Coming soon: freshman retreat

By Brittney Coulter

Spiritual Life has promised a weekend of relaxation and spiritual growth to new students Friday and Saturday at Freshman Retreat.

The retreat is designed to help first-year students transition into college spiritually while making new friends.

“Our theme for the retreat is connecting to God in your new community,” said Nancy Page Lowenfield, a graduate apprentice for the Formation Department. “We want it to be a relaxing time for students but also a time that they really get to talk about and explore what it means to be a Christian on a Christian campus.”

Worship, relaxation and small-group sessions led by upperclassmen are some of the activities students can expect at the retreat, which is being held at Pine Cove: Outback Camp.

“We have different worship planned and different breakout sessions which are opportunities for them to delve deeper into different topics,” Lowenfield said.

Students will also be given the opportunity to learn about different ministries Spiritual Life offers, as well the opportunity to get to know their resident chaplains.

Houston junior Samuel Prillaman attended the 2009 retreat as a freshman.

“Coming in freshman year it was a lot of fun and it was a great time to just calm down after the first two hectic weeks of school,” Prillaman said. “I met a lot of great people that I still keep in touch with.”

Prillaman recommended that first-year students attend the retreat not only to make new friends, but also to grow spiritually.

“The spiritual component is really nice because they have a lot of different types of activities that are supposed to stretch traditional worship experiences, and get you to try some new stuff that you haven’t done before, and you end up having a lot of fun doing it,” he said.

The retreat is gearing up to be the biggest one Spiritual Life has ever had.

“We have over 200 students enrolled,” Lowenfield said. “It’s the largest retreat we’ve taken, so that’s really exciting.”

Due to the high number of registered students, Spiritual Life is no longer accepting applications for this year’s retreat.