Catawba Students Ponder Their Vocational Callings on Life Journey Retreat
January 8, 2016
By Anna Beth Carter ’16
Students had the opportunity during the fall semester over Halloween weekend to attend the Retreat Leadership Corps' semi-annual Life Journey Retreat. The retreat was held at Catawba’s Senior Vice President and Chaplain, Dr. Kenneth Clapp’s cabin located on Gingercake Mountain in Burke County. With the theme "The Fight for Our Lives," students came together not only to share their Catawba experiences but to also talk about where each person is at in their life journey.
Students participated in a number of sessions and devotionals over the weekend. Topics discussed included things such as how students could positively impact the campus community, how to show compassion to one another, and emphasized how they could utilize their God given gifts and talents to accomplish these things. In addition to attending sessions, students also enjoyed free time in which they went to Linville Caverns, hiked, did homework, napped, and got to know each other better.
Trevor Williams, a freshman and first time Life Journey retreater, noted how he began to see the things the group was discussing come alive, specifically in activities that required students to lean on each other in order to achieve a goal. He also noted that, as discussed at length on the retreat, “God gives you life and you’ve got to rely on others for support to help you get through that life.”
Williams shared his reaction to experiencing worship on top of Hawksbill Mountain for the first time on the retreat: “You could really feel God’s presence up there on the mountain.” He described the hike as somewhat rigorous, especially since the group got up at around 5:30 a.m. in hopes of seeing the sunrise.
“The hike was a journey in itself. We did a lot of quiet time hiking up, just checking up on each other and everything. And then when we got up there we all did our own little devotions, which was really nice. The view was just amazing,” Williams said.
RLC Chairman and Life Journey Retreat veteran, Johnathon Boles, had this to say about the trip: “These retreats are really something memorable as it is a time in which students from different walks of life can share with one another in something special and to truly open up. On these retreats, we partake in sessions where we earnestly try and discern what we feel our calling and purpose in life is. Because of the diversity of individuals who go on these retreats, it enables you to potentially meet a person you otherwise may not have met.” Boles said he hoped to see many new and returning faces on RLC’s next retreat in the spring.
“I had the best time of my life on that retreat,” said Williams, “I absolutely loved it and I encourage so many people to go on it because as soon as you open up, it is a life changing experience. I wish I could do it every weekend, it was just an amazing experience.”