Mark 6:7-8 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts;
I will say I did not follow our Lord’s order word for word, I took two bags change of cloths and some money but other than that I did what my Lord asked of me. Y’all might not know this but I am taking part in something called the New Faces of Ministry tour New Faces Of Ministry Tour . This means I signed myself up for an eleven week long tour de ministry, thus far I am finished with my first leg of my journey. Hi-fives all around for a month of almost non stop travel and speaking on the joy and struggles of the ever changing landscape of ministry. I am amazed to say the least. This world we live in is one of the beautiful and terrible things I have the honor to be a part of. Now sit back and enjoy a short recap of all that I have been thought over the course of June.
One of my first stops was the Bonner 25th Celebration at Davidson College. For those of you who do not know what the Bonner network is like the link found right here Bonner! for more information about this organization. The question I asked myself was what kind of role I, a seminarian, can play in the lives of students and young adults that are fully committed to active service in their community. The answer to that question…I still don’t have one. What I can speak on is the openness of the community of young adults some of which are barely out of their teens and yet have a better understanding of the current state of the world than I did at their age.
I spent three days getting to know some of these students, their schools, and respective Bonner leaders. At times I had deep metaphysical conversations trying to deconstruct the divorce between Faith and Service and put that understanding into digestible packages so those students could understand the kind of strength a faith driven service had. Then there were times when all I did was listen to both the happiness found in the service of others and the unrest with the state of society.
Like any other celebration there was your standard fare of workshops and debriefs which all related to what kind of impact the Bonner organization has had on the lives of everyone that has taken part over the past 25 years. One of the events that stood out to me was the workshop with a woman by the name of Emerald. She worked for an service program called City Year Here’s a link for City Year She focused on the inherent struggle faced by inner city and urban school teachers…How do you educate children in a system designed to fail. The workshop was interactive which made it even more heartbreaking. One of the Bonner students who said she wanted to become a teacher was at an utter lost for words when she realized that education for inner city children is an uphill battle. The workshop did not turn her off to the idea of becoming a teacher but it did help her to kind of understand the kind of Herculean task City Year educators face when they take part in this program. I have nothing but the up most respect for everyone that has taken part in this organizations. I could only hope for 25 more years filled with Bonner Love!