In the US Episcopal Church, each parish holds an Annual Meeting every year to conduct the business of the Church—electing officers, approving budgets, and the like, as required by Canon. As a member of YASC, I am sent and commissioned not only by the Presiding Bishop but also my home parish of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Rockport, Massachusetts. As such, I submitted a written report for St. Mary’s Annual Meeting this year, and now I’d like to share it with all of you. I’d like to extend the thank you at the end of the letter to my blog readers as well—I’m so encouraged at the reception and feedback I receive. Thank you!
Greetings from Liverpool, UK! It’s been such an amazing year of mission abroad so far, and I’m struggling to believe that I’m already four months into my time here.
Those of you who subscribe to my blog (nelsoninliverpool.com) have a bit of an idea of what I’m up to. I live in Tsedaqah House, which is located on the Close of Liverpool Cathedral, as a member of the Tsedaqah Community. Tsedaqah is a Hebrew verb meaning “to do justice,” as found in Micah 6:8: “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Ideally, there are three members of the Community, one representing each linked Diocese in the Triangle of Hope partnership: Virginia in the US, Liverpool in the UK, and Kumasi in Ghana. I represent the US in the House, and my colleague Jen is from Liverpool. Unfortunately, our Ghanian counterpoint was unable to join us because of VISA issues. However, we were delighted to welcome Fr Kessie, the Triangle of Hope Link person from the Diocese of Kumasi in Ghana, to stay with us in the Fall.
From where I sit writing this, I look out on a beautiful view—the flood lit windows of the Lady Chapel of Liverpool Cathedral. From where I live (Lady Chapel Close), I hear the tower bells ring (for six hours on New Year’s Day), and occasionally even the organ and choir if they’re going full throttle. Mind you, I’m usually to be found in the Cathedral itself when music is to be heard or services are to occur, which should surprise no one.
Life here in Liverpool is wonderfully busy. My work outside the House is as the Cathedral Assistant, which means I support some of the administrative work in the Dean’s Office (where I sit at the desk previously occupied by now Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby when he was Dean of Liverpool). Jen and I also serve as lay Officiants at Morning and Evening Prayer, as well regularly attending the daily rounds of the Offices in the Cathedral when we can. I also serve as a member of the Thursday volunteer team at the MICAH Food Bank for the day to help feed the hungry. We also run a guest room, and therefore Jen and I are regularly making sure that the working guest room is fit for purpose.
One thing that I have learned this year is that even though the Anglican Communion is wonderfully diverse in all of its various contexts, all of us are engaged in one common mission, which is to make known the Good News of God in Jesus Christ in all that we say and do. We all are missionaries of Christ, and whether we volunteer at MICAH Liverpool or at Open Door on Cape Ann, we are engaged in the same work that brings a message of Love into a world that so desperately needs it.
Thank you all, so much, for incredible support you have so generously given me to be able to serve abroad this year, both prayerful and financial. None of what I’ve been able to to and experience this year would be possible without the formation and support of St. Mary’s I’ve been so lucky to receive throughout my life. I’m so grateful for the wild ride it’s been and hopefully will continue to be wherever Christ leads me in the future.
Thanks for reading this update on my missionary blog! I’m a missionary of The Episcopal Church, serving in Liverpool, UK. Make sure to subscribe at the bottom of the home page to get an email when I next post an update. God bless, and thank you!
Eager to read more? Check out the “Meet the YASCers” page of the website of the Young Adult Service Corps (YASC) of the Episcopal Church to find the blogs of my missionary colleagues: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/YASC/meet-yascers.