Winter Retreat 2015 Post-Retreat Reflections

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From Heather, Grade 12

Why have just one Valentine we you could have 36?

The high school ministry had a great time over this past weekend at Ligonier Camp and Conference Center. The Storm Family grew even closer to each other and to God, if only by huddling to keep warm.

The weekend’s speaker was Ligonier’s director, Patrick Myers, who kept us energized and intentional about our identity before Christ. Throughout the sessions we were challenged by the real questions: How am I living for God? What am I idolizing? What can I do to better discern God’s will? Through guided quiet times and meditations throughout the weekend, we were all given space consider these points, pray, and refuel spiritually. Even while everyone was on their own, a sense of community filled the spaces where the group settled.

When we weren’t listening or praying, we were out in the beautiful and timely snow, taking full advantage of Ligonier’s beautiful property. Highlights from the trip include intense street hockey matches, furtive games of outdoor laser-tag, and moonlit runs down the sled hill. When it was time to warm up, dance-offs and card games waited inside and continued into the night. The weekend was the perfect chance to come together in faith and fellowship with members of our Storm community; I’m sure everyone would repeat it in a heartbeat.

From Morgan, Grade 10

I cannot tell a lie; after spending the three weeks preceding the Storm winter retreat out of town, I was not looking forward to the five hour bus ride to Ligonier Camp and Conference Center, nor the negative two degree weather, nor the lack of sleep, nor…well really anything that a Storm winter retreat entails. But, perhaps thankfully, this was not a typical winter retreat.

In a lot of ways, Joe and the Ligonier team gave me everything I really needed– namely, relaxation. Sometimes these retreats are jam packed with activity after activity, making them almost as stressful as your daily schedule. But this retreat was simple, pure: dance parties, arts and crafts, s’mores, outdoor laser tag, cheap Valentines cards, sledding under the stars.We were given extended periods of time in guided prayer, devotion, and meditation, and we were given the opportunity to revisit some of the most seemingly basic aspects of our faith. We fed our personal spirit, along with our sense of community.I came back from the retreat feeling like my relationship with the Storm Family and the Lord had been renewed. Can we go back soon?