Monday, August 25, 2014


Tonight ends this wonderful week that I have had to build community with my fellow Young Adult Volunteers (YAVs) and be inundated with information that will be useful in this year of service.

We closed with an amazingly powerful worship service. As many of you know, music is a big part of my life. I love to sing and be moved by music of all kinds. As many of you may not know, my love language is Words of Affirmation. This, combined with my love of music, makes lyrics of songs extremely important to me. Here is a collection of lyrics from tonight's service that were particularly meaningful to my spiritual experience in this service. None of these lyrics are mine, and some pieces come from other countries and cultures.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
If I settle on the far side of the sea,
Even there your hand will guide me.
Your right hand will hold me fast.
-Psalm 139

During the Invitation for Communion:

"Please join as we sing as they have through the ages...

Sanna sannanina, sanna, sanna, sanna!!"

Take, O take me as I am,
Summon out what I shall be,
Set your seal upon my heart and live in me.
-Take, O Take Me As I Am

Let the rains go,
Let the healing river flow,
Let justice roll like water.
Let the days begin,
When new life enters in,
And let your kingdom come.
-Prayers of the People

This is the moment,
This is the moment,
This is the moment, now,
This is the moment,
This is the moment,
This is the moment,
And it belongs to God

Este momento,
Este momento,
Es el momento en punto,
Este momento,
Este momento,
Este momento,
Es el momento.
-Este momento, This is the Moment

This last one has become such a central part of my spiritual and religious life and my discernment journey. We sang it at the end of the discernment event in March where I found out about my site placement in the Philippines, and it truly stuck with a group of us. After worship, a group of us took a guitar outside and sang together at the top of our lungs this wonderful song.

Will you come and follow me
If I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know
And never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown,
Will you let my name be known,
Will you let my life be grown
In you and you in me?

Will you leave yourself behind
If I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind
And never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare
Should your life attract or scare?
Will you let me answer prayer
In you and you in me?

Will you let the blinded see
If I but call your name?
Will you set the prisoners free
And never be the same?
Will you kiss the leper clean,
And do such as this unseen,
And admit to what I mean
In you and you in me?

Will you love the "you" you hide
If I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside
And never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found
To reshape the world around,
Through my sight and touch and sound
In you and you in me?

Lord, your summons echoes true
When you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you
And never be the same.
In your company I’ll go
Where your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow
In you and you in me.
-The Summons

This last part is a collection of phrases from worship that stuck with me and will comfort me as I live this year.

Richard Williams, the director of the YAV Program, served in the Philippines and shared a story with us tonight that someone else told him as he was about to leave. "You will go there (the Philippines in my case), and your heart will be broken. But God will be there with you to fill it again."

We recognized each site and presented them with prayer cards that we have been signing all week. Then, we confirmed our commitment to this unbelievable community with the words "Go with God and with the love of this community."

I have now been commissioned five different times for the work of this year. I am feeling so humbled by the incredible sense of mutual support from each of these commissions. Each faith community is different and knows me in a different context, but I am constantly amazed by the words from two of these commissions: "Serve with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love, relying on God's mercy and rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit!"

It's time to go out with joy, peace, humility, and love.

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