As some know, I recently wrote a post about the importance of Kanuga, an Episcopalian Conference Center, up in Hendersonville, NC. Over this Labor Day weekend, my church was up there for a Parish Weekend. Kanuga was a stunning lake, trails to hike, outdoor chapels, and a feeling of peace. It is where I first saw God: that is how special it is. I had to take two days off just because Gardner Webb had class on Labor Day so going to Kanuga this Labor Day weekend for the Parish Weekend was extra special. You can either stay at the inn, a cottage, or a guest house.
My family stayed up in one of the Guest Houses, which was odd to me at first. Usually my family stays in one of the cottages, but this time it was a Guest House. The Guest House is much more in the woods. You do not just stay with your own family. You end up staying with others. The Guest Houses are much better than I thought. It was enjoyable being surrounded by nature all the time.
The Parish Weekends always have a particular program planned plus free period. The free period is where you are free to do what you what. In the free period, there is also planned things, but you can choose the activity.
1st day: Songs sang: “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High”, “Sanctuary”. We did some outdoor activities and art. I ended up doing some archery and walked a little bit of a labyrinth. In terms of art, everyone played with alcohol ink. Everyone had to do a small tile, which will be put together at church to form a mosaic, which will be hung somewhere at church. There is one project where we put the ink on a rectangle shape and, it was lit on fire (well that one, got lost, the one I did, but I loved doing it anyway). That same day, I did a bigger square tile, and the one I did looks like rainbow feather.
Later that night, the church participated in Square Dancing: it is amazing how much exercising Square Dancing is: it is so much fun. As a matter of fact at Perry Pavilion, where the Square Dance took place, I saw a phrase called “The Bog”. Guess what “The Bog” was inspired me for: a location in Graysloup: it is going to be a location for My Fairy Frogs and Toads Story. We ended the day with a nearby outdoor chapel with compline.
2nd day (that is the full day): After breakfast, we had our Eucharist at Kanuga Lakeside Chapel. This is special. We got to have it outside and while sitting down, you look out and you see the lake, which is called Daisy Lake and you see a White Cross. The Band is a Blue Grass. It is special this kind of service: I mean how often can you do Eucharist outside? After lunch, was our Free Time. My dad and I were in charge of leading the hike. We choose Long Rocks, which is moderate, it is both flat and steep, it is flat in some areas and steeper in others. The group was about 24 or so. The best hikes are the ones with a view. I can never imagine going to a Parish Weekend without the hike. We did the hike just in time because like one or two hikes after, it started after. Afterwards, I made one more of those tiles, which was inspired by “Phantom of the Opera”: I made that one for a friend, whose favorite musical is “Phantom of the Opera”.
After dinner, it was time for the Hoco Late Show. We sang first: “Servant Song” and “Dance Then Wherever You May Be”. The HoCo Late Show: a skit, jokes, this or not: they put lines up and we had to between a group decide is it from the Bible or is it is a Shakespeare line, challenged the vestry to our rector.
3rd day (more like half of half of day): We had a short little service.
The songs, “Lord I Lift Your Name on High”, “Servant Song”, “Sanctuary”, “Dance Then Where You May Be” were all songs I first sang in my earliest Parish Weekends at this same church. Then at some point, the singing somewhat stopped. So it was nice being able to sing them. The Parish Weekends are a wonderful way for fellowship, to relax, to have a feeling of peace, and to connect.