It was a great experience for the youth of St. Elizabeth’s, Whiterocks to go on a road trip. They’d just shared a wonderful week of Summer Camp with the Arts-Kids back home, with some special projects just for the teenagers. They’d worked with visiting artists to make unique and expressive Wrap-Dolls, created personal journals, and wrote their own ‘Zines, narratives illustrated by photos printed from their cell phones.
Two days later the Arts-Teens group (eight young women and three adults) headed for Salt Lake to stay at the Episcopal Church Center for two nights. We gathered twice a day in a Talking Circle to check in and set our intentions, before enjoying a variety of activities. We visited the Native Voices exhibit at the Natural History Museum, after which Facilitator Raycita Quinn tearfully recalled “the pride these girls had at seeing their own people being honored.” We spent an energetic evening at Valley Fair Mall, had breakfast with Bishop Hayashi, walked the labyrinth, and sat silently in the Cathedral writing and drawing in our journals.
Everyone agreed that the high point of the trip came in the last two hours, when we volunteered at Hildegard’s Food Pantry next door to the Cathedral. We raced to keep up with the stream of clients, some of us boxing up the food they chose while the others restocked the shelves. Being able to help people meet such a basic need was transforming for the teenagers. One of the girls summed up their comments: “Going to the food pantry made me thankful for everything I have.” I can’t wait to see what will come next for them on this path of serving others!
Rev. Michael Carney