Last Wednesday night Shey and I joined friends Tom and his wife Lore for cocktails and dinner with the brothers in the order of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, at their house in DC. It was one of the best nights I have had in a long time. Hanging out with Tom and Lore was a lot of fun, and our time with the Oblates was wonderful. They were so kind and welcoming, making us feel right at home as soon as we walked in the door. Even though we were a few minutes late after taking a wrong turn after the metro, and thus missed evening prayers, it didn't phase them one bit. Marc Gherardi is a seminarian taking a class at Leland and was our host for the evening (you may remember him from a previous post). We had a round of drinks and hors d'oeuvre, then had dinner in this warm room, with these beautiful wood tables with tall-backed chairs. The food was absolutely amazing, pastas, vegetables, wine, and great desserts and coffee. We had great conversation, and Shey and I came away sensing a stronger unity in the body of Christ after this night, and having made some new friends. Brian Zumbrum is a first-year postulant, and was a great conversation partner throughout the night and helped us to feel at home along with Marc throughout the night. Micheal Castrilli helped keep the good beverages coming our way, and encouraged the singing of fight songs, great laughs, and an overall wonderful spirit throughout the night. This was a night that I won't soon forget, and I would encourage anyone looking for a place to do a retreat, or who is looking to make some new friends in an ecumenical setting, to meet some of the Oblates, especially the guys at the house in DC. Thanks for a great night friends!
On Sunday night, Shey and I went up with some good friends, Katie and Justin Straight, and Justin's younger sister and freshman at JMU, Anna Straight to Convergence. My pastor and the George's joined us for a contemplative and meditative evening together. My friends Todd Cullop and Lisa Hawkins are co-pastoring the church and leading the arts center piece of their community, in an effort to incorporate the arts into the DNA of their community of faith, and to give voice to artists as a whole. Other friends Harp 46 led the jazz service that night, and it was a wonderful night together of prayer, reading of scripture, and conversation. It was good to catch up with some friends I haven't seen in a while, and to worship together. If you are in the Alexandria/DC area, be sure to visit Convergence if you get a chance.
Harp 46 is going on tour and is starting to pre-order their new cd. Check out their website for more info! It was good to see folks on Sunday, David Hawkins, Tom and Lore, Scott Erwin, and all the Harp friends.