This past weekend was a break “from the world”, in that I got to experience the spring retreat for my college ministry, “Growing in God’s Grace”. I’ve been at this church for the past four years, and I really wanted to participate in the retreat, but never had the time, or had conflicting schedules – but this Spring I made sure that I would be able to go and spend some time with my friends from the Mainline campus, as well as those from the University City campus.
We stayed in New Jersey at the Harvey Cedars Bible Conference Center, which stood on the edge of the waterfront, which was beautiful… it might’ve been even better if the weather were, say, 20-30 degrees warmer, but no complaints! A 2 hour bus ride from school got us there around 8:30 PM, where we dropped off our things and immediately headed into the evening session of our retreat. Our guest pastor was Victor Kim from the Remnant Church in New York, and boy, was he funny! After a fulfilling 3 hours, we were teamed up with our small groups, with whom we would spend a lot of time debriefing the sessions afterwards over food.
Saturday was crazy in that we woke up at 7 AM (yikes! haven’t been up that early for anything except for class…) and headed down to the conference room for our morning session… lunch followed and the afternoon session went from being 3 hours, to 4…to 5! Dinner was served and then we headed back for our evening session which went from 7 PM to 2 in the morning! During these sessions, Pastor Victor spoke to us about themes and concerns important to college students, including time management, prioritizing as well as being bold in our quest to enrich our faith as college students on campus. It was really refreshing to listen to and learn about these things, especially as a student trying to juggle lots of different extracurriculars and school work here at Bryn Mawr.
Sunday morning service took place and we had some time afterwards just to say our goodbyes to our small group and other students from the different campuses. Church has been a great part of my school life here at Bryn Mawr in that it helped me find a group of girls pursuing similar interests and lifestyles, as well as provided a way to connect with students from surrounding schools like Villanova, Penn and Haverford. It’s nice that Bryn Mawr is such a liberal school that has outlets for so many different beliefs, interests and hobbies and I believe that’s why it was a lot easier to find such a great fit of a church early on. It would’ve been a lot harder if there wasn’t intervarsity, or GCC at the Fall Frolic of my freshman year…
So this past weekend, I did grow in God’s grace, but I also realized a couple of other things. I’m a senior, and every small group meeting (Wednesdays, 7 PM!), Friday fellowship and Sunday that I have left are going to be precious and time well spent. I should take advantage of the time I have left and really work hard to develop the friendships and mentorships that i’ve cultivated thus far, and ultimately… I just hope to spend as much time with my friends from GCC Mainline until… dare i say it, graduation in May (eeeep!)
Until Next Time!