By Jonathan Chandra ’19
“Lord, I need you, oh, I need you,” sang a chorus of voices accompanied by a single acoustic guitar. The sunlight beamed down on some twenty individuals—the residents of Drew Hall—as they sang songs of praise during their weekend retreat.
As an intentional community focused on spiritual disciplines, the 2016-2017 cohort of the Reveal program commit to spending scheduled time together each week. In addition to weekly floor fellowship, house meetings, and house dinners, the cohort also spends an extended amount of time together during the Reveal retreat. This retreat is held on the first weekend of each semester.
On the first weekend of the new academic year, the residents of Drew spilled out into the hall porch, prepared for a weekend of fellowship. Muoki Musau, the Ferrin and Drew resident director, led the retreat with help from Drew resident advisors, Katie Willeman ’18 and Patrick Shuman ’18. They hall began their retreat by going to Gull Pond for time to swim, throw Frisbees, and pose for group photos. They transitioned from the waterfront to the quad as a unit to watch the CEC’s airing of The Jungle Book.
The next morning the residents came into the lounge. Some busied themselves cutting fruit, scrambling eggs, preparing bacon, and flipping pancakes—Musau’s reported favorite food—while the rest sprawled out on the living room couches. Breakfast started an hour or so later than scheduled, a testament to the relaxed nature of the retreat.
“Giving at the very front end the house abilities to take ownership of their own retreat was important,” Musau said, explaining why the structure was less hands-on and more relaxed.
He said, “Especially for a community like this, if you can take ownership early, you’re excited and you have the initiative in doing everything we want to do.”
After breakfast, the group came together for a devotional time. They began with worship and ended on a message from Musau. It was about following Christ regardless of earning achievements. This segued into a time for the group to discuss their summers as well as their hopes, fears and expectations about the semester—all of which were represented by hand-drawn cartoon faces.
The day continued with prayer and team building activities at the La Vida house and a trip to Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea. The group swam in the Atlantic, witnessed the engagement of two recent Gordon graduates and discussed what they wanted the house covenant to look like.
Harrison Miller ’17 said, “I think my favorite part of the Drew retreat was getting together and working on our, basically our commitment—what we all wanted to get out of Drew. And it was great because I finally got to see why other people were there, what they wanted out of it, and how that reflected what I was wanting out of it. We kind of came together like that and sort of built a purpose for the house.”