18 November 2008

Alpha Retreat teaser

I just returned from the Alpha Course weekend retreat which focused on the Holy Spirit. The retreat took place at a bible camp near Bancroft , Ontario , and a little over 40 of us from the Alpha Course attended. I’ll have a full report later (after I post about day 7), but for now I’ll give you a little summary of how it went down.

1) Discussions. The whole weekend was full of video sermons and discussions all focusing on one thing: the Holy Spirit. Holy crap, did I get sick of them going on and on about this piece of theological fluff.

2) Manifestations of the Holy Spirit (eg. Speaking in tongues). Sadly lacking.

3) Food. I kept hearing about how “amazing” the food was going to be from those who had gone to these retreats in previous years. While the food turned out to be okay, pretty good at times, it was far from amazing.

4) Accommodation. Accommodations were surprisingly good for a camp, kind of like a low-end but clean hotel. At least it was for couples and single women. Single men got old, dirty, cramped rooms that smelled like my grandfather’s cottage.

5) Free Time Activities. The camp had a pretty decent gym with ping pong, basketball, and floor hockey. In the rec floor hockey league than my wife and I play in, we’re both solid but not outstanding players. Compared to the inexperienced and not particularly athletic Alpha Course clientele attending the camp, we were like hockey gods. GODS, I say.

That’s about it. It was only a so-so weekend, with good people, okay food, and kind of boring and inconsequential discussions.

Oh, I also got into a giant (verbal) fight with a church elder, but I’m sure none of you would care to hear about that ;-)

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At November 18, 2008 7:53 a.m., Blogger Carlo said...

Why?!?!? Why are you putting yourself through voluntary torture? I don't know if I'd have the mental fortitude to put up with even an hour of this crap let alone a whole weekend...

At November 18, 2008 9:44 a.m., Blogger Eamon Knight said...

Done more than enough time at religious retreats over the years. You couldn't pay me enough to sacrifice one of my precious weekends to another one. (Well, maybe if the sum was enough to mean Instant Retirement In Comfort, but not otherwise).

At November 18, 2008 2:06 p.m., Blogger Deacon Barry said...

I am enjoying your series on the course. If ever there was an `above and beyond the call of duty,' this is it.

At November 18, 2008 3:13 p.m., Anonymous Karen said...

Now, get back to your computer and tell us about the fight!

At November 18, 2008 10:21 p.m., Blogger Carlo said...

Umm... Tag!

At November 19, 2008 6:40 p.m., Blogger King Aardvark said...

Sure I'm putting myself through voluntary torture, but it's not unprecidented. Pooflinger's Anonymous had his Hovind Files, you even did a book review on Case for a Creator. All I'm doing is actually meeting them face-to-face instead of in book or blog form. Still, the weekend was a bit much, and I really worried about whether or not I should go.

Eamon, I would never go again. Unless you paid me at least my yearly salary up front.

Thanks, deacon barry. I appreciate it.

Karen, I'm working on it. Give it time. There's a lot to talk about.

At November 20, 2008 7:06 p.m., Blogger TheBrummell said...

Yes, there was the Hovind files, and yes, Carlo has read some truly awful stuff. But both of them could take breaks; at a weekend retreat, you're stuck with the same people for 48 straight hours.

At least your wife came with you. She must have provided some relief for you.

I agree with Deacon Barry. Good stuff, thanks for putting this up.

At November 21, 2008 12:19 a.m., Blogger King Aardvark said...

Thanks, Brummell. Your thanks is thanks enough.

It was bad for the weekend. It wasn't quite 48 hours, more like 40. And there were breaks. It was with the same people, but some of them gave the religion a rest for a few hours.


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