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Young Adult Service Corps: Thanksgiving and Gratitude

November 21, 2018
Evangelism Initiatives

Lydia Pendleton

Serving in Puerto Rico
from the Episcopal Church in New Hampshire

This year I am thankful for the opportunity to serve the diocese of Puerto Rico as a YASCer and this chance to explore my faith. I am thankful for the people in the Diocese of Puerto Rico who have shown me that even after the worst hurricane season they have seen in decades, “faith never falls and hope never fails” – “no caiga el fe, no caiga la esperanza”. At a time when I personally find it hard to see the light in a world that often seems overwhelmed by darkness, I am grateful for the people of Puerto Rico who have taught me that “We walk by faith, not by sight” (Corinthians 5:7). I am thankful for the people in Puerto Rico who remind me every day, that there is always hope and you will always have your faith. 

It has also been a blessing to also experience gratitude myself. The Diocese of Puerto Rico has welcomed me with open arms thanking me for my year of service as a YASC missionary. They remind me to embrace my gifts, telling me how they are grateful for my youthful spirit and energy, my desire to learn and listen, my knowledge of Latin culture, my ability to be flexible in different situations, and my dedication to exploring my faith on this journey.  

Zach Jeffers

Serving in New Zealand
from the Diocese of Upper South Carolina

I am thankful for the community I have here within the diocese of Wellington, New Zealand. They have been more than welcoming and so inclusive, always making sure I feel connected. Even though I am far away from home (about as physically far as I can be on land) and miss my friends and family, I still feel quite loved and supported because of the people here in Wellington. 

I have experienced a huge amount of gratitude from the seafarers I work with every day. While being on board their ships they often feel as though they are alone, isolated from people and the outside world, and feel forgotten and brushed aside by society, their employers, and the communities in the ports they visit. Some of the things we do seem small and insignificant to us, but when they are met with such overwhelming gratitude, we are reminded how valuable our work is to the seafarers we support. 

[Interested in serving with the Young Adult Service Corps for a 2019-2020 placement? Apply here!]

Jourdan Johnson

Serving in Brazil
from the Episcopal Church in Connecticut

I’m thankful for the support from my friends and family and for unexpected gifts.

Together with a friend in 2017, I began a gratitude jar.  Every Sunday evening, we would look back on the week and write down on slips of scrap paper what we were grateful for, fold them up and put them in the jar.  At the end of the year we reviewed them all and reviewed our years, how they had changed us and what had happened.  Again, this year, we are doing the same thing.  Remembering to be thankful on a daily basis and the year-end review has unexpectedly changed my thought patterns to healthier ones.  

Madeline Roberts

Serving in the United Kingdom
from the Diocese of Maine

I am thankful for the unending support and love from not only my friends and family, but from the placement that accepted me with open hearts and open minds. I’ve lost count of how many times people have offered tips, suggestions, or even just open invitations to come to them with any problem I might encounter. It is through this compassion that I am now thriving in Liverpool! 

Since I am working in the education department, I see a lot of young faces coming in and out of the cathedral every day. Just the joy of completing a craft, or understanding a concept, or even their wonder on their faces as they look up at the massive tower is enough gratitude to keep me going. 

Mitchel Bibelheimer

Serving in the Philippines
from the Diocese of Oklahoma

Thanksgiving is a season for reflecting, and as I reflect on all of my blessings, I am overwhelmed. I am thankful that God blessed me with a curiosity that constantly makes me try new things (admittedly with mixed results). I am thankful that I have been able to create a home on the opposite side of the world, and all of my family and friends that have made that possible. Most of all I am thankful for the community I have found in the Philippines, and how they welcomed me with open arms.

I would say that in the Philippines I experience gratitude in a lot of different ways, but I think the most visible is the appreciation for community. Everyone is always so appreciative when they are together, for any occasion. It is an amazing thing going to an event and before you can thank your host for inviting you, they genuinely thank you just for being there.

The Rev. Canon
Stephanie Spellers

Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Evangelism, Reconciliation and Creation Care

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Sarah Alphin

Associate for Church Planting and Evangelism

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