It truly a privilege whenever one is able to consider his co-workers as companions. Doesn’t it seem as if these words have become antonymous? Co-workers as companions? Really? As utopian as it seems, the nebulous idea has become a solidified reality for me. I have never experienced anything like, but I have indeed experienced it. As I have thought about it, the only way that this reality (companionship with co-workers) has seemed possible to me is if the people who are laboring alongside one another contain in themselves a passion for the very same matters. A certain single-mindedness that unifies them towards the same end has to be present. But sometimes, even this does not always lead to a deep friendship. I cannot speak on behalf of other jobs that I myself have not participated in, but I can speak on what I know and what I have experienced with the staff of h2o church.
What I am referring to in specific is our staff retreat that took place just this past weekend. The word “retreat” can be taken literally to mean something that in this case, it does not. The “retreat” really meant staying in Kent, being with one another a lot, planning with one another a lot, and laughing with one another a lot (maybe this more than anything). It will stand as one of my favorite memories of the 2012 summer.
This is a picture of our staff in the midst of a planning time for the fall semester. What encapsulated most of the weekend was discussion on a myriad of topics that in most cases needed decisions to be made. For me, it was a great deal of fun discussing what this fall should look like. I enjoyed envisioning the semester with everyone, and bouncing ideas off of one another. It was a safe place for discussion too. As a newbie in this environment, I felt completely natural throwing my ideas out there no matter if they were used and implemented or not. It felt great simply to be inspired by conversing with my friends and being impassioned by our mutual love for the students on the Kent campus.
Our weekend did consist of a lot of planning, but we also had some “team-building exercises” involved in our weekend. Yes, we went canoeing on the Cuyahoga Valley River. It was a dangerously fun time together (literally). Take a look at this picture though-either we were all trying to be serious in this, or we exhausted by having to be at the river at 7:30am. I am sure for some of us it was the latter. Perhaps the expression present on our faces was pent-up anxiety about having trusting one another to not tip us into the 70 degree water. No one tipped, thank goodness, but there were many collisions whether by accident or on purpose (all in love of course).
After this weekend I know that I can trust my friends with much more than not dropping me into the frigid Cuyahoga Valley River. I can trust them with anything. Do these sound like normal co-workers? Well, for me it is, and I am utterly thankful for it.