One thing I love about UKirk at the University of Tennessee is it’s group dynamic and the individual bonds between each member. No matter how long I’ve been away from UKirk, it seems I can always pick up where I left off with everyone as though no time has gone by. Wherever this group goes, it always feels like home where I belong.  

This being said, at the tail end of winter break, I went with UKirk to the Montreat College Conference in Montreat, NC. This was my 5th time attending a Montreat conference, but my second time going with UKirk. I immediately felt differently about this conference than the ones in the past. In past years, I would always prioritize my sense of place over the company I kept. I would try to do as many signature Montreat activities and sights as possible for the sake of saying I had done them regardless of who I did the activities with and if I wanted to do it. Something about this conference, maybe the weather or the message of Remembering Sabbath made me slow down and enjoy the company of my peers.

The message encouraged us to take time to remember and practice sabbath like God on the seventh day of creation. Also, preparing for sabbath and working for sabbath to better enjoy rest. The worship services emphasized the importance of having intimate time with ones self and intimate time with God. This was a really eye opening message for me going into the next semester. I am an architecture major and the major often makes me feel as though I don’t have time for everything I want to be involved in. Many times I feel guilty for taking time away from work to relax and focus on my faith. I needed this reminder of the creation story and the routine that God established on the first seven days of time. 

That week I really enjoyed relaxing and spending time with everyone on the trip. As for this semester, so far I am still trying to be intentional about my faith and sabbath practice but I am thankful for this conference for giving this new insight and awareness on resting through the faith.

Emma Hines
Architecture Major