The Vision Course has begun. It started off this past friday evening with a lovely orientation weekend that included a a dinner and bonfire at Wild Goose Farm, continued with story-telling about the history of the boiler room and our personal stories as they intersect with it, and incorporated other shared meals, the happy disruptions of small children, and many cups of coffee.
Unlike any college course -- and perhaps unlike many other year-long discipleship intensives -- our VC orientation didn't lead with syllabi or curriculum overview. Instead, our VC facilitator, Jordan led us into a series of story-telling, starting with Jenn and Tony, moving onto the Colliers, then Casey, then himself and Charis. one by one we told our VC students our stories of how God had so worked and moved in our lives as to bring us, finally, to this place: Here and now at the SBR, fall 2013.
"Relationships matter most in the Kingdom; people matter more than information."
-- Jordan Cooper on why we started off orientation weekend by telling our stories rather than on jumping straight into the curriculum.
In telling the stories, we get to be reminded of just how faithful He is, how perfect His leadership, how complete the story He is authoring. we get to be encouraged to know that just as He has been/done this thing for another person, so He can be/do for us. we get to remember that that story is not, in fact, about us at all, though we've been given special parts in it. Story-telling invites us to gratitude, to worship.
As for the syllabi, it did not disappoint when at last it was presented! :) The reading schedule for Phase 1 will be so very rich with heart-shifting, identity-forming stuff. The weekly schedule is simple and part-time, but each element chosen with prayerful intentionality, in order to give each student ample opportunity to practice spiritual disciplines, seek God's face in prayer, experience community living, offer hospitality, serve the neighborhood, explore their own hearts, and be mentored.
I -- the author of this blog entry who had nothing to do with the actual planning of the syllabi or the schedule -- want to brag up Jordan and Tim and Tony, who have been working so prayerfully and so faithfully to develop this beautiful intensive for the students.
And in this coming week, I'm looking forward to hearing more stories as Laura and Michelle will be telling their own to US in return.
Our anticipation for what God will do this year is high.
As many of my brothers in 24-7 Prayer would say, "C'mon!"