Monday, June 27, 2011

Reformed Conference in Virginia

Well, last week we three Cunningham kids, our cousin Gabe, and several people from our church spent a good portion of the week up in Bluefield, Virginia for the annual Reformed Family Bible Conference. It was an amazing trip, and next year we're hoping we can go again... as an entire family this time.

On Tuesday, we three, Gabe, Bethany G., and Joseph and Leila B. got up early for breakfast and to get the car packed. It was weird to have us packing it up and then telling Mom good-bye because for years I've been so used to Dad packing the van and then everyone leaving. After getting in our caravan, we began driving north. We took the scenic route to Virginia, going through South Carolina, then North Carolina to Tennessee and then finally to Virginia. We spent about seven, eight hours driving (including a few breaks), and we arrived in the town of Bluefield that afternoon. Bluefield is literally right on the border of West Virginia, and later we would actually cross the state line on our way home. The entire Appalachian region is absolutely gorgeous, and I wouldn't mind at all living somewhere in that area.

Because I was a last-minute addition, there was a bit of a fiasco over where I would be staying. However, we finally solved it, and I shared a room with Evi F. We got the AC dorms while Mandy, Bethany, and a few others were in the non-AC dorms; thankfully, the weather would remain nice all week so those without AC weren't miserable. After unpacking, it was soon time for dinner at 5 PM. In the past, I'd heard horror stories about the food served at the conference, and I was fully expecting to spend the entire week without food; however, God was merciful in that the food was edible, not great but enough to keep you from starving; everyone agreed that the food was much better this year, even if the portions were tiny.

On Tuesday night, we had our first hour-long lecture from one of the pastors in the denomination. Between Wednesday and Friday, there were three lectures a day, two in the morning and then one at night. The lectures this year were on the book of Ephesians and centered around Christ and the church. They were all excellent and very relevant to the times we live in. It made me very thankful that we have such good, faithful pastors who still preach God's Word and not rely on entertainment to do it.

When there were no lectures, there was plenty of other things to do. Several of the nerds played nerf gun war, many guys and a few girls played ultimate frisbee, but most of the time people sat around various places on the campus and socialized. On Tuesday evening, a Gospel group from further south gave a concert in the chapel; on Wednesday afternoon, Judy Rogers, who is the wife of one of the pastors, gave a concert; on Thursday afternoon, several of the young musicians and singers got together and did a little concert, which was excellent. A few people at any time of the day could be seen playing an instrument on campus, and we even had a talented bagpipe player one day. Several people also danced throughout the week, particularly the Salty Dog Rag, and it was largely for practice for Friday. On Friday evening, after the last lecture, everyone gathered in the Dome (the campus' gym) for the dance. The place was filled, and people danced the Pattycake Polka, the Virginia Reel (a fun dance), Postie's Jig (very entertaining to watch people leap around and try not to hit each other), and several others.

It was an amazing time to meet other people from other churches in the denominations and to make new friends. The one downside is that the entire week was quite exhausting, given the busy days, excellent lectures, late nights, and early mornings. By Friday, it was clear that sleep deprivation was beginning to set in, and several people were tired before the evening dance began. Most of us spent the trip home sleeping (except Mandy and Joseph who goofed off in front of the camera and did some rather bizarre and strange things, as evidenced by Mandy's pictures).

It was an amazing trip, and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. Everyone's already beginning to think of next year's conference, and we're hoping that Mom and Dad will be able to join us next time.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Busy Summer

It's been a busy summer thus far. Between Six Flags trips, camping trips with the family, and other social events, we've sure been kept on our toes. Last week we went to a recital for a young baritone at our church, and we spent most of that week cooking in preparation for the event. The week of Memorial Day, we spent a few days camping with the family at Vogul State Park; we had a good time, and I've posted pictures up on facebook.

And things are only going to continue to get busier. Today, Christie's coming over so we can try to compose music for some song lyrics that I've written. Tomorrow, we're going over to some friends' house for dinner and fellowship. On Monday, there will be something like a large party starting in the afternoon and lasting until sometime Tuesday. Let me explain; every year, the RPCUS (the denomination our church belongs to) holds an annual family conference in Virginia. Mandy's been twice before, but this year Seth and I will also be going (I was a last-minute addition). Several young adults are carpooling with us up to Virginia, and so some of them will be spending the night with us on Monday so we can leave early on Tuesday morning. I'm really excited about going, as this will be my first time. I'm bringing my camera, so hopefully I'll get some good pictures. And, over the rest of the summer, we've got other events like a family vacation to Florida and a possible second camping trip with the church family.

So, yeah, it's been pretty busy around here. As of now, I have not had much success on the job front, most likely because I have no experience in retail. I've applied at some places, but I haven't had the time to apply at others. I will try to start looking again after the Virginia conference. Keep me in your prayers as I continue to look and also as I begin to wonder about my calling and what the Lord wants me to do for His kingdom.