Friday, February 06, 2009

A week of Retreat

This past week Jo-Anne and I were away at Jackson's Point Conference Centre, it was the usual annual event for officers of the Ontario Great Lakes Division. To be honest and probably this is due to experience, Jackson's can be a bit boring, especially after places such as Harrison Hotsprings Resort or the Lamplighter Inn. It is a nice place, don't get me wrong, but it lacks some of the amenities, such as swimming pools, exercise rooms, or wireless internet. Apparently they lost their wifi because it was open and too many people had trojans on their computers and were unleashing all sorts of spam. At least that's what Rogers reported. But there are some ethernet access sites set up, so things aren't a total loss. I had thought of going to facebook and recording some videos, but there were problems with servers at the facebook end. That is a shame, because it could have been fun.

The guests for the week were the Territorial Leaders of Canada and Bermuda, Commissioners William and Marilyn Francis. They are a tremendously gifted couple and I think the Territory is being well served by their leadership. They both have different gift mix, which is why they work so well as a team. He's an excellent teacher and she's gifted musically. I know some people find her colourful and she is.

The overall theme was holiness and the sessions took the form of Bible Studies, consider the various scripture passages dealing with the subject. There was a discussion of different views on the subject but as a whole it was more dealing with scripture. There was one different session and that was the Thursday night. For that session, it was a study of the songs in the Songbook. It began with a study of the five songs that were written by William Booth. It sounds as if he wrote only five songs, unlike Charles Wesley, who managed to write some 5500+ hymns.

It began with a rousing rendition of O Boundless Salvation, all seven verses, with no break. It was one of the few times I was glad I didn't volunteer to be part of the band. That's a great song to play but you do need a break. He gave us the history of each song, the unique circumstances behind the composition and information about the composer. There was a good mix of Salvationist, Methodist and other denominations. I think everyone did enjoy themselves, there was a smile on everyone's face at the end of the 90 minutes.

I managed to take some photographs of the Commissioners in action:

Of course, there was a few others taking photographs:

Being February, it was cold:

As good as it was to be away, it's good to be home. The cats seem to appreciate us being back.

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