aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Well, I'm back

-- as Sam Gamgee remarked. Back from the 2017 Indiana UM Scouting Retreat. It was a blessed event. Two weeks ago, we were riding the White Knuckle Express, wondering if there would be any participants. We fretted that this might turn out to be a leadership retreat for the Usual Suspects (the staff for the event). But, No; within a day of our nervous conversations, the registrations started to come in. In the end, we had 35 official participants (including the staff). That made a nice-sized event, especially since we hadn't done anything like this for a long time.

And they came from all over the Conference: DeMotte, up in the Region; Fort Wayne; Carmel; Cicero; Indianapolis; Richmond; Franklin; Bloomington; Evansville. Not only that, but three of the non-staff participants were full-time clergy, who all arranged for someone else to fill their pulpits today so they could spend the whole weekend learning about Scouting ministry alongside the Scouts and leaders from their congregation.

Impact 2818, the Conference camping organization, knocked themselves out for us. They brought in paid staff to run the adventure events. They worked closely and helpfully with us on facilities and budget issues. And they intend to keep working with us. The Indiana UM Pathfinder, our NAUMS chapter, was essential to pulling off the event, providing leadership and funding and organizational support.

We did ministry training and spiritual growth workshops for youth and adults. We did crafts and sang songs and put on a campfire. I did my best to overwhelm everybody with the very best food I know how to cook in stonking great quantities. (Hey, "food is love," remember?) We prayed and did devotions and worship. Curt Hurley, our Conference Coordinator of Scouting Ministries, presided at the table for holy communion this morning.

A first glance at the evaluations showed a lot of excited and helpful comments. Many folks want to keep doing things like this, and several of the participants want to help. So, we're already trying to get something on the calendar for next year. We got a thing going here.

I'm exhausted and beat up past all further usefulness today. But my soul rejoices itself in the Lord. We done good. And now I think I'll take my nap, please.

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