RP International Conference 2008

The week after the bike trip was the quadrennial Reformed Presbyterian International Conference…and attending the conference was the main reason for the trip occurring at that particular time and to that particular destination. The sessions were a good learning time, I hope to sit down and review my notes soon so I can put into practice anything that I found I could use. Because the Reformed Presbyterian Church is a fairly small denomination, I knew a lot of people who were there and even more than I would have if the conference was a couple years ago because I’ve been out here in Pennsylvania and have met a whole different crowd.

A group of about 25 of us in our 20’s+ who are single traveled up the road to visit the Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. After lunch we toured the outdoor sculptures by riding a tram on a guided tour. There are a number of large pieces, mostly abstract but some are realistic, such as a 30 ft horse or a 24 foot garden trowel. Afterward many of us explored the portion intended for kids, but it looked so interesting that we wandered through it. I took a bunch of photos of the park on the tour and while walking around.

Other highlights include the talent show, a concert by New Song, exploring the school’s observatory, and meeting new friends. The night the observatory was open almost couldn’t have been better (except less light pollution). I saw Jupiter and a binary through their smaller 8″ scopes and a cluster, the moon and a couple other things through the big 16″ telescope. The moon had just come up above the trees and so the operators pushed the mount and controls just a little bit further than it would have liked to be able to take a look. It was orange, due to the atmosphere, and we were able to see many craters up close.

I really enjoyed the conference and think it was totally worth spending most of my vacation days to attend. I’m definitely planning to go in 2012, Lord willing.


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