Sunday, October 15, 2017

Lake Wales Memories, Old and New

When we returned from Cuba, the family dropped me off in Lake Wales for the rest of the week so I could lead at the Residents in Ministry Personal Growth Conference. I'm the new chairperson for the RIM process after being on the team for several years and this conference I designed and taught a new segment on Clergy Self Care. The setting for this particular conference was historic Bok Tower Gardens. I loved visiting here as a child with family and with our youth group - every year we went to Bok Tower, ate a picnic lunch and then visited Spook Hill and the Passion Play. 

I had a great week getting to know the new provisional elders and deacons in our conference and spending time with them. One of the things we did during our time on spiritual practices was to walk this prayer labyrinth I had brought in from the conference office. 

The view from my conference room in the visitor center. 

More views around the visitor center. 

The other new meeting space used by the pastors for the preaching segment of their conference. 

The "Singing" Tower remains gorgeous as ever and the original gardens continue to be beautifully maintained. But what I love about this place is that over the last several years they have found ways to continue to upgrade and improve the grounds, making Bok Tower relevant to changing tastes and super appealing to families. The last time I was there was in 2014, for another pastor conference. Since then they have put in a gorgeous outdoor eating area and edible gardens - they do cooking demonstrations here and food tastings - and recently opened a whole new hands on children's area. Can't wait to bring the family back here soon! 

The new children's play area has climbing "spiderwebs", hammocks and much more. 

And the awesome outdoor kitchen where we ate all our lunches!

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