“What does the transfiguration have to do with a year of discernment? Why is God represented so often as a cloud?”
Episcopal Service Corps members are given the opportunity to lead worship in partner parishes, and this past Sunday, February 26th, members of Confluence Year In Columbus, Ohio crafted the prayers and sermon for their host parish, St. John’s Franklinton. ESC member, Steven Simpkins delivered the following sermon which wrestles with the above questions.
“It was about a month before my dad died. I had a moment like Peter in the Gospel reading today. I wanted to make a dwelling for the space of the dazzling white I experienced. I was amazed, terrified, and overwhelmed with love all at the same time. I wanted to eternalize that so it could be revered and honored again and again. The small seizures my dad was stricken with made him blind. His Hazelnut eyes were cloudy and he listened to where a voice came from and tried to look in that general direction. He was signing his Power of Attorney over to me. When the lawyer asked my dad if he was certain that he wanted me to be the Power of Attorney, my dad with
A reflection by Confluence Year member Nicole Hamme
It’s hard to believe, but it’s already approaching the two-month anniversary of my new job with the Community Refugee and Immigration Services. Although I don’t get to work with them as much as I’d like, the refugee children have especially unlocked a new place in my heart. Their selflessness and bravery for entering a new, uncharted territory with their families in hopes of a better life free from war and violence astonishes me. They have said goodbye to an old life and one might associate this experience as something wounding, but their smiles hardly show it.
Below is a poem I wrote while driving a newly arrived Somalian family to their doctor appointment. The youngest son, just shy of four years old, was beaming with happiness as we drove through Columbus, pointing out the buildings and admiring his new world with wonder. His happiness was so contagious, it left an imprint on me for the rest of the day.
￼￼￼￼he’s yet to know the fragility of the human heart,
and I pray he’ll never have to, for his father, and sisters and sweet grandmother who smells of honey and spice, will stitch
Take some time to hear from ESC Corps Member Gabriela Machado about her experience working with the Hoboken Shelter during her 2016-17 Episcopal Service Corps year with NEWARK ACTS.
“Since moving to New Jersey in September for my year of service with the Episcopal Service Corps (NEWARK ACTS) I have been volunteering at the Hoboken Shelter during the 11am – 3pm lunch. They shelter 50 people nightly, serve 500 meals daily, host 1,000 showers weekly, and provide support services such as case management, counselling, job and life skills training, creative arts workshops, emergency homelessness prevention grants, and permanent supportive housing solutions.
Volunteering at the Shelter has been a real joy, and I think that is for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the dedicated and wonderful members of staff make sure that everyone has fun while volunteering – be it chopping carrots, shucking corn, wiping counters, serving lunch, doing dishes, folding envelopes and keeping the kitchen running. Pictured holding the sign is Q, the chef on Mondays through to Wednesdays. His stories, his cheerful disposition, his jokes, and his CHICKEN (y’all should come just to try his chicken and gravy) always makes for an enjoyable time at
As ESC welcomes our 2015-16 class of corps members, we look back at 2014-15 and beyond. Click here or on each page below to read ESC’s Summer 2015 newsletter!
Rosa Todaro, The Julian Year 2012-13
This year, living in community forced me to be vulnerable. There wasn’t much I could hide from my housemates—I couldn’t even hide the fact that I was hiding. A few months into the year, my housemate Nate flat out told me I never talk about myself. It frustrated me at first to hear this, but his comment ended up being a wonderful and essential realization for me. My housemates and I grew closer by acknowledging our imperfections and troubles. Together, we shared each other’s pains and joys. We saw each other at our worst and best, and ultimately it’s this that helped us become so close. This year, I realized vulnerability is not synonymous with weakness (I didn’t make this up, don’t quote me, go click on “TED talk” above and watch the TED talk).