Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall Retreat was fantastic!

This past weekend, we got together with students from all over Upstate New York for our annual Fall Getaway. I don't know how many students were there in total, but we had over 50 from Cornell with us as well as one from Ithaca College and one from Tomkins County Community College. The time there was very well spent, and I'm gonna give 5 reasons I thought it so good!

#1 FELLOWSHIP! It was so great to be able to hang out together and spend some extended time worshipping God, playing sports, eating, and sharing life. Life on Campus is so busy, and so intense, it is necessary to get off campus every now and then and just chill! We had an awesome group most of whom had never been on fall retreat with us!
#2 OUR SPEAKER! Pastor Mark Gedicks is from Windam Baptist church up in Maine. He delivered 4 powerful Gospel-centered messages to challenge, exhort and inspire us to live the "good life" that God has called us to. Mark did a great job casting vision for the kind of missional lives students should be living on campus. Additionally he was able to share his heart for this whole Northeast region -currently the most un-churched region in America!
#3 THE WEATHER! Out here in upstate New York, you can't always count on sun to go with your fun! But this weekend out on Seneca Lake the weather was awesome! On Friday night I was walking across the lawn at 2:00am in a t-shirt with no jacket on! And it's amazing how much community is fostered when you can sit outside and talk for hours with people and not have to worry about getting drenched or freezing to death!
#4 TEAM BUILDING! This year we hit the ground running with some really strong small groups. We have 8 of them going right now including one that is specifically for grad students. On Saturday afternoon we had everyone divide up into their community groups to do some team building activities related to trust, bonding and community. We used programs developed by LIFELINES which is our outdoor ministry here at Cornell. It was a big win, and certainly enabled our groups to get to know each other better.
#5 THE MUSIC! Our own Cornell Praise Band lead by Larry Lin and Sam Ramsey served as worship leaders for first half of the retreat, and the Syracuse Praise Band lead for the second half. Both bands were really good, and stewarded their talents for the blessing of others and the Glory of God!

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