Falcon Ridge Reflections, Part 1

So, I’m back from the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, with lots of reflections to write about. Some of my reflections may take other forms, and knowing how way leads on to way, I recognize that Part 2 may never get written, but I’ve chosen this title to reflect the incompleteness of the reflections and the expectation that further reflections will come in other forms.

As I prepare to start seminary in the fall, I’m reading various books on the recommended list and the book I am currently reading is Radical Welcome: Embracing God, The Other, and the Spirit of Transformation by Stephanie Spellers. It is a wonderful book aimed primarily at churches. In my mind, it illustrates how Falcon Ridge is a community that churches should think about.

I must admit, I was a little surprised that this year, as I arrived at Falcon Ridge, I didn’t have numerous people greet me saying, “Welcome Home”. It is a common greeting at Falcon Ridge, because for many of us, Falcon Ridge feels like a larger version of that loving, radically welcoming home we all long for, no matter how loving and wonderful our familial homes are.

Yet that sense of Radical Welcome was there throughout the festival. A great example of this was when Ethan Baird welcomed Abbie Gardner to the Lounge Stage. He spoke about how she welcomed and encouraged him years ago. Abbie extended that welcome to all of us, encouraging us to join the late night song swaps even if we feel like misfits, because we are all misfits. Welcome home.

Back at my familial home after Falcon Ridge, I’m catching up on various bits of news. At the American Psychological Association Convention this weekend, there was a plenary session, http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2017/08/lonely-die.aspx >“Loneliness: A Growing Public Health Threat. The theme was echoed in a 2012 New York Times article Friends of a Certain Age which is making the rounds again because, as the editors noted, “we’re running it again because the topic is timeless”.

This sense of loneliness and need for welcome can be especially challenging during times of turmoil, like we are seeing in our nation right now. For me, it is also particularly important as I gather with those who are in mourning.

I started this post on Monday and didn’t get a chance to finish it. I’m wrapping it up, for now on Tuesday morning. There is much more to say, but there are also many more opportunities for blog posts.

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