The first weekend of June, 11 members and friends of Grace Church met for a weekend at the Loryann in Bakkeveen, to relax and spend time together, to get to know each other better and to share about our faith.
Derek, Josué, Maaike and myself went in a small group by bike. We met up at the Martinitoren and set off riding the quieter paths, crossing the Onlanden once again and following the quiet roads in Drenthe and Friesland. As the weather was very warm, we took it slow and steady, and arrived a couple of hours later at the Loryann. About an hour after our arrival a thunderstorm rolled over the luscious green landscape.
On Friday evening, at our arrival, Dirk and Laura welcomed us with a delicious, fresh hot meal they had prepared. After dinner and tea or coffee, we played a game to get to know each other better. It was an entertaining way to both learn more about each other and about the things we have in common at the same time. Due to the weather, the campfire was postponed to the next evening.
The next morning, after breakfast, Laura gave an interesting talk about the Holy Spirit, in which she clarified what the Holy Spirit is, and how the Holy Spirit works in various ways. Especially for those among us who are not used to much talk about this subject, she explained among other things why the Holy Spirit is important and what speaking or praying in tongues is. The talk was followed by personal time for prayer, meditation, conversation or anything else.
Most of the group joined Michelle for a walk in the woods after lunch, to enjoy the beautiful weather and talk more with each other.
For dinner time, all joined and helped prepare another delicious meal which we enjoyed together. After the kitchen was tidy again, Michelle invited us to the evening activity she had planned to teach us more about common symbols in the Bible. To begin, she had brought clay and invited each of us to model a creature that looked like it could move. The whole group took to it and some beautiful objects, like a dog, a lion, a bird, and many more were created. These objects then were the introduction about the symbols about which Michelle told us more. Later that evening, we sat around the campfire and enjoyed the summer evening.
For Sunday morning Dirk had prepared an alternative service, with songs, prayer and a short bible study which we celebrated outside on the lawn. Then the time for our last lunch together had come and after we all cleaned up our accommodation it was time to return home.
Kudos to Michelle, Laura and Dirk, for organizing a well balanced weekend, with activities, meals, time for leisure, prayer and good conversation. Well done and thank you! Thanks also to Geeske and Laura for accompanying us on their instruments. It certainly would have been less fun to sing together without the music. On Sunday the four of us rode back together. Our thanks to Maaike and Josué for joining us on a beautiful ride.
Below you can look through the photo gallery of the weekend (click any image to begin slides), with more pictures from both Derek and Josué.