By Emily Armstrong, Diocese of Virginia
Emily Armstrong, a high school student from the Diocese of Virginia, visited the Episcopal Mission Center during the summer of 2016. During their week in Philly Emily spent time with kids at St. James School, located in the Allegheny West neighborhood. Group leader Mike Wade described St James as “a very special place.” He writes, “The faculty recruits students from underprivileged neighborhoods and gives them amazing educational opportunities. The fact that our group got to spend a school day with them and share classroom time, recess, and even lunch with the students and faculty [who eat together] was truly rewarding in a way unlike any other mission trip I’ve done before.” Similarly, Emily’s memorable missional moment was defined by the relationships she built while volunteering at St. James School. This is what Emily writes:
“I had an amazing time on the mission trip to Philly last year. It was extremely eye opening because we got to learn a lot about the town we were in and actually meet a lot of its residents. The most meaningful part of the whole trip to me was getting to go to St. James School and being able to talk to some of the students throughout the day. There was a 10-year-old girl that I got to talk to and befriend during recess. She told us all about her life and how much she liked going to St. James. Having the opportunity to talk to her and give her someone that would listen to her was really meaningful to me. It was a very humbling trip and I can’t wait till next year!”
Giving voice to the many ways we experience mission in the church
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EMC youth alumni, Adult leaders in the Episcopal Church, volunteer site partners
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
Thank you for your radical hospitality!
Gwynedd Mercy University
Thank you for your hospitality in hosting students from Gwynedd Mercy and Alvernia University during their Alternative Break with the Interfaith Center. The facility was wonderful. We held several of our workshops there in your comfortable space. What an ideal setting! The students especially appreciated participating in your mass as getting a personal orientation from Rev Morris and such a warm welcome from your parishioners.
With much appreciation for all you do,
“Right now, my group is rating our experience as the best mission they've ever been a part of. The orientation and subsequent building of relationships with kids in the community broke down their racial and urban stereotypes. Most importantly, every one of them experienced a deepening of their faith in God, and tangible understanding of how that faith works itself out in mission and issues of social justice. We will definitely be coming back!”
— Rev. Jane Cornman, St. Mary’s Church, Wayne, PA