Lake Tahoe, straddling the border between California and Nevada, lies like a jewel in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Its scenic beauty formed an incredible backdrop during the West Coast Reformed Fellowship retreat for young adults from November 16-19, 2018.
Over 130 participants from nine states and two provinces gathered to hear Rev. Christopher J. Gordon address the retreat theme of Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Rev. Gordon, who serves as the primary preaching pastor at Escondido URC in California, led three sessions over the course of the retreat and preached twice on Sunday. He and participants first worked through Psalm 73. According to Rev. Gordon, this psalm “exposes bitterness over the backwardness of this life—the wicked prospering and the righteous suffering, which often causes confusion.” They also explored Mark 4’s account of Jesus “leading the disciples into the storm, and then calming the storm as a way to address their fear.” Rev. Gordon addressed the problem of anxiety by looking at Philippians 4, and finally offered hope and encouragement through Revelation 22’s beautiful description of heaven. He preached on the Transfiguration.
“Jesus’ plan is working out, but we should be aware of the things that take our eyes off him along the way and learn to trust him through all of our circumstance, even when we’re faced with confusion, fear, and anxiety,” Rev. Gordon said. “Jesus has a plan that is being accomplished, and heaven is where we are headed!”
In addition to Rev. Gordon’s teaching, attendees could choose from leisure activities such as exploring Emerald Bay or riding up a mountain on a gondola. Enhancing the teaching and recreation were opportunities to meet new people or reconnect with friends in the faith.
Kaeli DeVries, an attendee from Lynden, was struck by the new sense of the word “fellowship” she experienced during the retreat. “It might not seem all that impressive or grand to a watchful, worldly eye as we gathered together,” she said. “We came, we listened, we talked, we hiked, we played, we walked, and we ate. And yet, we did so much more than that. In those moments that add up to a full, rich, weekend of growth, a body of believers in the Savior Jesus Christ joined hearts and minds and soaked in the Word of God in all its abundant glory—TOGETHER. We received a message that has the power to make dead men alive, to divide soul and spirit as joints and marrow, and without which we all would be lost in the deepest, most eternal sense. It was in the light of this glorious gospel that we truly shared a bond, a love for one another, and experienced real, lasting fellowship.”
Rev. Gordon says, “WCRF and the conference at Tahoe provided a wonderful opportunity for young adults to grow and better understand their place in God’s kingdom. Because of the many struggles young adults are facing today, we need to give our best efforts to help them, and WCRF is doing an amazing job toward this end.”
The above article by Glenda Mathes appeared on pages 12 & 12 of the February 15, 2019, issue of Christian Renewal.