A TRADITION OF COMMUNITY

The return of in-person events this academic year brought the return of a beloved St. Tom's tradition. October 22-24, student leaders hosted the 25th annual Koinonia retreat after a two-year hiatus, BGK25. “After our virtual retreat last year, we were really excited to put on this retreat again,” shared Koinonia lay director Olivia Martin ‘22. “It seemed like such a large undertaking since most of our leadership had only experienced it once in person or only virtually, but God just said, ‘I’ll put you in the right place.’”

 

Danielle Wagner ’23 chose to help with the retreat out of a desire to get to know the members of the St. Tom’s community deeper through conversation and prayer. “I really enjoy the small group conversations. I was working with a local youth group and working with the teenagers was really cool, but I wanted to do it for my peers this time. I really wanted to get to the know the people that I spend almost every waking moment with.”

 

The name of the retreat comes from the Greek word for “community,” which is exactly the goal of

Koinonia each year. Robbie Voorheis ’25 attended this fall searching for spiritual recharging and deeper community connection. “I’ve done retreats before and I didn’t think I really needed to go on another one. Eventually the semester wore on and I was just getting tired and then I knew I needed this to recharge and I signed up. It was amazing. It was exactly what I needed, very restful. I definitely encountered God.” On the community building, Robbie shared, “I felt like I ran into the right people at church and I thought, ‘These are my people. I want to be in this community.’ The relationships I formed with people on the retreat have been so amazing.”

 

Because of the success of October’s retreat, the leadership team will host a second Koinonia in April for students who were unable to attend in the fall. Danielle attributes this success to the Lord’s providence: “It turned out way better than I could have planned because, obviously, I could never have thought of something that God had planned.”

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