to converse, so many reflections on the past forty-eight hours sparking in my head. I gave thanks for the weekend, the place, the people, and for this opportunity to grow in knowledge and in faith.
My heart is on fire for the year of Biblical study that awaits during my first year of the School!