Six years. It took me six years of being a member of CSF to finally go on a full Retreat. Friday to Sunday. No interruptions. Sure, I went on last year’s Retreats, but I had to leave early for work. It’s crazy to think that, after everything I’ve been through, from Spring Breaks to being Intern, it took me six years to finally go on a full Retreat
The theme was Deciduous. We wanted to focus on the idea of our physical lives being temporary, like the leaves on the trees, but our faith in Jesus will keep our spiritual lives eternal.
This retreat was in Westminster, MD, childhood home and old stomping grounds of our very own Gary Gross! Even before everything started, the retreat was a success. We expected a dozen people at best, but close to 20 people signed up! It made for a very packed house at Gary’s parents, including special guests and CSF alumni, Katy Harlan and Allison Willingham.
Friday night was travel night. It was late by the time everyone gathered together. Gary led in some worship as well as what this weekend would entail. Not gonna lie, it was really cool to go acoustic and play some of the songs we haven’t sung in a while.
Saturday was our busy day. Kerry Kunze led a devotional in the morning. Joe and Kathy prepared a scavenger hunt (which my team won) and we departed after a wonderful lunch. We split into two groups. The rest of the afternoon was spent at a couple of houses, doing our main work for the day.
One group headed to a couple’s home who are both battling and juggling medical concerns. They cleaned gutters, deck’s, and chain sawed trees to clear the driveway. I took one group to John and Dani’s. We assembled a bunk bed, power-washed, played with their 3 kids, and whatever they needed us to do. After Gary’s group joined us, John talked about some of the things he had to deal with and how his faith is helping him and his family overcome.
We left for the Fleharty’s for a mix of dinner, homemade Ziplining and down time after a hard day’s work. They shared the importance of serving and how we should persevere, even if things become discouraging. After a skit and final comments, the rest of the evening was left to hang out and play some games.
It was an amazing experience. I loved being able to get away from Morgantown and spend time with some of my closest friends. My only regret is that it took me six years to finally do so.
Ryan Butler, Intern