Student Conference - Colorado Banner
June 13, 2011

Sunday, June 12 (Session 3, Day 1)

Sunday, June 12 (Session 3, Day 1)

My name is Ashley Briggs and I’m on staff here at Summit Ministries. I work in domestics, meaning that I daily clean the hotel from top to bottom with two other girls. This is a job I definitely enjoy. Every other Sunday morning at Summit means waking up thrilled that a new session is about to begin. What will God…

Read More...

June 11, 2011

Friday, June 10 (Session 2, Day 13)

Friday, June 10 (Session 2, Day 13)

This is the last day of the second session at Summit and an end to another chapter of my life. The day started out pretty normal, being awoken by the loud gonging of the Liberty Bell at 7 AM, as it was being transported around the dorms by the infamous Night Watch just as their shift was ending. Next, it…

Read More...

June 10, 2011

Thursday, June 9 (Session 2, Day 12)

Thursday, June 9 (Session 2, Day 12)

Star Wars theme music was the first thing that I heard bright and early this morning. You see, Night Watch came up with a most interesting way to wake us up today. They had the grand idea of dragging speakers up stairs and blasting the Star Wars theme music as a wake up call. As the morning progressed, I had a great breakfast of “mancakes? which apparently have almost the same special powers as Chuck Norris. Mancakes are M&M pancakes the size of dinner plates. They did indeed live up to their legend. After breakfast, the next thing I remember was being in lecture listening to Chuck Edwards speak on Islam.

Read More...

June 09, 2011

Wednesday, June 8 (Session 2, Day 11)

Wednesday, June 8 (Session 2, Day 11)

Today has been another beautiful day at Summit. Still, in spite of the splendor that God has put on display around me, I am feeling a little sad because my time here at Summit session two is almost over. Having been here before (this is my second time) I know that my last two days will disappear before I have…

Read More...

June 08, 2011

Tuesday, June 7 (Session 2, Day 10)

Tuesday, June 7 (Session 2, Day 10)

7 AM – I drag myself out of bed, realizing that, yes, the bell has rung and breakfast is calling. Unfortunately, the mess all over our bedroom floor is more important, and before I can eat some of whatever the breakfast crew has thrown together that morning, I must live up to the overly meticulous standards of THE ROOM CLEANERS... (dun dun dun). My roommates and I, in typical teenage girl fashion, have also decided to pretty ourselves up this morning, so we commence a massive shuffle of curling hair, shaving legs, yelling “Does this shirt match my skirt?? and other such random interjections. Unfortunately, before I realize it, the class bell is ringing, and in a frantic dash to pick up the last few pieces of lint off the floor, I rush downstairs, stomach growling, to be subjected to yet another morning of torturous lectures… JUST KIDDING!

Read More...

June 07, 2011

Monday, June 6 (Session 2, Day 9)

Monday, June 6 (Session 2, Day 9)

Amidst all the information being provided to us here at Summit, it has been easy for me to forget the daily events. Naturally, when asked to recount the significant aspects of my day for this blog, all I could initially remember was the last thirty minutes of a most excellent power-nap. Lest you think Summit has us dozing off in class, let me recount today’s events with as much accuracy as I can conjure. Of course no day can start without first waking up. I have made it an issue of importance to give myself space in my schedule to “eat the scroll? before I eat any physical food. While I am not the most consistent human being, today started with a shower and then a long personal session in the books of First and Second Peter. Upon hearing the bell for class to begin I slugged into class. For whatever reason, though it is on the coattails of a restful Sunday, I have been physically weary from the moment I stepped out of bed. For the next series of morning lessons I listened and scribbled down notes as quickly as possible, catching whatever details my memory and pen could keep up with. This has caused the hours and topics themselves to almost merge into a blob of data that I could spew out at great lengths, but with little detail without my notes right in front of me.

Read More...

