This past week, Danni and I got to attend the National Campus Minister’s Planning Conference and we bring you greetings from beautiful Boulder, Colorado. About 30 Campus ministers and some spouses attended a three day planning conference where we discussed the state of campus ministries around the country, planned for the ICMC and in general, encouraged each other to grow in our ministry and personal lives. I can’t tell you what a blessing it was to attend a meeting with a group of leaders who are passionate about taking the campus ministry work around the country higher. There are times when the spiritual tank of inspiration gets low and we need additional sources of inspiration. Fortunately, we are a part of a unified Kingdom where inspiration, input and discipling flow freely. I don’t exactly know how it happened, but I left Seattle a bit discouraged and came back refreshed. Maybe it was a change in altitude, or perhaps it was a change in attitude.
Danni and I got to spend time with two of our best friends, Troy and Kim Criss from Gainesville Florida. We exchanged Christmas presents with them and I have to admit, Danni and I came out the winners: We gave them coffee and smoked salmon, they gave us Florida Gators gear. Thanks Troy and Kim for your love and friendship, go Gators! We also got to hear inspiring messages from some of the different campus leaders around the Kingdom. Danni and I were inspired to dream big dreams again, and to be courageous enough to pray desperate prayers to God again. Most importantly, we heard from Mike Taliaferro, who challenged us to find a balance with our personal lives and enjoy marriage and raising our children. I want to thank all the brothers and sisters who shared their hearts to inspire the leaders. We are truly blessed to have this great Kingdom.
On the second day of the conference, I got a special treat, and that was Ryan Flynn arrived. As you know, Ryan was hired as the campus minster at Colorado University in Boulder. Boulder is the perfect place for him as its a five minute drive from campus to the Rocky Mountain Foothills. Ryan wasn’t the only ex-UW student there, Marcus Wallace (Tacoma), Jeff Henderson, and Nate Bigbee (both on staff in San Antonio), were there as well. Jeff and Nate are doing great in the ministry and wanted to let everyone here know they are having fun, but miss Seattle.
On the last day of the conference, Danni and I had an afternoon date/quiet time where we drove up into the Rockies to pray and enjoy all that God had created and indeed it was good. We tried to capture the view from up there, but pictures don’t describe the panoramic feel from just the foothills of the Rockies. A few miles high, the air was thin and as we prayed for a renewed commitment to our marriage, our parenting and our ministry I was sure that God could hear us because we were that much closer (this is just my opinion)!
Maybe God didn’t hear us any better, but it felt amazing just being there. I guess that’s why they call it, “Rocky Mountain High”.
We want to continue thank the amazing church we have here in Seattle and encourage one another to take it even higher in ’09. Our prayer is that not only campus ministries, but all demographics of our U.S. Churches would be successful this year!
Alex and Danni