What does one do at a C. S Lewis Foundation retreat? One makes new acquaintances that one hopes will become good friends over time. One is immersed in a world of learning, love, and God’s presence. One wants to go back to every future Foundation event, if at all possible.
An air of informality infused with a rare combination of seriousness and humor pervaded these four days. I sat down at table with new people at every meal, learning something about each one around the table.
The main speaker, Dr. Jerry Root of Wheaton College, was the epitome of that unique blend of hilarious stories and profound insights.
Personally, I was able to participate in what they call the Academic Roundtable, where each invited scholar offered a paper that the others would then comment on afterwards. It was the essence of caring and careful critique, nothing to get upset about because the goal was to make each other better.
I’m the contemplative one on the far left (the only time I’ve ever been described as on the far left of anything). My paper on “That Hideous Strength‘s Omnicompetent State” was well received, a great relief to me in my first attempt to share thoughts on Lewis.
I bought books, of course (what academic doesn’t do that?), and a video that I hope to use in my Lewis course. I basked in the atmosphere and let God’s love wash over me.
I am hooked. I hope to present another paper at next year’s retreat in Massachusetts, and my bucket list might be completed if I’m able to attend the Oxbridge Conference in Britain two years hence.
If you have any inkling (yes, that’s a pun) to ever attend a Foundation retreat or conference, I strongly encourage you to make your plans now. You won’t be disappointed.