June 06, 2011

Sunday, June 5 (Session 2, Day 8)

Sunday, June 5 (Session 2, Day 8)

Hey Summit Blog Readers! Wow, today was an eventful day! The day started out with waking up at 5 AM to get ready for whitewater rafting. As my one roommate said her classic line of “I hate mornings? we all quietly stumbled around in the dark to get ready quickly. The most redeeming quality of 5 AM is that everyone looks a HOT MESS so you don’t feel too bad for having eye sleepies and messy hair! So after we finally drove through the beautiful mountains of Colorado for two long hours, we finally got to Noah’s Ark. I must admit hat I was super tired and kind of nervous, but nervousness quickly turned into excitement! Once we got suited up with life jackets, booties, polypro shirts, and wet suits, we headed to the rafts to meet our guide, J. Willy.

Read More...

June 06, 2011

Saturday, June 4 (Session 2, Day 7)

Saturday, June 4 (Session 2, Day 7)

So we’re at the end of the… sixth day, I think. By this point they all start to blur together. Honestly, considering that by the end of the second day we (that is, myself and those seated directly adjacent to me) had already started to feel like it was the third or fourth day, I feel accomplished that I’m able to recognize that this is Saturday evening without the assistance of my schedule. The days are sadly starting to speed up, but as the French say, “c’est la vie? – that’s life. As regards the content, only two things can really be said. One; it is of the first and highest quality. It’s of the sort of quality education some people dream of; and it’s being delivered to me in the sort of special, close-quarters environment that makes learning really effective. Two, it is of the near-highest volume that you could imagine. I say ‘near-highest’ only after hearing John Stonestreet talking about Summit Oxford and how you are given roughly thirty books to read in a week or two, at which point you must write, deliver and defend a philosophical paper. While the intellectual stimulation sounds mouth-watering, it’s also rather intimidating. I’m a voracious reader, and I tremble at the thought of a few dozen heavy philosophical works staring me down and defying me to consume and comprehend their depths within roughly the space of a week or maybe two. But Summit is not just about the education; obviously, that is the main focus, but the presence of a main focus does not necessitate the absence of other, auxiliary foci. The companionship is equally top-notch. Spending roughly sixteen hours a day (wake at 7, bed at 11, lectures and meals in between) in the constant deluge of information, and alongside others comparably thirsty for it, only furthers the cerebral animation. It’s inestimably pleasurable to spend all my time in the company of young men and women who are just as and more passionate for knowledge and good education as I, and who want to equip themselves with the tools to actually do something with what they’ve learned. These are people who care about the culture in which they live, and who don’t want to simply sit on the sidelines and watch the paper boats float down towards the waterfall. They want to be involved, to make a difference, to execute positive, forceful cultural changes as they believed they have been divinely called to do. You would be hard-pressed to find one person in this whole session who does not understand, to at least some degree, the Christian mandate to be culture-crafters, rather than culture-watchers. I like to say that God calls us to be spies, secret agents sent into modern culture to infiltrate, subvert, twist, and adapt culture to God’s glory. It would be a cliché to say “last but not least,? especially since this last item really is the least of the three things that have struck me during only my first week here. Bear in mind; coming in last to the two topics above is like finishing third in a footrace against Eric Liddell and Usain Bolt – there’s no shame in losing, no matter how good you are. It may be incongruous with my above paragraph, but I feel like the scenery deserves some verbiage. Being from South Carolina and the aptly-named ‘Lowcountry,’ in a bizarrely-named town of Mount Pleasant which has no elevation higher than a hotel roof, I am struck silent by being constantly surrounded by the beautiful vistas and glorious shapes of the mountains. It may be odd, but I find mountains to be profoundly moving, and I always enjoy any time I am able to spend among them. I can’t wait to see what the second week has to throw at me, and I welcome the challenge. Should be fun.

Read More...

June 04, 2011

Friday, June 3 (Session 2, Day 6)

Friday, June 3 (Session 2, Day 6)

So, I sheepishly awakened to my roommate Lauren telling me that it was seven o’clock. Groaning, I managed to take a shower, which was super duper cold! My roommates always make fun of me for taking my vitamins. I take probably twenty vitamins and a vitamin shake. Then, my roommates and I had breakfast, nothing real special, just a hard…

Read More...

