yourHT: For You NC, Day One

by Mrs. Lynea Sander

        Oh, love, how deep, how broad, how high,
        Beyond all thought and fantasy,
        That God, the son of God, should take
        Our mortal form for mortal’s sake!

        He sent no angel to our race,
       Of higher or of lower place,

       But wore the robe of human frame,
       And to this world himself he came.

I made it! After much planning and preparation, I survived the 23-hour bus trip from Conroe, Texas to beautiful Asheville, North Carolina. For me, this involves months of fundraising with two youth groups in Texas, making it through preparations for my July 7th wedding, adjusting to a new life in a new town and then hopping on a bus three weeks later with my new husband and 37 other excited Lutherans. We arrived at the Ridgecrest Conference Center on Monday afternoon having snatched only a couple hours of sleep - and this, I've discovered after attending four HT conferences, is just the beginning!

I, as Internet Services staff, have volunteered to help out wherever needed - and for Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, that involved lending a hand to Mrs. Pellegrini and Mrs. Pruis in registration and housing. With the Christ on Campus Volunteers (CCVs), I assisted the groups as they arrived at the conference center with finding their dorms and informing them about the various activities going on around the conference this week. In the process, I learned how to get around the beautiful campus here at Ridgecrest.

WORSHIP

The conference itself got kicked off on Tuesday afternoon with Divine Service. I absolutely love this - receiving the Lord's gifts at both the opening and the close of the conference! The strength of 1200+ faithful Lutheran youth and adults singing wonderful Lutheran hymnody never fails to give me chills at the opening service.

This evening, for the close of the first day's events, we were blessed with Evening Prayer - if it were possible for me to have a favorite service, this would be it. Every year I look forward to praying the Litany in four-part harmony - it focuses my attention so well!

WORK

"Work" in North Carolina is much the same as it was in Minnesota last week. We chose one of ten In-Depth sectionals to attend for three sessions, and eight one-session Breakaway sectionals covering various topics. Plenary sessions, also known as "catechesis", are the "main" sessions that we attend all together once or twice a day.

Today, my husband and I attended Pr. Schultz's breakway sectional on the work of the Holy Spirit and Pr. Newman's breakaway on the similarities between Muslims and Mormons. For the first several Plenary sessions, we will be hearing from Pr. Kuhlman, our Law and Gospel catechist. His first session today focused on the fact of God becoming flesh for us - and how that fact is so very hard for the world, specifically those who hold to Greek philosophy, to understand.

PLAY

As Tuesday is a "half day" of sorts, we had a shorter free time session in the evening in between a breakaway sectional and Evening Prayer. A wonderful Bluegrass band, the Balsam Range, performed for us, as well as a championship Appalacian clogging team. As I wandered in and out catching up with friends from previous conferences, I enjoyed snatches of both!

That wraps up day one - keep checking back each morning this week for more daily updates!

Created: August 1st, 2007