A group of eight members ventured to Denver Colorado to do service in The Community of The Beatitudes, an international organization of evangelization.
The Community welcomes lay, married and celibate members. Members often move to different continents every couple years. The members of the monastery we were at came from a variety of countries and states; there were several members from France, New Zealand, Italy, and the United States. The array of accents, languages, and religious beliefs create an interesting environment.
Fr. Zach Kautzky, James Wenman, T.J. Halligan, Joey Dorman, Charles Wingert, Nick Savage, Nick Dietrich, and Ethan Beacom departed at 7 a.m. on Saturday, March 13 and arrived, after several stops, around 7 p.m. that night. We participated in some interesting ancient Jewish dances, essentially the ancient version of the cupid shuffle.
The next day we traveled to their cabin in the mountains, two old wooden cabins near the peak of two foothills. The road up to the cabin is a twisting fire road that goes through the valley of the foothills. While on our way to the cabins, we spent the day at Red Rock Amphitheatre and hiking the surrounding mountains.
The several days were spent in prayer and improving the cabin and surrounding areas by building trails, marking trails, fixing decks, and wood burning. Many of the trip members were disappointed after we departed from the cabin, because we had not seen the supposed mountain lion and bear that roam the property.
Once we were back at the monastery, we were in the home stretch. We spent one of the following days in service and the other as a hiking day around Pikes Peak, Colorado’s highest mountain. On Saturday, March 20, we left and headed home.
This was definitely an eye opening experience, and we learned a lot. From visiting several of the Eastern Orthodox churches to a Jewish sabbath meal, we experienced different cultures and learned that there is much more in this world outside of Des Moines.