We had heard what a beautiful campus the college had and it was that and more. But it was a series of serendipitous experiences that combined to make our adventure so memorable. Upon arriving for our first night at the luxurious new Sewanee Inn we learned that the college orchestra was performing a free concert of classical music at the nearby Monteagle Sunday School Assembly (MMSA) and it turned out to be one of the highlights of our visit.
According to the sign at its entrance, the purpose of MMSA is “the advancement of science, literary attainment, Sunday School interests, and the promotion of the broadest popular culture in the interest of Christianity without regard to sect or denomination.” It is patterned after the Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York and is similar to the Methodist campground that we visited at Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
It was a slice of our beloved New England here in the South and the weather even turned quite a bit cooler for us, adding to the irresistible ambience of the idyllic retreat center. Back at Sewanee, we bravely (and successfully) rode the tandem bike the inn provided for guests, toured the gothic-themed campus of the university and visited several of the neighboring scenic spots, including a giant-sized white cross on the mountainside and the stunning library of homegrown investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton.
Capping off our relaxing visit was the complimentary upgrade upon our request to a spacious upstairs suite overlooking the golf course. Our stay not only refreshed our bodies but also our spirits and reminded us anew of how much God cares for us and delights in giving us the desires of our hearts. This Independence Day we celebrated our interdependence on one another and on God and yes, there were fireworks!