After two years at Saint Hilda’s House I am starting to do things for the last time. This past Sunday was the last Compline of the year, and no matter how many times I come back to New Haven in the future, this was my last Compline as a Hildan. I was able to do something I had not so secretly wanted to do for a long time; I lay down in the choir and became completely enshrouded in the darkness, smells and sounds of the service. In the coming weeks, I’ll do several more ventures for the last time, saying goodbye to friends, moving out of the rectory, and attending a service at Christ Church for the last time as a Hildan.Read More
Filtering by Tag: Will Oxford
This year my housemates and I have had a lot of fun watching several different TV shows. One such of these shows is the smash hit Game of Thrones. So you can imagine our delight when NBC started to advertise its new show A.D: The Bible Continues as a combination of The Bible and GOT. We marked our calendars for Easter Sunday- for no other reason of course than the premiere of this new show. I was especially prepared to mock the show with my usual witty banter [witty banter? ed.] when the title sequences began to roll...Read More
Back in January, I sat down with the Saint Hilda’s House residents and asked them how they wanted to spend the next six months together. I expected a list of activities: hosting dinners, going camping, visiting New York City, etc.…. Instead, they said they wanted to keep developing new ways to serve together as a community. Of course, they are each already serving in their non-profit worksites and doing wonderful things, but there is something more they want to share together. The experience they desire is one of serving as part of something bigger. To use the words of St. Hilda herself, they want to serve as part of a community bound together by a commitment to evangelical peace.Read More
Growing up the son of a priest, the Episcopal Church was a big part of my life whether I liked it or not. For the majority of my childhood, I simply saw church as something that I had to do on Sundays because it was where my dad worked (I used to think he only worked on Sundays!). It wasn’t until my teens that I came to realize that everything was connected. The words of the liturgy, the hymns, the scripture, the numerous sermons I heard my father preach, my summers spent at Camp Henry, serving on the youth council, having the opportunity to participate in many service learning trips, my four years of campus ministry, and my current experiences at Saint Hilda’s House; it all began to connect.Read More
Editorial: About the Winter Quarterly
Throughout this year, young adults have been writing pieces for the St. Hilda's House blog. The St. Hilda's Winter Quarterly is a collection of ten of those pieces, dealing with the questions which have most challenged our writers over the past three months. Leaving aside my own writings, I believe that they demonstrate how engaged, how passionate, and how informed the young adults of the Church today are. I believe they serve as powerful examples of how young adults can speak to and for that Church.
All of the pieces in this Quarterly have been written by people who either live or have lived in intentional community, serving with the disinherited as members of the Episcopal Service Corps. Megan, Will, Shancia, and I are current members of St. Hilda's House, whilst Jordan Trumble was a member of St. Hilda's for its first two years. Rosemary Haynes, meanwhile, is a member of Deaconess Anne House in Missouri. Our writings focus on the issues which this form of life confronts us with: poverty, racism, misogyny, what it means to live a Christian life, what it means to be a member of the Church.
Despite this diversity of topics, however, each of these ten pieces has one thing in common: they all hold Jesus Christ at the centre of their testimony. Whether it is Christ encountered in the Eucharist, Christ encountered on the street, Christ encountered in the Bible, or Christ encountered in the neighbour we find it hard to love, all of our writers point to him as the decisive factor. In this, these writings continue the theme of Father Robert Hendrickson's book 'Yearning', which gave young adults a platform from which they can describe how they have been formed by their encounters with God. And if this Quarterly does nothing else, I hope that it demonstrates, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there are young adults who are dedicated towards learning what it means to walk in love as Christ loved us.
The Winter Quarterly is divided into two sections. The first section deals with concrete issues of formation and service. Jordan writes about how her experiences living in the tabernacle and the slum shaped who she was in relation to God, whilst Will delivers a powerful reflection on how Christ can test us on the streets. Rosemary writes about her first-hand experience of protesting on the streets of Ferguson after the killing of Michael Brown, whilst Shancia describes how racial prejudice in the presentation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. prompted her to explore the theological underpinnings of his actions. Finally, I have written about how my relationship with Scripture was changed by moving from Oxford to New Haven, then on why we shouldn't talk about Church as if it's first and foremost something that we go to.
The second section focuses on more general debate, and features four longer posts by Megan and I (possibly because we're two of the more opinionated and verbose Hildans...). Two of these posts attempt to work out particular approaches to questions of religion and spirituality. The other two ask whether or not the Church of England should have consecrated the Traditionalist Bishop Philip North a week after the consecration of Bishop Libby Lane. Though these pieces are less explicitly focused on the nuts and bolts of living in community, the reflections contained within them were shaped and developed within community. In my mind, they show how important the life of intentional Christian community can be when it comes to informing general theological reflection.
It is an absolute honour to be able to make this collection of writings available for the wider public. We don't have the full resources to do a full print run, so I hope this digital publication suffices for now. I apologise for how many of the pieces are mine: I hope this is less to do with self-indulgence, more to do with the fact that my job as Digital Missioner requires that I write about 2/5s of our posts anyway. Whichever way, I cannot commend highly enough the writings of my fellow authors, and I hope they prove as spiritually enriching for you as they have for me.
[This is not in the published text, but needs to be added: I should also give enormous thanks for our Program Director, Seth Reese, without whom this would not have been possible. Quite apart from the fact that he is responsible for making the Quarterly look so good, he makes sure that the members of St. Hilda's House can actually live and work in safety and comfort. He does all this whilst still technically being a young adult himself. For all of this, we can't thank him enough.]
If you want to read more from St. Hilda's House. then you can visit our blog at www.sainthildashouse.org/blog, join our mailing list, or like us on Facebook. The blog updates on Mondays and Thursdays.
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