This weekend July 28-30, I participated in our church's junior youth retreat in a country location about an hour and a half to two hours Northwest of our church. It was a great weekend with good kids and adults who know how to have both fun and learning.
This is a group picture of the junior youth displaying a tribute they composed for our associate pastor who is an integral part of our church's youth program.
Saturday afternoon, we went swimming, tubing, and paddleboating in the lake below our large cabin. To the left on the picture, you can see just a small part of a long water slide that ends in the lake. I will be posting more pictures of this and other activities in later posts. The water slide is a highlight of the weekend.
There are a number of free times during the weekend for the youth. In this picture, the youth are playing Apples to Apples. Other free time activities included volleyball, carpet ball, and much more. There also were a number of organized recreational activities that will be featured in another post.
During the weekend, we also had Bible studies on the topic of truth. In each of the Bible studies, there was both large group and small group times. The picture above was one of the small groups from Friday evening working at listing things that were true for everybody in their small group.
Early Saturday morning was fishing time. Some came down to fish and some came down just to enjoy the early morning quiet.
And of course no weekend retreat is complete without it's delicious food. The picture is that of Saturday lunch of taco salad and soft shell.
Tuesday afternoon when I was hiking along and near the Tohickon Creek in Plumstead and Tinicum Townships, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, I encountered a number of different kinds of mushrooms. Mushrooms fascinate me; but unfortunately my other priorities prevent me from identifying their names. Nevertheless I enjoy their colors and shapes and perhaps many of you will be able to do so likewise. If you know their identities, please feel free to share that in the comment section. And maybe we all can learn just a bit more together.
The Tohickon Creek area over in Plumstead and Tinicum Townships, Bucks County, Pennsylvania is almost like holy land and God's country to me. I have many good memories there from childhood on up. It is a place I return to when I need solace and when celebration is in order. I was there yesterday.
At this precise location in Ralph Stover State Park along the Tohickon Creek, I remember many a summertime family swim and picnic. Coming here for a swim and a picnic was a frequent Saturday evening activity. I also remember bringing a New York City Fresh Air child hosted by our family here for a swim. He could not enjoy it as well as us though because he wasn't use to the sharp rocks and stones like us. Of course in the summertime we always went barefoot on the home farm so our feet were tough.
At one place not far from the creek are these rolling meadows. This picture was taken from just inside the edge of a woods looking out. In this transition zone, one can hear and see many birds especially in the morning or evenings.
Here's the path going along the creek's edge.
Here I'm in the woods with a deer in the background.
Bikemovement is a group of Mennonite young adults biking coast to coast across the United States from July 10 through August 25 this summer. Through this ride, they plan to engage in a bridge building dialogue about their perspectives and vision for the church. To further this dialogue, they will be stopping for conversations with the people of a number of churches along the way. A part of their vision is for the church to transition from institution to movement.
Were I just a bit younger (I'm in my upper forties), I would want to be riding with them. Also as a part of this ride, Bikemovement is seeking to raise $50,000 to enable youth from the global South to attend the 2009 Global Youth Summit at Mennonite World Conference in Paraguay. The goal of this fundraising is to enable the youth of the global South to share their vision for the international church. More about that later. For now enjoy the pictures and comments below.
Here is the Bikemovement team picture just before they begin the venture from the Oregon Pacific shore line.
Here's the team consulting a map along the way.
A team picture on the road in Oregon
Hospitality enjoyed along the way in Idaho
Group time - sharing personal life stories
Conversation with Hyde Park Mennonite Fellowship in Idaho
Sun over an Idaho river
For those who want to learn more, do visit the Bikemovement web site. There among other things are an interactive Bikemovement team journal, a forum for general discussion, a large and growing photo album, and instructions for donating to their Global Youth Summit project.
All pictures on this post were used with the permission of Bikemovement. They are a small sample of what is in their online photo album.
Boy, I wish I was with them! :) The adventure, the mission, the dialogue, the team building, the outdoors.
Below are some more photos from my July 4th morning hike at Peace Valley Park near Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Nature has such diversity as this post will continue to show. It is this diversity that helps to make nature and this park so fascinating to me.
After church today, I stopped at Mom and Dad's for dinner and an afternoon of playing table games. Dinner was good - chicken patties, cooked potatoes, vegetable, and homemade applesauce for the main course with apple tart and banana pudding for dessert. The first game we played after dinner was Upwards. Dad won. And after that we played Rummykub which I won just barely. Below are two pictures from the Upwards game.
In the above photo, Mom and Dad are pondering possible word plays. Dad's right arm is resting on the old Scrabble dictionary from which we find words that we would never think of or we find that what we thought was an acronym is actually accepted as a word on a rare occasion. The picture below was taken just before the last word was played. Words can intersect with other words up to five squares high and the higher the letter square the more points one earns.
My main blog: Ramblings generally focuses on telling a story via photography and words. These stories generally center around family, nature, and church although sometimes just about life in general. I also have a blog entitled Fingerprints. I post less frequently in Fingerprints. It serves as a catch all of anything that does not go in my Ramblings blog including memes, quizzes, and reports on books and movies.
The road awaits
The road beckons
Time steps forward
Will we move
In step with time?
Will we step forward
Shaping our time?
Will we take time
To see the present?
Will we explore the past
And understand our heritage?
Will we laugh?
Will we wonder?
Will we touch?
Will we feel?
Time flies on
We have choices
Shall we go fast?
Shall we go slow?
We shall go forward
But we will choose the pace
We may dance with all our heart
Or bathe ourselves in a setting sun