[March 24, 2014]The Lincoln Christian Seminary
Student Cabinet provided fellow seminarians with a weekend of
community-building during its annual retreat Feb. 21-22 at
Camp Griesheim in rural
Atlanta. Seminary students and faculty who took advantage of the
annual event found themselves immersed in a weekend of meaningful
fellowship and simplicity similar to that of the disciples awaiting
the gift of the Holy Spirit in Acts Chapter 2.
"Neal Windham (LCU professor of spiritual formation) challenged each
participant with the idea of 'practicing the presence,'" said Jon
Magnuson, event organizer and Student Cabinet president, "a gentle
pressure on the will, growing into a larger awareness of God in
every part, every season, every struggle or difficulty in our
Matthew Termeer, a Master of Divinity (Old Testament)
student, appreciated the weekend's calm pace and seclusion. "The
chance to get away had the biggest impact on me," he said.
The two-day respite from a typical weekend of errands, projects,
shopping and movies included lodging, meals, guided times of silence
and reflection, and breakout discussions. Activities, like meal
preparation, became acts of good will and service, while solitude
ranged from solo walks around the campgrounds to journaling and
prayer, or simply sitting in the camp's chapel. Everything pointed
to connecting with God.
"Often we fear bringing the messy, dark and broken parts of our
lives before God," Magnuson added. "We question God's concern for
these areas, wanting to get rid of them rather than bringing them
into His presence so they may be transformed."
Transformation happened for some in the most ordinary ways. With
little or no concern for timetables, the solitude that participants
engaged in led to times of deeper fellowship when the group
assembled for discussions.
"The most meaningful times for me were during the free time,"
said Elizabeth Humphrey, a student working toward a master's degree
in counseling. "The conversations were encouraging, and I got to
hear how God was moving in other students' lives. ... I got to know
students I would not have met in other contexts."
The retreat is a time of intentional quiet set aside each
year, offering LCU Seminary students and faculty an opportunity
to experience the rejuvenating effects of rest, silence and
solitude as a benefit to daily life.
"Silence and solitude are not practices reserved only for the
spiritually elite or monks," Magnuson said. "What if our rest
influenced our schedules rather than our schedules influencing our
rest? What would our marriages, relationships, ministries and
classrooms look like?"
Established in 1944, Lincoln Christian University's mission is to
equip Christians to serve and lead in the church, the workplace and
the world. Today, LCU offers a variety of degree programs for
undergraduate, graduate and seminary students. Classes are offered
on campus, at extension sites and online. To learn more about
Lincoln Christian Seminary, visit