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Colorado Spiritual Retreat

Feb 9, 2021

Dear alumni and friends,

COVID-19 continues to strongly influence how we operate, and we were not sure if we would be having a Colorado Spiritual retreat this school year. In years past, we would take around 25 students and enjoy all the beauty that God has provided us in the mountains and nature. We would also partake in restaurant dining, church services, museum visits, interactive service projects, ranger station visits, and many other activities. However, COVID-19 caution must outweigh tradition.

We worked hard to figure out a COVID appropriate way to still safely enjoy a spiritual retreat and we are excited to share the success of our trip! We consulted multiple doctors and county health officers. They told us everyone must isolate for the 12 days, prior to the retreat, and test negative within three days of coming. Also, we were required to keep a room in the cabin free to isolate someone if necessary. If we could meet these requirements, we were told it would be reasonably safe for a small group of young adults who had no underlying medical conditions. I wasn’t sure we would find enough students who would want to fulfill those requirements – but nine of us agreed to them. That is a third of what we usually take – but so worth it for those who went.

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All eight students enjoying delicious food prepared by Kelden!

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Cross Country skiing at Devil’s Thumb Ranch near Winter Park -- heading for those low hills in the distance.

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The whole crew on one of our many hikes!

To form a safe COVID bubble and just be with each other for eight days in the Robyne’s Colorado cabin was truly a gift to one another. Each day began with a devotion and ended with a devotion. Everyone journaled and reflected. Everyone led two devotions during the time and participated in the spiritual discussion that came from each devotion. We hiked a lot, including in state parks, national forests, up two 10,000-foot mountains, and even spent a day in Rocky Mountain National Park. We all cross-country skied once, some went downhill skiing one day, and we had a lot of relaxed cabin time. The trip was unlike any other, but we continued to take time to reflect on the beauty around us and within ourselves.

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Panorama Point, Golden Gate Canyon State Park -- that is Glen’s hiking pole in the upper right of the picture as he points out mountains on the front range!

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Kelden enjoys lying in the snow during cross country skiing. Note Devil’s Thumb ranch/resort in the background right.

While it would have been nice to have more students experience Colorado, those that went have come back and really helped with our Wesley Foundation spiritual community this semester. A smaller number of participants was in many ways beneficial, including giving each person who went a stronger bond with the others.

Stay safe and Stay in touch -- and thank you for your love and support of our vital ministry at Purdue.

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Sami H., Jackson F., Matt V., and Raj S. on the top of Mt. Tremont in Golden Gate Canyon State Park. View of the front range and Mt. Fairburn.

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Hike to Brainard Lake, Raj S. strikes a pose flanked by Pastor Glen and Matt V. with a shrouded Mt. Audubon in the distance.

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View of Golden Gate Canyon from Mt. Tremont. In the distance, Mt. Evans center/left and twins mountains Grays and Torreys center/right.

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Raj S about to drive, Pastor Glen scared!