The Boynton Beach Retreat

From Rev. Jeremy Simons, Cathedral Chaplain
February 5, 2019

Last week Allyn and I attended the Boynton Beach Retreat, which was held at the Duncan Center in Delray Beach, Florida, and hosted by Boynton Beach New Church. There were about 75 registrants, and we had a great time, with programs in the mornings and free time in the afternoons.
The presenters were Rev. Eric Carswell, Rev. Dr. Ray Silverman, and myself. Eric spoke on the topic “How Do We Come to Genuine Wisdom? The Story of Joseph and His Brothers.” He followed the fascinating and moving story of Joseph in Egypt as it is described in the Arcana, with its message about how each of us comes to genuine wisdom. Ray spoke about “Teaching Religion to New College Students at Bryn Athyn College.” He drew on his experience teaching what is often called “Rookie Religion” introducing students from outside the New Church to our beliefs. It has consistently been a favorite of students. He also spoke about the course he has developed using the new version of “Rise Above It,” about the Ten Commandments. My lectures were on “The Last Judgment—What It Is and What It Isn’t” pointing out that there are both good and bad things happening in the world–some of which, but not all, may be attributed to the Last Judgment.
There was a banquet on Tuesday night, at which our Bishop-elect, Rt. Rev. Peter Buss, Jr., spoke about his hopes and plans for the General Church. There were also presentations and handouts from New Christian Bible Study and the Swedenborg Foundation.
One of the highlights of the week was a cruise on the Inland Waterway, starting at Delray Beach, and although the weather was chilly that day (in the 60s) we had a great time. Another highlight was visiting the Wakodahatchee and Green Cay Wetlands, both located close to where the retreat was held. These nature preserves are home to a large variety of beautiful birds and reptiles, from alligators and turtles, to wood storks and green herons, all kinds of ducks, grebes, and egrets. My favorite was seeing painted buntings, a bird I have wanted to see my whole life.
Allyn and I were hosted by Larry and Sue Kaufman, our old neighbors here on Marlin Road. The retreat itself was hosted by Rev. Alan Cowley, the Boynton Beach pastor, and run by Bob and Gail Brickman, and Bob and Naomi Smith. We were grateful for the chance to be there and are happy to recommend it to anyone who wants to go to Florida in late January.


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