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Abiding in Christ: refreshment and refocusing at the Boyce spring retreat
March 26, 2007
By Ashley Andrews

Boyce College students gathered at the Country Lake Christian Retreat Center in Henryville, Ind., Friday, March 16-17 to spend a weekend away from the stresses of daily life, draw near to God and encourage one another at the 2007 Boyce spring retreat.

Eighty-five men and women attended the annual retreat, which was centered on the theme "abiding in Christ."

Senior Kat Foxworth said the key text for the weekend was John 15, where Jesus says apart from Him we can bear no fruit.

"Jesus says that we are to abide in Him," she said. "Really the weekend was about how we can abide in God. What does that entail? As we are studying and preparing to go into ministry, we cannot forget that Christ owns us and we are to remain in Him. That can only be done by spending intimate time with Him."

The keynote speaker for the event was George Guthrie, Benjamin J. Perry professor of Bible at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. Guthrie spoke on Friday evening and twice Saturday.

After Guthrie's presentation Friday night, students divided up by hall for a small group session, discussing practical issues related to their personal walks with Christ.

Freshman Katie Vaughn said the small group time was the highlight of the weekend for her.

"Hearing what was on people's hearts, their struggles and victories [was encouraging]," she said. "It gives you hope. Coming back, after sharing our hearts with each other, I feel closer to the girls on my hall."

Dave Collins led singing during a time of praise and worship. Collins serves as worship leader at a church plant in Flint, Mich., and is the son of Chip Collins, associate dean for student life at Boyce.Foxworth said the style of music promoted the message of the weekend.

"I really enjoyed the worship. There was just a guitar and djembe," she said. "It was very simple, down to earth, not big and flashy. The songs reiterated the message of abiding and the true source of our strength, which is the Lord."

Students also played games during the first evening, including Family Feud.

Saturday, following breakfast students had an hour for personal quiet times. Between Guthrie's sessions
on Saturday, students got to choose from a variety of activities.

Junior Jason Coobs said he came away from the spiritually-nourishing weekend refreshed and encouraged.

"Dr. Guthrie did a great job teaching on abiding in Christ's love, deal with difficulties, and developing closeness and intimacy with God," he said. "I know that I benefited spiritually, mentally and physically from this retreat and can't wait for next year's event."

Foxworth said the weekend helped her reevaluate how well she is abiding in the Lord.

"It made me realize that I can not do effective ministry without abiding in the Lord," she said. "If we are not abiding in the Lord then our ministry is going to fail. So often we try to do it, to be effective by ourselves. We are here, taking all theses classes to do ministry, but you can not do it until you are abiding with the Lord."

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