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October 7, 2008

Community is Beautiful

Every year, the staff of our church gets together for a planning retreat. This time is not only to plan out the direction of the church for the next year or so and also just to spend some time encouraging each other. We started out just having some fun playing Mario Kart Wii and went out to Table in the Wilderness where we would end up staying the night. That first night was such and awesome experience, and doesn't happen nearly often enough among the staff. We all took turns just sharing our stories of how we can to Christ and what our journey has looked like. Then after dinner, we had a foot washing ceremony. Each of us took turns washing the feet of the person next to us. As you washed, you are supposed to speak affirming words about that person and then everyone else takes turns sharing about that person.

   I have to say that sitting there and listening to people say nice things about you is extremely difficult.  It's the whole struggle that most people have with the idea of grace.  It is so much easier to give someone grace than to receive it.  It was an awesome experience.  The second day, we spent time talking about our church as a whole and identifying our strengths and weaknesses and determining how we are going to handle them.  We also shared individual ministry goals and I'm very excited to see if we can accomplish some of my vision over the next year.  To finish off the day, we went all around Laramie praying for people, businesses and anything else that could be bathed in prayer.  

   Anyone who has spent more than five minutes at Emmaus will hear about the importance of community.  It's so easy to listen to when you live it, and so difficult when you don't get it.  Weekends like this really help me know that I am all about this!  We don't just talk about it and tell people to do things we aren't living out in our own lives.  This is just one example.  Below are some pictures of that night.  I hope you have the chance to share beautiful community with people you care about.