This past weekend, I was blessed with the opportunity to be sent on a contemplative prayer retreat in New Hampshire. On Friday afternoon when I was packing my bag to go, I wasn’t feeling too blessed about it though. I was feeling slightly resentful about the fact that I was being highly encouraged to go on a retreat when I had spent the majority of the three weeks before retreating in my bed and getting over mono. I felt that the time would be much better spent working my way through my long to-do list of items that I needed to catch up on in order to relieve some of the anxiety of feeling behind.
Tori is a South Coast fellow serving at Grace Episcopal Church in New Bedford.
I almost want to say it was a series of accidents that got me to where I am today: a Life Together fellow working on the South Coast with Grace Episcopal Church, New Bedford. I started my undergraduate career at Wellesley College, and then found myself graduating from Indiana University two years later. I grew up Roman Catholic, and then found myself being received into the Episcopal Church last spring. I was planning to serve abroad this year, but I found myself in the Life Together – South Coast program. And, finally, I was supposed to be serving at a different site placement this year, but now find myself as the intern at Grace. I could not imagine a better place for me! All of these things I originally perceived as accidents, mistakes, or missteps, but looking back on how they have all fit together in the narrative of my life, I see that all of them were necessary for me to find myself where I am now.
Mia is a Micah Fellow serving at Grace Church Medford.
"Yes, Jesus comes back. But not permanently, not to fulfill whatever revolutionary dreams the disciples had for him, and not even to erase his death. He comes with a dual purpose. He comes and binds himself to this broken world and its people yet again. He comes and shows us not a way out of grief and disappointment, but a way through..."
Will is a Micah Fellow serving at St. Mary's Dorchester. The following is from a sermon he preached on March 22, 2015.
"Whenever we stand before God and confess our sins - the things that keep us from God's will of Love - whenever we admit our faults of thought, word, and deed, whether out loud, in writing, in the quietness of our heart in prayer - whenever we admit these things, and ask for pardon and the strength to do better, we receive that love. We receive freely and we ought to receive joyfully. Whenever we pray the Our Father, asking to have our trespasses forgiven, we are given the daily bread of forgiveness, that nourishes us to forgive our trespassers, to love them, and to build the Body of Christ with them..."
...On an overnight retreat last summer, I asked a homesick fifth grader, Tania, what her mother does to help her fall asleep at bedtime. From my perspective, it was the most obvious question to ask as I sat there trying to calm her down. She replied simply with, “I don’t know what you mean. My mom is never home when I go to bed. She works two jobs, one that’s an overnight shift.” It was in that moment that I realized my job wasn’t just about teaching Tania how to add and subtract fractions...
In my 12 months of Life Together I grew from a shy California girl, who wanted nothing more than to follow the rules and blend into the walls, into a woman who stepped up to claim her voice and calling in a community of people doing the same. During my time at Life Together, I worked for the Trinity Education for Excellence program. I also worked on a community organizing team, served on the Trinity Copley Square Altar Guild, and worshipped with the Crossing Community.
Matt is a Micah Fellow serving at The Crossing.
When the time for the distribution of ashes arrived, however, a deep thing within me was struck—a resonant chord, an ancient gong. The ministers of The Sanctuary initiated the ritual in a mode at once alien and yet freeing in its minimalism, its lifting of the pressure for a climactic encounter with radiance. The name of Christ was alluded to merely once. It was only that raw touch of ash to flesh, the evidence that I am mortal...
A sermon by Deanna Roberts. Dee is a South Coast fellow serving at Church of the Holy Spirit in Fall River.
A journey. In many ways, my year in the Life Together program has been a journey—an exploration of the self and community. This journey has been intense, rewarding, aggravating at times, but overall worthwhile. I've experienced times this year where I have been pushed to grow and become more aware of my surroundings. There have been moments where I wanted to give up and walk away. There have also been episodes in my life here where I know that, no matter how difficult the journey, there is a call to continue onward.
Life Together’s January Third Friday Spiritual Activism Training focused on the theme of vocation. It was led by the Rev. John de Beer (see below). The goals of this training for Life Together Fellows were as follows:
a.) Learn to use a biblically based model of vocation to articulate and strengthen Fellows' own particular call at this time in their lives.
b.) Experience themselves as known, cherished and claimed by the Creator of all
c.) Receive as gifts their own innate abilities, those things that they do well and love doing.
d.) Explore their passionate connection with the world as a key to participation in God’s mission of justice and reconciliation.
e.) Develop an understanding of maturity as commitment, as they discover the freedom that comes from doing what they love in service of their deep desires.
f.) Strengthen their sense of partnership with God.
g.) Learn to support others to strengthen their own sense of call.