Ministry Experiences, Photography

San Diego cohort retreat

Last night I flew down to San Diego for a week of learning. Today was the first day of a two-day Leadership Cohort retreat. This is our second retreat (out of three) this year.

I feel a tremendous privilege to be part of this great group of pastors from around the country, learning how to be better leaders. We discussed stuff like complexity theory, learning communities, and adaptive leadership.


In the presence of so much wisdom, I sometimes wonder why I was asked to be on the leadership team, but I was happy when the first thing that happened when I walked into room was that Dan, our leader, said, “Angela! Our tech support!” I helped him figure out how to plug in the computer into the mysterious projector. I also was the PowerPoint operator for Jordon, who led us in a time of worship. Sometime it’s useful to be geeky. 🙂

The day was a good time of listening and learning and asking questions. I am super bummed I will not be able to join them tomorrow because I need to be at a class required for my denominational licensing credential. I will be helping to facilitate again at the spring retreat, though.

We are staying at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego. From my door, it looks totally gorgeous…


…until you look at the rest of the landscape. It’s so interesting how photography can present a picture that is far from the truth! The photo above is the little green spot on the upper right of this photograph. 🙂


I was wondering why this place looked so familiar and was wracking my brains to figure out when our family had vacationed here, and then baffled as to why I would ever book a stay at a resort. I puzzled over these thoughts as I stood at the check-in counter a long time as they sorted out the fact that I had booked myself a room for the rest of the week, and though someone had made arrangements for my room this weekend and I was on the list, I had never been assigned a room. Then they didn’t know how to assign me a room because the room block was full so they were figuring out how to hack into their own system. Ha ha…the fun life of being a hotel receptionist.

Anyway, half an hour later, it came to me. I realized had been here at the National Outreach Convention! Yes, I’m a little slow. It took half an hour of walking and driving around the place until it came to me.


We ended the session in the late afternoon and had a free evening because the Super Bowl was going on. I took a short walk across the parking lot in the back to the Fashion Valley Mall. It’s a very nice mall. It was pretty empty, because I was able to get shots with some empty walkways.


I sure felt like a tourist, going around taking pictures. I like taking pictures of architecture.


Here’s a cool water wall.


I find architectural details so interesting. It is a little odd to walk around with my camera pointed at what appears to be the sky, though.


I am reading Scott Kelby’s The Digital Photography Book, which is excellent. One of the tips he gives is that when you take a picture, move to a different location to get a different view. Everyone always takes a picture from where they first see something. Good photographers look for different locations and unique points of view. I tried this out on an interesting fountain that reminded me of a friend blooming onion or artichoke..


Then I went upstairs and found another view.


And then I moved around and found another view.


All interesting perspectives, for different reasons. This last one shows the overlapping circle motif in the tile that is not as obvious in the other pictures.

I miss my big heavy but very sharp DSLRs, but this little point and shoot camera sure beats having to pack and check in luggage just because I have lots of camera gear to lug around!

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