Well, we are back safely, and it was an interesting weekend. I had forgotten just how smothering and irritating it can be to be completely surrounded by Devout Christians who have all the answers, and if they don't, well, they want you to think they do. I'm not talking about the College, no, they were great. I'm talking about the other parents that were there for this particular weekend that we had to spend the entire time with. Wow. Talk about Christianese, and the need to be perceived as spiritual and having it all together. And then, to top that off, to totally brag about how wonderful their children were. Blech. Not everyone was like this of course, and we met some wonderful parents and children. Especially a cool mom and son from Naperville. But some parents don't seem to know how to converse or relate to others without centering everything on their child and his or her accomplishments. Is that the only commonality they can find? And, if not that, conversation after conversation about fundamental, evangelical, one-way-only-to-do-things Christianity. Just who were they, these parents, trying to impress anyway? Hey! It's NOT about you! It made me all the more grateful for my family, and my church family.
Interestingly, Carissa found much the same with the other kids. In group discussion there were the typical "give 'em a Bible and all will be well" answers. I've got the answer that your looking for answers. Superiority. Degrees of Christianity. Again - blech. But she did find kids of the same mindset, with well thought out individual answers, not parroting a pastor or youth leader. These kids she connected with and you could see it in their faces.
The college itself is wonderful. Very similar values to our church. It was founded on missional and social justice issues. It has room for discussion, spiritual formation, questions and doubts. It meets you where you are on the journey. And it encourages you to develop into the thinking, incarnational person God wants you to be.
We watched a clip from Little Miss Sunshine in chapel, and they discussed the movie. Cool. Uh-Oh, was there a bad word in there? ;) Very cool. Very relevant.
Every time I go back to this college I feel like it is a safe home for my child. One that won't stifle her, but allow her to grow as just the person she is, the person God created her to be.
Despite the "Christians"......
We again were fortunate enough to see a play. Quilters was the story of women as they faced hardships and challenges of life. It dealt with life, death, illness, tragedy, abortion, tornadoes, prairie fires, friendships - and so much more. (One of the authors is Molly Newman who is a television writer and producer most known for work on shows such as The Larry Sanders Show, Northern Exposure and Brothers & Sisters. She was nominated for Broadway's 1985 Tony Award as Best Book (Musical) with collaborator Barbara Damashek for "Quilters.")
They did an excellent job. It was refreshing to see a play with a healthy take on the woman of the prairies....
The day was long, and very full, but very enlightening.
Saturday we picked up Jen and headed into Boston. It was FREEZING! Non the less we walked the first half of the Freedom Trail - backwards, but that was the best way to go for us. We tried a new Starbucks flavor, Jen bought a city mug, we laughed and had a blast in Build A Bear - Carissa was making a birthday gift for Brad. A brown bear in a lobster costume with a cheesy Happy Birthday Song built in, named GORDON. After that we walked to Old North Church and visited there for a while. Then we piled back into the car and headed for Rockport. Ocean, clam chowder, walking, and visiting our old artist friend Corey Tevin, who had some excellent new pieces of art that I would have loved. Mike, and Julie, Jen thinks you would really like this shop.....
We went in to Gloucester to the Fisherman's Memorial. Jenn has all the pix from this trip - I did not take a camera..... In Gloucester we found a gorgeous chocolate Lab who was lost. Jen and Carissa caught it and tried to call it's owner. He wasn't home. We don't know the town, so the address did us no good. As they stood and puzzled about what to do a lady pulled up and offered to help. They first tried calling the police, who were less that helpful - "Let the dog run" ...IN TRAFFIC? So she put the dog in her car. After finding the street we needed was up past the fi-uh bahn (um, that's fire barn, Jen) and we all weaved through town trying to locate "Jake's" home. We finally found it, delivered Jake home safely - thanked by the owner, and having had an adventure in Gloucester. LOL.
We reward ourselves with a seafood dinner at Gloucester House. Lobster, calamari, scallops, shrimp, clams.......YUM!
We had a good weekend. Good conversation in the car, in the airport, on the plane. We got some reading done, and learned new things from experiences and new people. We remembered where we came from, glad for who were are now, and thankful for our church, and our VC family. And Jen learned more about herself, and Agape. But for that, you'll have to ask her.... :)