The Seven Rivers District Laity met at Lazy F Camp & Retreat Center to discuss difference facets of truth. This event was held on March 4-6, 2016.
Seven Rivers District Laity:
Walking Together in Truth
By Karen Fisher | Photos by Scott Klepach, Jr., David Reinholz, et. al.
Taking inspiration from the Wisdom scriptures, the Seven Rivers District laity gathered together at Lazy F Camp (Ellensburg, Wash.) on March 4-6, 2016 to explore truth: the concept of truth, personal truth, biblical truth, and truth in community.
We explored truth as a currency using the Rev. Dr. Eric Law’s book, “Holy Currencies”. According to Law, “Jesus’ life is the way to follow and the life to live, in order for us to be the truth. Truth is a way of being – a journey, a process, a spirituality, a relationship with God through Christ, a way to see the world as God sees it, and a way that leads to action to restore the blessings that flow from God to all.”
The retreat began Friday evening with “Discerning Truth” presented by Sue Magrath of Leavenworth UMC. We talked about wisdom, truths that stand in opposition, truth claims, and core convictions versus opinions. We watched a TED talk called “The Danger of a Single Story” about how single stories create stereotypes. Sue introduced “Listen”, a song that we would sing throughout the weekend:
Listen to the Word that God has spoken
Listen to the One who is close at hand
Listen to the Word that began Creation
Listen even if you don’t understand
June Darling leads a session on “Personal Truth” at the Seven Rivers District Laity gathering.
On Saturday morning, we moved to “Personal Truth” presented by June and John Darling, from Cashmere UMC. This session focused on the question, “How do we take personal truth out into the world as a blessing?”
Saturday afternoon’s presentation was Biblical Truth. Mitzi Casey, from Wesley UMC, and Larry Gorley, from Goldendale UMC, led the discussion centered on honoring everyone’s perspective.
The topic on Sunday morning was “Truth in Community”, led by myself. We talked about communities and the dynamics of those that make up our communities.
We ended the retreat with worship and communion that included an interactive sermon led by District Superintendent the Rev. Juli Reinholz. We were divided into pairs, given a parable and asked, “What is God calling us to do?” and “Who is our community?”
Our sessions included personal, silent, reflective time, as well as, group interaction and sharing. We had free time, game time, community time and ended each night with evening prayer. We made new friends, reconnected with others, found quiet time for renewal, and learned.
Many found inspiration…as shown in the following reflection, prayer and poem:
I stand at the bridge
Overlooking the rushing waters at Lazy F Camp
I cannot stop the stream from flowing.
If I face it head-on, it still rushes against me
And keeps on going
If I face the direction of its flow,
It will continue on
Whether I stand there, follow it, or leave the water entirely
Remains of snow fight the changing season
The snow isn’t smooth, but contains dips and pockets
Like each of us
With a multitude of features
What if we explored all of those pockets?
What would we find before the snow melts
And gives way to the next season?
In my prayer I traversed the paths,
My feet leading me back through the dining lodge,
Questions like streams rushing
When I opened the door to go outside again
Kaya, the camp dog, was there to greet me.
There, in her presence and greeting
An unexpectedly sweet, silent, and temporary companion,
I found the beginning an answer to a prayer
That is yet unfolding.
Another participant found a Muslim prayer that spoke to God’s continued presence in her life during especially difficult times. It affirmed that no matter who we are, or what we have been through…God knows our hearts.
I thank you Lord, for knowing me better than I know myself,
And for letting me know myself better than others know me.
Make me, I ask you then, better than others know me.
Make me, I ask you then, better than they suppose,
And forgive me for what they do not know.
-From “Thanks Be to God”, by Pauline Baynes
Meditation on the Body of Christ – 1 Corinthians 12:13
What have you seen that I have not seen?
Where have you traveled that I have not been?
What music did you hear when I heard only silence?
What language did your lips speak that still remains a mystery to me?
You have climbed mountains and gazed at the distant view.
Perhaps you know what lies beyond the next turn in this road.
You have survived hardship that I only know to fear.
You have stood on the brink of death, and beyond.
I need companions to help me find the way; to find sustenance, shelter, and rest.
We need one another to be healthy and whole.
We are alike, and we are different.
We can learn from one another, and serve one another.
We will celebrate the differences that make us whole together;
“…until we feast together at that heavenly banquet.”