This weekend, I'm up at Samish Island in the Puget Sound, near Bellingham WA, for my fourth and probably final Young Adult retreat. I wasn't planning to go either last year or this year, but last year, the Young Adult Formation Specialist for the world church (our term for the Community of Christ organization at large) was the guest minister and I definitely wanted to meet her. I envision forming what I call NOYA (Network of Young Adults) within the church, but it needs a lot of work to get this thing off the ground.
This year, I wasn't planning to go because of the financial burden I'm under after experiencing four major financial setbacks this year, but when Sean announced that Orphans Africa, a non-profit organization founded by church members in Washington, would provide the guest ministry, how could I say no to that? Africa represents one of my areas of interest...and since I had one of my most profound spiritual experiences in Africa fifteen years ago, I wanted to honour that and attend. In fact, I consider the event of my being robbed at knifepoint fifteen years ago to be my "rebirth", as I measure my life from that moment forward (I haven't been doing too well, though).
I've written this post before I left for Samish Island, so details will be posted next week. I was tasked with the morning worship service on Saturday morning. This is my opportunity to play a Johnny Clegg song with appropriate lyrics (I'm hoping to play both "Africa Rising" and "Great Heart"). Hopefully, it will go over well.
Samish is probably one of the best church campgrounds I've ever been to (though I tend to like most of the ones I've seen). Hopefully, the weather will be warm enough for me to reconnect with God under the stars, like I did on the balcony at Crooked River Ranch, Oregon over Labour Day Weekend. Samish is also the place where I made a huge mistake two years ago, which I won't write about on my blog. Maybe something really good will happen this year. But each year I've gone, I have enjoyed them. I will hold on to that feeling this time, fully with the expectation that this might be my last one that I attend.
Oh...and if you're reading this, Sean...please pick a theme or ministers I'm not interested in next year so I won't be tempted to reneg on my desire not to attend next year. Something along the lines of a "revival meeting" or "rebuking Satan" or "speaking in tongues." That'll keep me away!
You're probably wondering why I would not want to come if I enjoyed the previous three years. I'm not making sense. Well...all good things eventually come to an end. Besides, next year, I really hope to be in a much better work situation...like overseas. I won't rule out not going, but at this point, it looks highly unlikely.
This year, though, its all about the cute orphan children in Africa.