As a seminarian from The New England Synod in Region 7, I had the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to this triennial WELCA retreat and won it. This was an excellent retreat on many levels. It came at a time when I desperately felt the need to get away and rest. I didn't even bring any homework with me!!
This is the only retreat I've ever been to, where we were told from the very beginning that it wasn't necessary to attend everything. Not only was there built in time to do as we wished, but we were encouraged to walk outside, take a nap, whatever we needed to do. That was different.
Worship and fellowship were wonderful at Mt. St. Alphonse in Esopus, NY. The retreat center overlooks the Hudson River. The picture at the right was the view from my room.
The keynote speaker, Sr. Anne Bryan Smollin, author, nun, counselor etc., was a hoot. She got her point across with wonderful humor. We were dying from laughter when she spoke. Other speakers and presenters were wonderful as well. We prayed, laughed, and cried together this weekend. It was so amazing.
And what did we take home from this? Not only were old friendships renewed and new ones made, but it was so vividly demonstrated to us what a teaching tool well done humor can be. If we all had God's joy bubbling up through our lives, people couldn't stay away from our churches.