Unpacking: Part II

Pack Nothing.
Bring only your determination to serve
and your willingness to be free…

you will be only
the first of many waves
of deliverance on these
desert seas.

It is the first of many
beginnings— your Paschaltide.
Remain true to this mystery.

Pass on the whole story.
I spared you all
by calling you forth
from your chains.

Do not go back.
I am with you now
and I am waiting for you.’’

I love this poem by Alla Renne Bozarth (from her book of poems entitled Womanpriest: A Personal Odyssey). Especially going into this year I’ve heard it in various settings, including during our vespers time during orientation at Stony Point.  It definitely gave me something to think about as I was preparing to pack for my YAV journey. What the hell do I pack for moving to another country for another year? If one of the things I’m supposed to incorporate into this year is living simply, like literally how do I do that, I have so much stuff. And then more seriously how has every moment that I’ve ever lived led up to this point? Am I REALLY being called here? What does that even mean? How much of myself do I have to give this year?

In my previous post I wrote a little bit about my disdain of physically unpacking. I think the same goes of mental or spiritual unpacking. It’s so much easier (most of the time) to just try and stay in the present and focus on what’s at hand. I’m really not into discussing things about myself and my past if they aren’t like general background info (which feels complex sometimes as I haven’t had the most conventional “American” upbringing), or about the feelings of deep joy or anger that I express very willingly. All the other stuff is really hard. And so easy to avoid. That’s stubborn Ekama though. On the flip side of that, I LOVE history. I love the past and the things that it can teach us and the tools it gives us in moving forward. And old stuff is usually quite beautiful. That’s kind of what this 1st week in Scotland has been. My new YAV family in Glasgow been getting to know each other, get acclimated to living as a unit, and hopefully being this process of discerning where the Lord is calling us to be. But we’ve also been able to see some sights, explore the city, and get acclimated. All of the things that have been a part of Glasgow are important for us in our year. The rich and complicated history of both the church and those who govern the city and how oftentimes these two intersected to do really awesome, or not so awesome stuff.

 

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Prayer Tree in front of the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art

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Shrine to our Presbyterian father, John Knox, at the Glasgow Necropolis. I have feels about this experience, but for a later time…

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The Falls of Clyde. Beautimus.

 

Set of the stage play, Glasgow Girls. Amazing story dealing with the dawn immigration raids held by the UK government in 2005 in the deportation of asylum-seeking families, and a group of high school girls that led the fight for justice for their friends.

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Scotland YAVs under the official tagline for the city “People Make Glasgow.” It’s definitely panning out this way.

Anyway, those are just some unpacking stuff that’s been on my mind. Tomorrow Scotland YAVs have their 1st day at work! Lots of excitement and anticipation. Starting a new job serves lots of unknowns. On Sunday I was able to worship with my new congregation. I would say that the major thing that was different for me is the size of the congregation. It’s significantly smaller than my home congregation in Denton. That being said, I’m so excited to hopefully get to know the entire congregation, and the Milton community very well. Like also said in my last post, the Church in Scotland is doing so much. It’s amazing the time and resources that people give in order to maintain the notion of the church as a pillar of the community. “What is church?” has been a question that has been on my mind for YEARS, and it’s looking more and more like the answer is NOT “something that happens for an hour every Sunday.”

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Prayer Tree in front of the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art

I’m asking for your prayers, not only for me, but for the Scotland YAVs and all the YAVs serving all over the world. For many of us this is our 1st few days of work at our new placements!

I’ll leave you with a playlist that has some songs on the current Top 40 UK charts. Thanks for tuning in and enjoy!

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