Hutchmoot Wrap-Up 2016


We just finished the final cleanup of the church and waved goodbye to the last of the staff and volunteers. My feet hurt. My eyes are drooping. And the Rabbit Room office looks like a tornado went through it. Hutchmoot 2016 is over.

There’s no way I can adequately express my thanks to everyone who helped make this past weekend happen. More than once, I remember asking one of our staff or volunteers (or even a guest) to take care of a task or problem and thinking as I was doing so that I had no idea what I would do without the help of the person in front of me. Folks were so ready and willing to pitch in and get things done that the weekend flowed smoothly from beginning to end, and I’m grateful for every one of you.

Thank you to Diana Glyer for giving us exactly what we needed. Thank you to Audrey Assad for singing lullabies and psalms over us at the end of a tiring day. Thank you to Lewis and John and Ashley and Phillip and Lindsay and Dillon for keeping us well fed. Thank you to Kate for long hours of making things lovely and keeping the ship heading in the right direction. Thank you to Jennifer for helping us create something beautiful together. Thank you to the Settles family for reminding us not to hide our lights under a bushel. Thank you to Kaitlyn who helps me keep track of so many things I nearly forget and does so much work with so little complaint. Thank you to John who somehow manages to manage the merch. Thank you to all the folks taking out trash and setting tables and carrying chairs and making copies and running cables and sweeping floors and stocking toilet paper and cooking brownies and doing all the thousand things that need doing. Thank you also to all the folks I’ve forgotten to thank.

I’m about to put up my feet and relax for a few hours. And as I do, I feel paradoxically both utterly empty and completely full. That’s as it should be.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and reflections on the weekend. Once you have time to sift through it all, put your thoughts into a comment here, or link to your blog. Let us know what Hutchmoot 2016 was like for you.

Thanks for letting us do this crazy thing. I’m already looking forward to next year.



Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he's the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.


  1. John Barber


    Geez, Pete. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for creating this amazing thing. It’s been seven years of friend-making. Seven years of beauty. Seven years of home. Mostly, thank you for being such a great friend.

  2. Chris Yokel


    It seems divinely appropriate that Hutchmoot arrived just as the biggest poop-storm of the election cycle hit, which meant that I was spending less time in certain cessy pools of social media and more time with all of you beautiful people, talking about goodness, truth, beauty, and feasting. It was a much needed reminder once again that, in the words of Samwise, “there are things worth fighting for”, and not just intellectual ideas, but true, incarnate things worth fighting for. Thank you to @pete and @andrew for somehow letting me be a contributing member of this beautiful community. After four years, it feels like coming home.

  3. Pete Tegeler

    I really love a photo from Hutchmoot of Erin and I and other Hutchmooters with Church of the Redeemer as the backdrop. It seemed like a good idea to use that pic wallpaper on my phone, but now now that I’m back, whenever I use that device of distraction I immediately see the photo and a wave of homesickness rolls over me. There is a sense of loss that I am no longer there.

    On one hand, it’s appropriate that I’d feel sad about having to leave behind such a fantastic experience, but on another, that’s not how I want this thing to resolve. I want to find a way forward, not fretting that I can no longer experience Hutchmoot, but searching for ways in which I can still lean into Hutchmoot-ish things in my daily life.

    It seems a fitting response for me. Recently, a larger theme in my life and in my vocation as a pastor has had to do with sustaining, being present, and being aware of God and to myself. I’ve had to learn to listen to my life (h/t Buechner) and I’ve been surprised to actually discover some of those gifts of grace that people say you’ll find there. Shocking, I know. (Interesting: I felt that same theme at Hutchmoot as I heard you folks at the Rabbit Room say, “This is wonderfully great. And also exhausting. How do we do it for the long-haul?”)

    I am not really sure the way (which unintentionally sounds a little too much like a certain Frodo line) but I suspect it has a lot to do with the same theme. Be present. Be aware. Look long and hard for those gifts of grace. And be nourished and sustained by them.

  4. Carrie Givens


    I have not had–or taken–the time to sit and write out what Hutchmoot meant to me this year. It was good, in that deep, resonant sense of good. But here’s a tidbit of extra delight from the weekend that I did not expect:

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