June 03, 2011

Thursday, June 2 (Session 2, Day 5)

Thursday, June 2 (Session 2, Day 5)

My name is Brandon and I’m on staff here at Summit Ministries working as a small group leader and dishwasher. Today was a very full and exciting day. Two of my favorite speakers were on the docket for today, Del Tackett and Scott Klusendorf. Being on Dishpit, I didn’t get done washing all the dishes in time to hear much of Del Tackett, but I was able to hear most of Scott Klusendorf’s lecture. I love the fact that even though he is passionate about the issue of abortion, he is such a great teacher and makes sure the students understand what he’s talking about so they know how to logically defend the pro-life position. It never really occurred to me that someone could defend the pro-life position without diving into religion, but Mr. Klusendorf showed us that we shouldn’t use religious arguments when talking to someone who non-religious because they don’t hold the same values as us. He gave us good arguments to use that aren’t based in religious talk, but instead are based in science and philosophy. He showed us that the abortion debate really comes down to a single question: are the unborn human? He then gave us reasons and evidence to show that yes, the unborn are indeed human. I love listening to him speak, and can’t wait until he comes back! After lunch, which was absolutely fabulous (n my opinion, the food here should be in the top three reasons to come to summit), we went to sports time! Naturally the sport of choice here is volleyball, but I decided to hit the basketball court and see how well the students could play. I was surprised by the amount of people that wanted to play basketball. Usually we don’t have that many, but today we had about sixteen people who wanted to play. We definitely had some talented people, but pretty soon it became clear to us that, yes, Colorado air was definitely thinner than most places. Whenever we finished a game most of us had to crawl off the court because we were breathing really hard. My team won both games that I played, and after that I had to quit because I was really sucking air. I really need to work out more. Even though the Colorado air affected us all, we were still able to have fun playing ball. After dinner we listened to John Stonestreet give a lecture about spirituality in American culture. It was really sad to see some of the strange and sometimes downright bizarre ways that people treat their spirituality. John showed us a video clip of some people in the middle of Virginia who go out into the middle of the forest to wail and mourn and howl and weep over the cutting down of trees. They beg for the trees to forgive them for the “atrocities? that have been done. Even though we were laughing throughout the video, I just kept thinking that it was so sad that people are so misguided about things like that. They believe it with all their heart, but they don’t use their minds to critically think about why they do what they do. I think that is what makes places like Summit so important. Here we not only learn about other worldviews and ideas, but we also learn how to critically examine them and point out the flaws and fallacies in those ideas. It’s something that so important, but so overlooked. After the lecture it was small group time. I am so blessed to have the small group that I have. Each of the guys want to be challenged and want to learn as much as they can while they are here. So tonight I opened it up to them and we debated a few questions that they had, like the morality of tattooing, and some questions that I posed to them, like the point of worship. Each one of the guys and some very good things to say, and they had ideas that I hadn’t even thought about before. In the end, we didn’t have any specific answers, and I’m sure that we all disagreed about most of the stuff, but we were all challenged by one another to think hard and to think critically. The one thing that I’ve learned since being here at Summit is that sometimes discussions aren’t really about coming up with an answer that we can all agree on, but are rather about the process— being open to new thoughts and ideas, thinking critically, and being able to defend the ideas you have with good logic and evidence. Well, the hour is late, and morning comes early here. So until next time!

Read More...

June 02, 2011

Wednesday, June 1 (Session 2, Day 4)

Wednesday, June 1 (Session 2, Day 4)

Ba dum ba doop la dee doo. The alarm on my cellphone buzzed inside my pillow case, and I reached, dazed with sleep, to silence its unearthly shrill. I had slept on top of my covers so I wouldn’t have to worry about the oh-so-strenuous task of making my bed in the morning. Even though this kept Room 409 competitive in the heated “Cleanest Room Contest,? I shivered and jumped down from my bunk to grab a hoodie before hiking up the Red Mountain Trail with Erin, Erica, and Kat at the break of dawn. The hike was refreshing, and when we returned, I was jubilant because for the first time at Summit, I had the chance to taste the amazing breakfast...

Read More...

June 01, 2011

Tuesday, May 31 (Session 2, Day 3)

Tuesday, May 31 (Session 2, Day 3)

Today has been a great day here at Summit. I have already learned a lot about worldviews, what other people believe, and how to treat them. This morning we had four lectures with a class picture in between. I learned about how economists and Christians should be working together for the common good instead of against each other. The session…

Read More...

Previous Page