Once upon a time last year, we debuted the GCF worship band :
After a year and a circuitous path taken ...
... and perhaps another circuitous route taken this year as well ...
... the worship band shuffled around, gained some new faces and retired other ones, developed diversity across schools, and adopted version 2 in this year's grad retreat back at Toah Nipi :
Lesson? Great is God's faithfulness! I will snatch a verse shared by one of the other band members, that encapsulates the joint effort well:
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:12
11 of us, (literally and figuratively) under the leadership of the man friend, were enabled by a common Spirit to find time and practice together, harmonize and blend, listen for each other's melodious (and occasionally discordant) sounds, rehearse 3 worship sets, and even simply get along as brothers and sisters. I was personally thankful for the opportunity to experience God's joy through worship with such gifted musicians, and amazed at the limitless grace given even when our practice time was short or when logistics didn't coast out as planned. It was also humbling to have to surrender: surrender my role as worship leader to those equally or likely more competent, surrender the need to be needed, surrender perfection... among other things.
But in return, the gifts given far outweighed and surpassed any prior expectations. :]
Outside of worship, the retreat was satisfying - not physically restful, but a good time spent gaining insights into the woman at the well, canoeing on the cool water while singing Disney songs at the top of our lungs, hiking in literal loops and circles to Massachusetts and back (and getting minimally whipped in the face with stray branches), laughing hysterically at absurdities during a rowdy game of Psychiatrist, and eating delicious foods made by willing hands ...
... which are are among my favorite things :
good fellowship, good food, good praise+worship, all in the great outdoors of Creation (with ample crunchy leaves underfoot!).