“Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge: ‘Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.’” -Matthew 10:5-8 (MSG)
If you passed by the Cathedral on Friday, April 4, 2014 after 7:30pm, you would have seen space marked off, tents pitched and cardboard boxes assembled outside on the west lawn. On Friday night, youth and their leaders camped outside to explore what it is like to live outside for one night, as some of our brothers and sisters do every night. This was only a start to 20 hours of experiencing and learning what it means to be the “harvest hands” in our community and in our world.
We gathered together in St. Alban’s Parish, Nourse Hall, where Mr. Micheal Lawyer, the Rev. Cara Spaccarelli, and small group leaders led large and small groups in talking, singing, praying, and exploring where God might be calling us to serve in our own communities. This call, they reminded us, might be uncomfortable, but calls us into a deeper relationship with Christ and others.
Following Eucharist on Saturday morning, we were split up into different groups and went out into Washington, DC to serve 5 locations in our community: Epiphany Mission Center, Grace Table Georgetown, Seabury Age-in-Place (two locations), and Capital Hill Group Ministry. Throughout the city, we served meals, invited people to Sunday morning Welcome Table at Church of the Epiphany, pruned trees, cut down shrubs, prayed with people outside Union Station, and taught arts and crafts.
We returned from our service sites with so many stories to share. We debriefed on what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world and how we can continuously love our neighbors as ourselves.
Thanks to the youth, youth leaders, families and committee members who participated in sharing Christ’s light in DC through the Youth and Family Service Day.
Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours God, help us to live now and serve now! Amen. -St. Teresa of Avila