There's a weekend in September when some of my congregation (about 60 folks) go up north. This year we went to Two Harbors and hiked the surrounding trails, ending the weekend with worship by the lake. Even though it rained all the trip up on Friday, we had a dry, cool day hiking and beautiful weather for the service: the rain stopped just before it started and the sun came out during the prayers.
I didn't really hike that much -- I went with the moms with young children. There was one baby, 1 pre-k, and two kindergartners. So we rather ambled, had a lengthy lunch, much time by the lake, and a lot of opportunity to take pictures.
So I'll post several grouping of my photos: the many of Theo by the lake, the artsy lake ones, a few color ones. I have many, many of my church folks but I won't post them in this public place.
It was a good weekend. My kids love this trip. There is hardly anything better for them than being at a hotel with friends, playing in the pool, being surrounded by adults who care for them for several days. Kelly remarked one morning as we all negotiated breakfast, "Our kids are really comfortable with everyone here." It's a good thing. Zane didn't even hike with us -- he negotiated his way into another group, and when Stacey said she'd look after him I knew she would, even down to not letting him get wet at the end of it all. Kelly went with John and Joyce and a large group for a longer hike. And I toodled around with the small ones.
And worship was good. I like informal worship in various settings with lots of group participation, and this was the right situation for it. We shared prayers in a circle, shared our experiences with the sky (riffing off of "the heavens are telling the glory of God,") and shared communion. The wind held off, the rain had stopped, and the sun came out just in the middle of the prayers.
It's good to remember that the body of Christ doesn't necessarily live in a building, all the time.