So what have I have been doing? This past weekend, I traveled to my home church, the Cathedral of All Souls. Now, I must say that All Souls is just the best thing. I have practically grown up there, and it is so nice to travel back and see so many familiar, supportive faces. For those of you who have never been to All Souls, check it out:
This past Sunday, I spoke at the 9 am service that just so happened to be the same Sunday as the Rite 13 ceremony. For those of you that don't know Rite 13 is a coming of age ceremony within the church for those who have turned 13 years old. It's a celebration of teenagers heading into the unknown of middle school and high school, and it celebrates the awkwardness and uncomfortable-ness of growing up. Pimples, puberty and hormones! YAY! Perhaps more importantly, Rite 13 also serves as a reminder to those coming of age that no matter what happens, they will always be a part of the supportive and welcoming community that is All Souls and Episcopal Church.
Speaking at the services and watching the ceremony, I was really able to connect with what those 13-year-olds were going through. Obviously, I survived the horrors of middle school and high school but I can definitely foresee going through the same "Someone please tell me what is going on" feeling in about three months. I know I will feel out of place at times. I know that I will be pushed to my mental limits. But hey, it's a fantastic feeling to know that just like those nervous, up-and-coming young Episcopalians sitting in the congregation on Sunday, I, too will have the support and community of All Souls and the church. Let's just say it was my very own Rite 24 service; personally made for this nervous, awkward twenty-something about to dive headfirst into the unknown.
After the 9 am service, I gave a small presentation to the members of the church that braved monsoon-like rains to hear me speak. It was so rewarding to tell those in attendance at church and at the adult education hour about my upcoming mission. The presentation I gave was in our church's parish hall, which believe it or not, is where I attended vacation bible school as a young little hellraiser. Isn't it wonderfully weird how life can take you full circle? Anyways, it was great to talk to everyone about what I will be doing next year. It was even better fielding questions from the group of adults present. I was asked questions I hadn't even bothered to ask myself. Enlightening.
In other news, fundraising continues! I am around half-way to my goal of $10,000! Still, I have a long way to go. For those of you interested in donating, please check out my raffle! Not only can you support a good cause, but you can also win some pretty amazing prizes.