i’m going on an adventure!

Well friends, welcome to the next chapter of my life!

This blog was born out of a desire for a space to process my upcoming year in Washington, DC at Church of the Pilgrims. Here, I’ll be exploring a call to parish and urban ministry while also learning about how the Church (capital C, as in the Church of the big, wide world) can work in and with communities to enact justice and social change.

A little background on me: I grew up in South Carolina and I went to Davidson College in North Carolina, where I studied sociology and religion. My ideal career would live in the space where these two fields converge, so Pilgrims is a pretty great start. What else? I run a lot. I love coffee. I biked through a city for the first time today and only almost died once. Probably going to find a helmet this afternoon.

This year, I’ll be living in intentional community with five other women, all participating in the Presbyterian Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program. The six of us are sharing a fairly tight space, so some intentionality in how we live together is pretty necessary. We created a community life covenant together, which basically means we spent five hours hashing out the particulars relating to chores, guests, finances, spiritual practices we’ll participate in together, etc. I’m pumped to see how this covenant will impact our interactions and whether it will lead to a greater willingness to be vulnerable.



The six of us, plus Sarah, our site coordinator!

My first two and a half weeks of work have consisted of me following around my three new supervisors, attempting to soak in as much collective wisdom as my head and heart will allow. I’ve listened to presentations on community organizing, improv in worship, gentrification, and the importance of storytelling. I memorized and performed Luke 12:35-48 in worship last Sunday, assuming the role of Jesus giving these instructions to the disciples for the first time. One of my primary responsibilities for the next month is organizing relational meetings (one-on-ones) to get to know Pilgrims members.


 yaaaay, inclusive churches!

Getting to know people deeply, learning about social issues particular to DC, doing creative and fun things in worship, learning how to organize communities to enact change…my year at Pilgrims is shaping up to be pretty incredible.



2 thoughts on “i’m going on an adventure!

  1. Hey Emily, first of all, let me express my deep admiration for you to undertake this challenging journey. You are a strong person to undertake this. But, yes, pleaseget yourself a helmet for your bike riding. I never ride without one. Your interpretation of the Luke passage was awesome! I am eager to follow your journey this coming year as a long-time member of Pilgrims. We have always been rather innovative in our worship and communityservice, but would welcome creative, new visions from young people like yourself. I am privileged to work with many young people in my “other” community mostly through my organization, OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates and would like to explore how the Internship Program of the OCA community and Pilgrims and/or Presbyterian YAV could intersect for common purposes. So, I am looking forward to a meet-up with you in the near future. Meanwhile, stay cool and mostly, stay safe while running and biking. Peace, Stan


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