Sunday, June 5, 2011

ICAP 2011: The Importance of Place

I am inspired by he life of Francis of Assisi. I particularly like how he struggled with being in the world while wanting to be alone with God. His compromise was to faith as a verb in the world, to live the Gospel Life. However, to do this effectively he had to regularly retreat to places and spaces where he could be alone with his God. The places he visited were conducive to contemplation. Green Lake Conference Center and the ICAP conference were superb at taking place and space into consideration. This made the conference a pilgrimage for those who sought it.

There was corporate worship every morning and evening. There were plenty of opportunities to be with others, at workshops, meals, exploring the grounds together.These places brought people together with one another. Climbing the tower with Alicia and Doug exemplified this. The wonderful dining hall overlooking Green Lake reflected the use of place to bring people together.

ICAP 2011: Green Lake Dining Hall and View

However, the ICAP Leadership Team was aware that for many this would be a time of not only study but of internal exploration. That required time for prayer. To this end they created a number of prayer rooms. Those along with the Spurgeon Chapel and the Outdoor Chapel made time alone with God easy to secure. They also were aware that the topics studied and the internal journey may at times bring up powerful feelings, memories and reactions. Therefore they made sure there were counselors available each day of the conference. The counselors were kept busy and the prayer rooms were rarely empty. People took their journeys seriously.

ICAP 2011: A Place to Pray

Perhaps my favorite spot to be away from others and with God was the trail by Green Lake that lead to the Outdoor Chapel. The trail had plagues that were memorials to important American Baptist Association leaders. There were pavilions, stone benches and wonderful vistas. The chapel was simple in its construction and looked out toward the lake. This was a peaceful place to spend time with a generous Creator. The ICAP Leadership Team knew what they were doing!

ICAP 2011: Outdoor Chapel

No comments: