Friday, November 18, 2011

God & Nature II

The semester is flying along and we only have about four weeks left, but a lot left to see and do! This past week, Corey Beals from George Fox University joined us to teach us holistically about God and Nature. Through a series of readings, discussions, hikes, swims and presentations, we engaged our mind, heart, soul and body in a thorough learning experience.

What better place to learn about God and Nature than to be in nature having class on a log overlooking a sparkling azure blue pool with many small waterfalls cascading down a local tufa dam?

A major "text" of our class this past week was our homestay with some local old-order Mennonites. Through attending church, horse and buggy rides, and going to sleep when it got dark out, we got a taste of a life lived intimately with the land. We were also challenged to rethink our choices about technologies that we choose to adopt, what is good for community, and the importance of community in our faith.

We studied what good work is by "sub-creating" our first raised garden bed on the new campus. Neil (Eastern U '12), Joshua (Student Life Coordinator), Michelle (Dordt '12)

In class we studied some of the effects of dualism ("If A and B are distinct, then A and B are also separate") on our culture, and learned how the perspective of us being separate from one another, from God, and from the land has caused much harm in our world. Corey suggested that we try and view the world through a lens where things can be distinct (i.e. I am not you, God, or the land) but not separate, so we can understand ourselves intimately connected with God, others and the land.

Midway through the week, we threw a birthday party for Olivia, who loves (and dominates at) a game called Dutch Blitz. Happy Birthday, Olivia!

Olivia and her teammate Emilia, proud champs of the Dutch Blitz tournament

Leaving campus one morning, we found a tree snake in the bushes and had fun holding it (until it released its musk on us)

Rachael (Calvin '12) tried to appease the serpent with a starfruit

At the end of the week, we traveled to Blue Hole National Park and ventured deep into the earth to explore caves and an underground stream.

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