Archive | August, 2011

Important Dates

12 Aug

Here are some upcoming dates that you’ll want to mark on your calendar:


Facilitator Retreat:  Sept 18-20

Returner Move-in:  Sept. 21, starting at 10 am

New Student Move-in:  Sept 22, starting at 10 am

New Parent Orientation:  Sept 22, 5:30 pm

Fall Gathering:  Sept 23, 5:30 pm – Sept 24, 1:00 pm


The Winter and Spring  gatherings and currently scheduled for Jan 6-7 and March 30-31, respectively.


In Their Words: Josh Allison

9 Aug

Welcome to part one of what will be a regular feature of the Vision 16 blog: “In Their Own Words.”  This series will be a way to hear from students rather than simply about them.  We’d be missing out to not hear from these bright, passionate, forward thinking young men and women; they aren’t simply the leaders of tomorrow, they are starting today.  They are leading by the way they shape culture, the way they spend their time and money, and the way they prioritize their lives.

Leading off is the recently married Josh Allison.  Josh lived in the Ave House for the past two years, is a passionate entrepreneur, lover of Jesus, and just Saturday exchanged 50 stinky, messy roommates for one much better looking and acting girl: Joanna.  Josh offers the following reflection and admonishment about the Malibu Leadership Weekend he attended last September:

The Malibu Leadership Weekend was one of the best experiences of my season in college so far.  A unique geographical setting makes for a refreshing change, and getting away from lots of technology and noise creates prime conditions for slowing down and spending quality time with new and old friends.  And let’s not forget the people you meet during this weekend – they’re world class leaders who love Jesus and desire to build friendships with rising leaders from younger generations.  Case in point, this is where Luke French and I first met governor David Beasley; several months later, we were spending our spring break riding ATVs on his farm, and sharing conversations with him and the former communist Prime Minister of Ethiopia.  In summary, go to it.

Thanks Josh.  If you are interested in finding out more about the Malibu Leadership Weekend taking place this upcoming Labor Day weekend, visit Washington Student Leadership’s website. It is a great weekend for people of all ages.  The goal is intergenerational leadership and relationship in the name of Jesus.  Don’t miss it!

What do you want?

5 Aug

It’s been around three months since I started the Vision 16 blog, and I think it’s high time that I heard a bit from you all about what it is you want to see.  Why do you stop by?  What makes you read the blog?  Give me some feedback via the poll below; and if you’re feeling verbose, feel free to leave a comment or send an email to let me know what it is you want to see on the Vision 16 blog.

Humanity’s Common Longing: Connection.

2 Aug

One of the most basic and common traits of humanity is that we all desire connection with one another.  We desire to be in relationship and to find some sort of fulfillment therein.  People want to be known and loved both because of, and in spite of, what is found.  I’m sure it’s not news to you that many barriers  prevent these connections from forming:  inconvenience, fear, and insecurity, just to name a few.  We are designed for connection and relationship, and cannot survive without it.  Babies who receive all of the basic needs (food, water, shelter) but lack love and social interaction do not properly develop.  At our most basic level, we need relationship for survival.

So if we need and desire real and deep connections with others, why can it be so difficult?  Why do we turn to false forms of connection (dare I mention Facebook?) rather than the grittiness of real relationship, relationship that requires intentionality, frustration and joy, among other things?  Why do we numb ourselves with shopping, pornography, drugs/alcohol, or even something as seemingly innocuous as productivity instead of diving into real relationships?

I recently watched this 20 minute TED talk on the subject of human connection from a research standpoint and was blown away by what I heard.  Those who live “whole-heartedly,” those that are connected and experience life’s full range of experience and relationship all practice and see the need for vulnerability.  That’s the keystone.  It’s what holds the whole thing together.  They don’t say that vulnerability is particularly fun or enjoyable, nor do they say that it’s awful or detestable; they simply say that it is absolutely necessary for connection.  Check out the video:

Relationship and connection are the way that we are refined and become the people we were created to be, and vulnerability is needed to experience the fullness of connection with each other.  What do we have to risk by being vulnerable?  Actually, quite a bit: we will probably feel rejected, inadequate, and…well…vulnerable.  But the alternative is bleak: isolation, loneliness, and a pared down experience of what God has called “good.”  I take great comfort in knowing that I have nothing to hide, at least not from God.  In the desert Hagar cried out to “the God who sees me.”  If God sees us, who are we hiding from?  Each other, I suppose.  I’m no advocate for walking around vomiting your deepest secrets on everyone you come across, but we must have people in our lives that we can unload that stuff onto and dialogue with.  This is the road to full life, and I believe it is the path to redemption.

Let’s practice vulnerability, even when it hurts and is uncomfortable.