Friday, March 5, 2010

Moments of Silence

I recently spent a lovely weekend out of town at Bethany's annual Lenten Retreat. St. Malo's Retreat Center was close enough to feel as though you didn't spend all your time traveling, and far enough away to feel as though you could leave all your cares and concerns behind. The silence in the mountains was incredible - something I long to find in the hustle and bustle of my life. To be honest, I'm still having a hard time adjusting to being back in town.
St. Malo Retreat Center - Allenspark, CO
(near Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park)

Close to 40 members of our congregation attended this Retreat - some having come for over 15+ years! Candles, nametags, and hymnbooks - one of our first worship times together.

Pr Ron reading THE Good Book (the Bible). The Good Book (Gomes) was one of the key books we used to explore how we as Lutherans read the Bible. A helpful resource in starting the conversation. Other texts included: Christ in Culture (Niebuhr), Bake and Be Blessed (Garrimone), and Have a Little Faith (Albom). I was reading round the clock to prepare for this Retreat!

The colors of the entire center were vibrant
and inviting. We played outdoors for hours.

The fresh snowfall from the evening before
made everything absolutely picturesque.

The view from the balcony.
I loved being able to see the Chapel.

I was fascinated with the massive icicles.


The Statue of Christ, overlooking the Chapel.

Ron and Anada, hand in hand
during our afternoon quiet time.

I love this picture for many reasons: finding this kind of beauty in February is just a gift in and of itself, I somehow captured a falling drop of water (right side of photo), and the rays from above are just, well, heavenly!

Can you tell the time spent outdoors was wonderful?
Those hours made my soul burst with joy!

You are never too old to make a snowman...

Taizé evening worship: simply put, it's a worship service that can be thought of as one, long prayer. It involves thoughtful, repetitive music, and moments of silence. Again, something I don't get a lot of in my day-to-day life, and something I've learned I crave.

A moment in the candlelight...

Our artists in residence, Griff and Marion. Marion had brought along a flip-book of all her paintings - amusing creations, full of puns and clever ideas. She told the story behind each one of them in a completely deadpan manner! We were in tears! I hope to be able to help her scan her artwork in for future presentations, and will certainly upload the link!

From the reverent to the ridiculous: a game of Guesstures around the fireplace. Michelle is trying her very best to get us to guess PILOT. We were able to piece together AIRPLANE and DRIVER...but apparently PILOT was too challenging for us at 10pm!

Pr Ruth Ann leading one of many caring conversations throughout the weekend. I was so proud to be part of a group of such thoughtful, respectful adults. We were able to disagree with kind intent and figure out how to move forward on many issues. It was one of those weekends that challenged you to support and explore exactly what you believe. Powerful.

I love this photo of Sue Ann, deep in thought.
This is a woman who lives and breathes her faith.

Faith Formers, the first half....

...Faith Formers, the second half.

Soaking up the whole experience.


Ann Herrell said...

Wow, Bren–you really captured your experience beautifully, both in words and in pictures! You are becoming quite the excellent photographer–you have the "eye" for it. Literally. :-) I'm so happy you have such great opportunities for spiritual growth. What a blessing!

Amanda Fullan said...

This looks fantastic, Brenda! Thank you for sharing all of those beautiful pictures. Just looking at them makes me feel peaceful--I can only imagine how being there would. I agree with your friend, Ann--you are really an excellent photographer.