This week we have been listening to challenging speakers and hearing where our U.S. Cru ministry leaders are taking the U.S. part of our organization. We are at our bi-ennial staff conference in Fort Collins, Colorado.
“The privileged need the marginalized more than the marginalized need the privileged.” – my favorite quote from Christena Cleveland, one of our speakers.
We have been talking and listening this week about why our U.S. organization does not reflect the racial proportions of the U.S. The dialogue has been frank and productive and has identified a lot of uncomfortable realities. As a member of the (currently) majority ethnic group in the U.S., we have privilege and power which we are uncomfortable admitting. The topic and discussion is not what we had expected, but it seems very healthy, especially at this point in our nation’s experience with racial issues.
Neither Cathy nor I have formed concrete action items yet from what we have heard, but we continue listening and asking God how he wants us to respond.
Walking to the next conference session at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado
We did it! Andrew and I climbed Longs Peak with our friends, Matt and Ben. It was more difficult and treacherous than we expected, but we made it back without falling off or giving up. Our previous hike up to the half-way point didn’t seem to help much. Over 12,500 feet elevation the altitude began really making things difficult. Being light-headed, dizzy, and out of breath while climbing across a narrow rock path above a 100 foot drop off didn’t leave me feeling confident. In spite of the challenges there were at least 300 other people on the trail and about 50 others on the summit when we got there!
We’re glad we did it, but we haven’t talked about doing it again yet.
Helping students stay awake as they study, keeping fresh coffee available, and cleaning up are some of the things Audrey is doing as part of her job in the Coffee House this summer. The brilliant neon yellow uniform t-shirts didn’t make her terribly excited, but she likes the job otherwise. Earlier she was doing a lot of babysitting during the day for staff member parents on the conference team, and I think she likes this job better.
Later in the summer Andrew and I hope to climb Longs Peak (14,395 feet), behind us in the picture. This morning we hiked half the distance (4 miles) up to Chasm Lake which sits under its very imposing summit. The last four miles will, of course, be where the majority of the difficulty comes, and they say it takes about 13 hours round trip. And you have to start at 3:00 am so you can make it up and off the summit area before 11:00 am or so to avoid thunderstorms.
It was pretty fun today and not too hard, but I’m sure that last section will be a challenge.
Helping students log in to the computer lab computers, setting up printers on other laptops, and refilling paper in the printers are a few of the things Andrew is doing as part of his summer job as Computer Lab Monitor. Another high schooler had the morning shift (during classes) when the lab was virtually empty. Andrew got the busy shift today, but I think he’s enjoying it.
Since we’ve been here Audrey has consumed about one Sobe a day, and the bottles have accumulated on the already very small kitchen counter. So Cathy got some thrift store flowers and made a mantle arrangement of them which makes our temporary home seem more homey.
Today about 800 600 staff members of Campus Crusade for Christ will go through registration for the Institute of Biblical Studies, CCC’s biennial summer Bible school. Cathy is a registration helper, and I have already done most of my work for the day on the Tech Team. We set up the ad hoc computer networks in two rooms and scrambled at the last minute to resolve a problem that kept the Finance team from working. Stuff like that. But things are running smoothly now, so I have a few minutes to post this.
Compared to the relative calm of the last three weeks, I think it will be a lot busier here for the rest of the summer.
The line of people waiting to register goes around the building
Update: Why not 800? It turns out that about 200 people incorrectly indicated their arrival on this date! They must have clicked on “21” thinking it was July 21, the time when most people will arrive for the main conference. Instead they were actually clicking on June 21.
CCC’s Conference Team getting instructions – photo by David Nagy
This is the first time Cathy and I have joined CCC’s U.S. Staff Conference Team, but it’s about 30th year Campus Crusade has held our biennial U.S. Staff Conference here in Fort Collins, CO. But on Thursday we all did something for the first time, even the other long-time veterans of this staff conference team. We did a community service project.
The work was weeding and mulching in the Fort Collins City Park. You can see in the picture that our group is fairly large, so we managed to make a significant difference in the park’s landscape.
And compared to working with people and computers, working outside on landscaping is a downright pleasure!
It’s been hailing for the last 30 minutes here. Never seen a hail storm last this long with as much accumulation, about 0.25″. Cathy and Audrey are driving into town today, but they won’t arrive until this afternoon. So they missed the excitement.
Update: The piles of hail didn’t melt until later in the evening, and the next morning there were still piles of hail/snow in the shady corners! That’s more winter in June than we have ever had in Orlando!
It’s been ten years since I setup computer network cabling, but I ran enough in the last few days to make up for it. Andrew and I arrived in Fort Collins, Colorado on the Campus Crusade U.S. Staff Conference Advanced Team earlier this week to help unload trailers and build an operations office. The work is a nice diversion from my normal job.
I’ve always said, “When you work with computers, nothing is ever easy. When you work with people, computers are easy.” So I’m back to working with computers, and they’re easy.