2006 Stanford InterVarsity Graduate Student Fellowship Fall Retreat

The retreat was at a center north of San Francisco, which meant that we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge to get there.
I know there is some dirt on the windshield, but it was not my windshield.

The center was in a secluded grove high (literally) in a region known for its vineyards. This location was very conducive to the relaxed atmosphere that the InterVarsity leaders intended for the retreat. Zach and Paul can be seen relaxing on a rock in the photograph at left.

We had a talk by one of our InterVarsity staff members (Pete) and his wife Maria on Acts 3, specifically the passage that recounts Peter healing a crippled beggar by God’s power. They spoke about how God’s power had been present in their lives and how they have learned to trust him even when they feel powerless.

Also, Pete implicitly reminded us not to be prideful about our educational achievements because the apostles were mostly uneducated men. However, he said that God also values education, otherwise he would not have bothered with the Apostle Paul.

One of the highlights of the retreat was a nature walk. It reminded me that the main purposes of this trip were fellowship with each other, rest, and the enjoyment of this small piece of creation.
Even in California, the autumn leaves lose their chlorophyll and reveal beautiful colors beneath.
Our guide showed us a rather impressive collection of spiders that were resting under a small concrete slab.

Large trees were a prominent part of every IV retreat in which I participated. Here you can see the stump of a former tree, with a seated graduate student for scale.
I know this photograph is not well focused, but it still has a remarkable story to tell. The two men you see are looking in at two other students and me. The remarkable part is that they are looking into the base of the trunk of a live tree. From the charring we observed, this hollow in the trunk was apparently caused by a fire, but the tree was still alive and large enough to hold us.
This is a former vineyard on land now owned by the camp. According to our guide, it was once farmed by patients at a mental asylum!
Jonathan and Kristyn, awww….
This is Amy, and this is where she obtained the leaf used in her Canadian Princess costume.
This is sandy, and this is where she obtained her feather for her Halloween costume.

This is the final IV-Stanford group photo in which I appear. I am considering having it enlarged and framed.

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