We don’t usually think of youth on a mission trip walking the halls of the United Nations, yet that is exactly what some of our youth will be doing March 10th through March 14th. After six months of meeting and learning about the needs millions of women and girls around the Anglican Communion, 10 young St. Georgians and 9 adults will join 25,000 other men and women to share in an international conversation and advocate for the voiceless.
What is this trip like? After a five-hour bus ride to New York City, the team will cab over to our hotel- the POD 51 Hotel. This gem of a hotel offers train-berth sized rooms with hall baths and rates that work for our budget. It is also within walking distance of the national headquarters of the Episcopal Church and the United Nations. The youth will spend Sunday at Pace University with the Working Group on Girls in a girl led orientation day to the conference. That night any girls who so choose can join the group of young people gathered to write the Girls Statement to the United Nations. The highlight of that day will be a visit and address to the group from the head of UN Women. Monday the energy really builds as the conference starts with the opening Eucharist at the Chapel of the Presiding Bishop. Our youth have written the prayers of the people and will read them to the hundred or so dignitaries gathered there from around the world. The Presiding Bishop will celebrate and preach much to our delight!
Hour after hour, for the next three days the youth will attend meetings led by the leadership of the world court and major NGOs from around the globe. The groups present the data they have collected, outline the problems and begin the conversation about innovative solutions. At each gathering we sit among fifty or so adults who have come to hear and learn also. In these sessions you are free to ask questions or delve deeper. The topic opportunities are endless – climate change, education, human rights, the treatment of widows, sex trafficking. In the evenings we gather to talk and process the day. Tuesday night is free time to explore New York with mom or to continue on to another meeting session. By Wednesday, we are tired. Heads are full of thoughts and emotions and feet are tired and legs are sore but we are energized at the same time, energized to make change. And the work has just begun, as we continue to meet in the ensuing months we ask, “Where is God calling you to take action. What will you do with the precious gift that is this life?”
This year, *Elsie Baker, Barb Baker, *Claire Watkins, Janet Watkins, *Reilly Krannitz, Ann Krannitz, *Madison Williams, Kim Williams, *Molly Bryant, *Lydia Bryant, Sheryl Stroud Bryant, *Bella Roeske, *Char Boyd, *Jenna McPherson, Sydney Swartz, Nicole Luedke, Chris Boyd, Hayley Chrzastowski are attending.
Please lift them in prayer as they journey forth eager to live into their baptismal promises to seek justice for all people.