Sunday, January 25, 2015

NYC Nightwatch Youth Gathering

Our church's youth group joined three other groups this weekend for an overnight trip to the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City. What an incredible night of fellowship in this amazing, breathtaking setting...We shared our bus trip with another group from the Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Foxboro, MA and arrived excited, if tentative, about the full night of activity waiting ahead for us...

A view from above of this immense cathedral, the largest in the world!

Everyone unloaded into the gymnasium in the undercroft (mad rush to find outlets to plug in all the drained devices! One genius among us was brilliant enough to pack a power strip and all electronics commenced charging while some mad One Bounce Pseudo Volleyball Insanity broke out. Another group poured in from New Jersey while a fourth group from CT was running late, held up in the weekend traffic.

Eventually we all trailed upstairs to begin the night's program. I couldn't possibly photograph what was waiting for us on entry to the cathedral--I tried the next morning but even Googling on the laptop, I couldn't find a decent picture of the colossal Phoenix sculptures hanging suspended in the cathedral's nave. At first, all was dark except for the sculptures, lit with tiny sparkling lights like Christmas...then--they lit the cathedral...and you could see these two incredible creatures...hanging in the midst of this incredible, huge sanctuary....You can Google for pictures, but it's really something that needs to be experienced first hand. Just amazing...

The delayed group from CT finally arrived and the activities began. We were kept busy and moving well into the night with a closing candlelight Eucharist and meditation at midnight that was the perfect ending to a really wonderful night. We were then allowed to curl up with our sleeping mats and bags back down in the undercroft's gymnasium, though very little sleep actually ensued...I waited patiently and quietly for morning and coffee and an opportunity to head back upstairs to a day lit cathedral...Still, my pictures don't do any kind of justice to the beauty of that building:

One of seven chapels in the cathedral

Can you imagine getting married here?!

Those blue lights below the rose window are the Phoenixes

Intricately carved pews for the choir loft

Crazy detail everywhere you look--I could sit in here and sketch forever!!

Beautiful floors throughout....

A mini Phoenix

One set of organ pipes

I couldn't get in to all the chapels yesterday morning for pictures, plus the light was still so dim from the snow/sleet storm that was happening outside...After a quick round up of the troops, bagels and coffee for breakfast, we loaded back into the bus and were off to see the WTC Memorial museum, which I just cried through the entire time...To stand where those two towers once stood and to take in the total tragic loss of life that day, less than two weeks shy of giving birth to my Bug...Another experience that needs to be done firsthand...

So today, we are iced in with a blizzard on its way for tomorrow night! Seems like the weather has stored up all my snow this winter for one big blowout! I'm heading to the grocery store to stock up and then battening down the hatches for the storm ahead! Stay safe and warm my friends!

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