These words from poet Mary Oliver were some of the very first I remember from circle at our weekly Life Together Friday trainings. I keep these words close because they remind me of the circle of people I was so blessed to spend an entire year with. My work and ministry in and away from that circle in Boston was rooted in a community that lived the reality that just being present is enough. Showing up in the world authentically and courageously is what we are all called to.
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.
I grew up in the Episcopal Church and felt called to the Priesthood ever since I can remember. Much of my life before Life Together was marked by periods of wonder and excitement, coupled with fear and doubt. While I was in the ordination process when I entered the program, Life Together actual gave me the unique vision of myself in this role that felt right.
Last month marked my one-year anniversary to the Priesthood. After attending seminary at Yale Divinity School, I was called to Trinity Cathedral in Sacramento, California. I work with young adults, youth, and fresh expressions of ministry. In all that I do I seek to host and empower communities of storytelling, vulnerability, and creativity, like the ones that nourished me in Life Together. Some of communities I host include a young adult spirituality group that meets at a different downtown restaurant and coffee shops each week, and a potluck dinner church that is a co-created Eucharistic community rooted in a shared meal and creative liturgical pieces.
Additionally, I am now working on starting a community rooted in embodied spiritual practice. This project is emerging out my own longings as a dancer and meditator, and from parishioner curiosity about spiritual practices that involve the whole body, mind, and spirit. In the coming months I am forming a community that practices meditation, yoga, tai chi, and dance, coupled with sharing stories of experience as spiritual practice. For more on my own emerging journey as a dance instructor, you can click here.
Life Together was genuinely the best year of my life. It gave me the foundation for my life and ministry today. I continue to be grateful for this experience and the wider community that continues to grow and inspire me each year.