More than a week has passed since returning from the Higher Things conference in Illinois. After regrouping at home for Sunday worship and a voters' meeting to follow (yeah!), I packed up again and headed off to Nashotah House for my two week intensives. A separate post will follow on that subject. Before moving on to my Nashotah experiences this year, it seems appropriate to wrap up my reflections on Higher Things first. As noted in the previous post, my impressions for a first time attendee were positive overall. I extend my commendations and gratitude to the hardworking staff of pastors and laypeople who managed to pull off what can only prove at times to be a logistical nightmare. Yet the reward of seeing so many young people engaged in God's Word and participating fully in the liturgy more than compensates. For the record they handled the predictable glitches with competence and kept the program running in smooth fashion the whole week. Lord willing I will see many of you next year at the conference in Missouri. To those I connected with, it was was a pleasure to meet new friends and renew the friendships of old acquaintances. Thank you for a great week of good Lutheran relaxation!
What follows are a few pictures I managed to take before leaving. The first shows the group gathered for one of the plenary sessions (mass gatherings held each day.) It was truly impressive to see so many youth together to take in good Lutheran theology!
The next picture, although a bit blurry (my apologies), shows the youth gathered for one of the many worship services. Attendees had the opportunity to attend Matins, Evening Prayer and Vespers every day. Compline was to be handled by individual groups in their dorms. Imagine youth worshiping three or four times a day - and with traditional liturgy and hymns!
The last two pictures simply show the dorm where I and my son stayed that week. We were on the 15th floor of a 16 floor skyscraper. I didn't know dorms came in these gargantuan sizes. Since waiting for the two operating elevators could take a while, I sometimes descended on foot all the way to the ground level. Feeling rather ambitious I also tried to ascend all 15. I made it as far as floor 6. A massive coronary did not seem a good enough reason to push it....
The room I shared with my son was small but comfortable. Looking at the city from that height provided a rare view. Thankfully the air conditioning worked well - at times too well! I believe that the temperature went down as low as 63 or 64 degrees!