I can’t let 2018 slide into 2019 without getting these pictures and thoughts down in a post! I was going to use the thankfulness prompt of the word Experience on November 15 to document our BSF Leaders Retreat to Cincinnati, Ohio last March 16-18, but then that little GrandGirl came and I got busy 🙂
It was an EXPERIENCE, that’s for sure! Over 4000 women and men from our surrounding states, united by our love for the Lord and our leadership in this wonderful, worldwide organization! It felt a little like the end of an era, they probably won’t be doing retreats on this scale in the future due to size and cost, they will most likely go the way of more localized simulcasts where leaders can gather and eat, but be close enough to sleep in the comfort of their own homes.
I am going to put names to the lovely souls that I serve with, because while I know each and every sweet smile now, I have been around long enough to know that sometimes when our precious sisters in Christ move on from our ministry, we never see each other again. Which always makes singing “God Be With Us ‘Til We Meet Again” on the last leaders meeting for the year so WRENCHING!.
God be with you till we meet again;
When life’s perils thick confound you;
Put His arms unfailing round you;
God be with you till we meet again.
Till we meet, till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus’ feet;
Till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.
We rented a bus to tote us down because fellowship is our favorite! Loaded up with our leaders, luggage, sack lunches, snacks to share, and a restroom in the back, we talked and laughed and took Enneagram and Meyer Briggs personality tests all the way down I-75!
This is my good buddy Sarah! She is on Admin too and we spend a lot of time hauling chairs, fielding questions, running around and exchanging prayer requests. She comes with her spunky son Davis, who is also a member of Admin and he has a nametag to prove it! He’s a helper! Carrying parking lot cones, holding the door and welcoming the ladies, making circles of chairs, he’s your guy! I introduced Sarah to Snapchat and we sent some videos to her kids to let them know she was missing them 🙂
Welcome to Cincinnati!
Jip the Farm Dog, Sarah and Capri Kel 🙂
Marilyn, Sally and me, again.
Mary, May and Yvonne ❤
Marilyn, Sarah and I were thick as thieves this trip.
Suzie Palmer Weber!!! And Barb!
One of my favorite memories of the trip involved Barb. Honey was also in attendance with his men’s class, but we were not able to find each other too much. For one of the sessions we did end up in the same section, but he was a few rows behind us. Barb ended up sitting next to him that time and she was saying something to the gal she was with about poutine, which is the Canadian specialty of fries with gravy and cheese curds. At this point, Honey chimed in saying he loved poutine! They had a little conversation and discovered they both hailed from Canada, knew some of the same places, and both lived in the same town in Michigan! Barb then asked his crossroads and asked if we knew her friends who lived on the same street, Honey said he did, they lived across the street! Barb then said, Oh, you must know Kelly! Honey said I do, she’s my wife!!! The realization on her face was SO FUNNY!
This group was such a treat! The gal in the middle is our former Teaching Leader Cicella, who now works at BSF Headquarters in San Antonio! She was there and we met up with Suzie Palmer Weber! and Pam, both former leaders in our class who are now part of other classes! Jip and I are on the other side. So good to see them ❤
There was a line to get a picture of Suzie Rowan, executive director of BSF. I didn’t get in on it, but some did!
Sarah. Lisa, Michelle, Suzie and Diana!!! Suzie Rowan Y’ALL!!!
Denise, YuLing, Marilyn, Pam, Sarah, Jip, Capri K and Dorothy.
Our 2017-18 Admin Team, with our Teaching Leader Jip. Sarah, Jip, Sandra, Trenda and me.
This is my Dorothy. When she sees me she says “there’s my Kelly” and I say “there’s my Dorothy”! She’s my favorite ❤
Trenda was in the gluten free dining room and texted that she was in DIRE need of some protein because they equated gluten free with being a vegetarian, so Jip found some unclaimed poultry for her and the other GF crowd!
Me, Sarah, Adell, Melissa and Sandy.
That selfie stick was giving us grief! Michelle, Pam, Trenda, Lisa Bell, me, Sarah, Diana and Lisa.
It took a burst of about 60, but we got it!
Look! There’s Honey! And Diana!
Diana used to be on Admin, she always claims, “once on admin, always on admin”. She is very suchy muchy! ❤
Joined by our favorite Farm Dog.
Jip and I roomed together for the umpteenth time, and the party was in our room! Sandy, Sarah, Trenda, Jip, Lisa Bell, me and Melissa.
in between the bus rides there were awesome speakers encouraging us to magnify God and mature His people, engage the culture while standing strong for Christ, why community matters and making people a priority. We need to be spiritually fit and find our identities in Christ alone, looking at our BSF lessons as heart work, not homework. and making it our life goal to be light to a dark culture.
Before we knew it we were back on the bus heading for The Mitten. Yvonne, me and Sarah.
There was still a lot of conversation and laughter, but we had been changed by all we had heard. Pam and Melissa.
Yvonne, Marilyn and Mary.
Diana, Wendy, Barb, Emily and Patti.
I consider serving at BSF these last 16 years to be one of my greatest blessings from a really good God ❤ Bible Study Fellowship has changed the trajectory of my life. Me, Sarah, Marilyn and Sandra.
BSF is 2 years into a 5 year plan of change. Many things have changed as we seek to become more user friendly to millennials and the tech savvy crowd, less focused on guidelines (rules!) and more interested in extending grace and love, they have even altered what a traditional class and community looks like with the addition of satellite and virtual discussion groups. They cited a 2015 Barna study by Navigators that Christians rated BSF as the best organization enabling discipleship. That was the mantra all weekend. “Magnify God and mature His People” They continue to stand in the fight for Biblical understanding by engaging the culture for Christ.
I am proud to be a small part of such a God honoring organization.
Honey and I were tired from a hectic and full weekend. Someone was glad to see us.
I missed him too ❤
I encourage any of those unfamiliar with BSF to head on over to their website and see if there is a class near you. bsfinternational.org and go to find a class near you. It will change your life ❤