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A Spirit of Rejuvenation: The Religion Department Retreat

Bradley D. Gienger, religion major, October 7, 2009
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On occasion there is a banner hung in the Pacific Union College Church that reads "Where Nature and Revelation Unite." That sentiment was experienced in depth at the 2009 Religion Department Retreat to PUC's Albion Field Station.

Each year the faculty and students of the religion department stuff their collective necessities into the old college bus and make the drive to the beautiful Albion campus. This year's retreat was an example of what can happen when breathtaking scenery and a spirit of worship and fellowship combine into one wonderful weekend.

Upon arriving at the Field Station, jaws hit the ground over the extensive renovation that has been done on the campus. The cabins are completely redone, finished with fine tile and all the necessary facilities. The lab building has been converted into a very attractive meeting center. What outshines it all is the beautiful flora and fauna that seems to be almost bursting to proclaim the wonders of a marvelous creator.

Friday evening, the participants had a great time getting to know the new members of the small department over dinner and a relaxing evening talking around a bonfire. For Sabbath School the next day, the group joined in the annual tradition of Bible Bowl, an uproarious and competitive Bible Trivia game. Everyone was separated into teams and thoroughly tested by some of PUCs greatest theologians on, for instance, how many times the number 40 is mentioned in the Bible. Saturday night offered an assortment of physical games that more often than not left everyone holding their sides from laughter.

The second word for the weekend would be "rejuvenation" - more specifically, spiritual rejuvenation. Three older students in the department gave stirring messages encouraging the group to cultivate weakness, to focus on God's way, and to cultivate a life of personal spirituality. The group joined together for times of praise, worship, and prayer.

The retreat left attendees feeling ready for a new school year, filled up with the purpose and love of Jesus Christ. They were blessed with nature, with worship, and with fellowship. It seems right to say "God showed up" - who could ask for more?