Renewal, Imagination and Action in the mountains with Chapman University Students

February 20, 2024

For you shall go out in joy
    and be led back in peace;the mountains and the hills before you
    shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. ~
Isaiah 55:12

Chapman University Students gathered in the San Bernardino Mountains at Camp Loch Leven last weekend.  Together the students and staff found 

Good rest 
Deep connections
Creative collaboration
Inspired action 

I was inspired not only by the snow covered mountains and the incredible Pine and Oak trees but also by the creativity and leadership offered by the young women who designed and led the retreat.  The Disciple Leadership Board made space for worship, community building, planned and improvised playfulness, artistic expression, healthy meals and nighttime hikes. Together we explored how to care for the Earth and be more resilient in the face of a changing climate. The conversations and wisdom spilled out well beyond the organized time into meal conversations, evening chats and impassioned discussions about philosophy, theology, storytelling, colonialism, oppression and the Church’s role in being a healing presence in a broken world.

Many thanks to David the musician and mafia maestro  to Kari and Nancy for offering logistical and pastoral leadership and to Keith, Kortni, and Cuca for kindly providing meals that nourished body and soul.


Resources we explored included:

Sacred Wonder– Nature Lectio Divina

Discerning your Joy in Justice work– Venn Diagram with wisdom from Frederick Buechner, Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and the Japanese concept of Ikigai.

Holy Imagination with support from Rob Hopkins