Merge Trip Day One – Sunday

Merge Trip Day One – Sunday

>Mike Gorr, Tom Ghena, Susan Holland, Kendal Slack and fourteen students loaded the bus Sunday morning and headed for Chicago. Ron Schwedland was at the wheel. The attending students are: Sarah Brigham, Carissa Cangialosi, Dani Douglas, Sarah Gee, Alishia Gneco, Allison Schmidt, Stephanie Walker, Tommy Douglas, Garrett Fisk, David Gee, Connor Ghena, Graham Nash, Michael Schmidt and Ian Van Tassel. Following is Mike’s account of day one…

Our adventure started at 5:30am. Prior to today I didn’t know that there were two 5:30’s in a 24 hour period! I like the one in the p.m. much better.

But the early departure meant that we could worship at Lawndale Community Church, a wonderful mixed African American/Anglo church in the inner city of Chicago. Great black gospel music and as the choir was getting ready to do their special number I prayed and said, “God it would be just like you for the choir to do a song that was special/personal to me.” (I know sounds
kind of Mike-o-centric!) Instead, God did a lot better! The choir
performed Revelation 19–this is the very same song we performed at a youth Sunday 4 years ago! A song that virtually all of us present could connect to.
This was confirmation that God’s eye is on us and He knows where we are, where we’re going and He’s preparing the way for us to get there.

We had deep dish pizza for lunch then headed to Wheaton’s campus for Merge. Our first session was tonight (Sunday) on the creation story in Genesis 1 and 2. We are being coached to look at stories from the Bible afresh as if we have never heard them before. It’s like getting rid of our old lenses and looking at them through a new lens. The results are a lively discussion with all of us adding insights to what we are learning about God and ourselves in God’s story of creation.

Some of the insights include the uninhibited freedom that God created us to live in. Is there anything more free than running around naked and unashamed! We also noted the delight God takes in what He makes…also, the privilege and responsibility He has given to humans. We also enter into God’s rhythms. God rests so we rest. God creates and we take part in that creating in being fruitful and multiplying. And the questions that are coming to our minds. All of us seem to be wrestling with the story. We’re trying to let God’s story unfold before us each day and to consider the implications of this wonderful creating God.

Tomorrow is the episode of separation…until then.

In God’s hands,



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