By Peyton Riddick, SBS Class of 2022
SBS Upper School students, faculty, and parents alike experienced God’s power and goodness through sermon, worship, and fellowship during the annual Upper School Retreat, held Sept. 14-16 in Rockbridge, Virginia.
For three days, students had the chance to escape schoolwork and extracurriculars so they could relax in the presence of God and form lasting relationships. Retreat traditions like the annual Olympic games, spectacular and hilarious talent show performances, and special moments like the senior speeches all offered plenty of opportunities for making memories.
This year’s retreat speaker Noel Thomason, a former SBS teacher and current parent, spoke on Joshua 1-7, titling his message “Crossing the Jordan.” His message laid the foundation for this year’s theme, found in Ephesians 4. Mr. Thomason covered how God provided for the Israelites in their journey to the Promise Land and how the principles in this passage can be applied today.
Thomason’s taglines, “Crossing the Jordan” and “Punch that Cougar in the Face,” quickly became the 2021 retreat slogans. They captured the main message of how we need to constantly fight against our sins and shame in a continued commitment to Christ.
Sophomore Dominic Morisi shared how he saw God move in his peers through retreat and described it as “light starting to come through the cracks in the darkness.”
“I pray this is a permanent change and that they will act and move in a way that is glorifying to God,” he continued.
Worship during retreat was nothing less than moving and emotional. The presence of God moved on the hearts of students, teachers and volunteers as Liberty Live’s Jordan and Ashley Setterlind led through songs like “Promises,” “Graves into Gardens,” and “See a Victory.” Senior Jasmine Reza described the worship experience as a moment to reset in preparation to glorify God.
“It helped me prepare my mind and focus on God,” she said. “I also think it made the student body closer and at the very least it gave us all time to prepare ourselves to really listen to what God wanted to show us in the message.”
The 2021 StoneBridge retreat offered an incredible moment to rest in the Lord’s presence despite all the challenges this past year has presented. Students carry the hope of continuing their passion for the Lord and their unity with one another as they return to school for the rest of the year.
Images provided by members of the StoneBridge community.