It was exciting to commute into Grand Central Station every morning, navigating the teeming crowds. I loved noticing the way the Chrysler Building makes a shadow on the mirrored surface of the UN building in the early mornings of spring, as I walked to 815 Second Ave, the Episcopal Church Center. I got to walk in Central Park, explore Time Square, and visit the Metropolitan Museum. But most enjoyable of all, was staying with my friends the Copley’s, being welcomed into their home and family, learning how to rock climb and kayak, going to church, discussing mission work, and on one occasion, attempting to help with math homework.
Working at the Church Center was challenging and interesting. I loved the team spirit of the Mission Personnel Office, and the chance to get to know David, Douglas, Yanick, Michelle, and Rebecca a little better. Getting to see all the work that goes on behind the scenes made me even more appreciative of all that they do for the missionaries in the field! We are in good hands.
The Mission Orientation I attended in 2006 was a life-changing event for me. Everything was covered, from the theology of mission in the Episcopal Church, to what medical supplies to bring with you. But most important was the community of support that developed amongst the missionaries. So I was very excited to be involved in another Mission Orientation. Getting to watch and participate in that community building was wonderful. It is an exhausting, action packed two weeks, with lectures, skits, games, enactments, worship, bible study, celebration, and pilgrimage. Each one of the new missionaries brings their own passion, skills, and desire to serve. I can’t wait to get their updates, and hear about all of their transforming experiences. You can learn more about them, and see their blogs by going to: www.episcopalchurch.org/missionworks
As part of the Mission Orientation, we took the group to the “Everyone Everywhere” mission conference in Baltimore (which will be held every three years). There were more than 400 people there, involved in mission work all over the world. It was great to get new perspectives, and make connections. I got to present a workshop on tropical agriculture, and handed out nearly 100 copies of the handbook on tropical agriculture, which I wrote for missionaries (if you’d like an electronic copy of this handbook, just email me, I will try to also post it on this blog).
I returned to California just in time for my mom’s ordination, and my god daughter’s baptism. It has been an eventful two months!