Scott’s Column: Glad to Have a Village
Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
September 23 2019
According to Wikipedia, “‘It takes a village to raise a child’ is an African proverb that means that an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment.” Michael and I are so glad we have a village to help raise our son Sebastian.
Never is that more evident than at the All Church Retreat, where a whole range of folks interacted with our son–watching out for him, playing with him, educating him, correcting him, talking to him, working with him, and giving him too many cookies. I’m sure the other parents would say something similar. Our congregation has long valued intergenerational relationships and intentionally works to support them, with this retreat being one of the hallmarks.
This year we tried something new with the retreat, moving it from April to September, and it appears that the move was successful. We had one of the largest turnouts ever, packing the cabins with folks and dogs who stayed the entire weekend, and filling up the lodge on Saturday and Friday night with all the day trippers.
Our leadership team planned a fun series of activities and presentations around the theme “What’s Your Superpower?” From drawing comics to making superhero capes to crafting pottery bowls and a drum workshop, Saturday had many fun activities.
The big change to September also meant much better, warmer weather, particularly compared with the April 2018 Snow Retreat! So participants had fun exploring the offerings of Platte River State Park with many of the amenities like paddle boats, fishing, and the nature center open. You could also hike and play in the creek and waterfall.
The park naturalist gave a special presentation to our group that involved letting people handle a fox snake. Only later did it dawn on me, “We went on a church retreat and handled snakes.” Oh my.
Many of our kids and youth fished for the first time as part of the park’s fishing basics clinic.
Saturday evening before dinner we have long enjoyed the egg drop. This year a zip line and drum roll were added, which increased the fun, as some egg-carrying vessels smashed into the deck railing and others were flung from the zip line, crashing to the ground below.
The two refugee families we have sponsored attended the retreat on Saturday, with the kids especially having a lot fun. Our event, that has long been intergenerational, is now also more international and interfaith.
On Sunday morning, our worship centered around the story of David & Goliath and how we face “the giants” in our lives. Adam Steffen volunteered to play Goliath in a reenactment where our youngest kids got to be David, throwing their (soft) “stones” at the giant, to the delight of all.
So, thank you church, for being our son’s village. He/we had a wonderful weekend.