By Shannon Preston, Diocese of Minnesota
The EYAD is now almost here in full force. We arrived from near and far throughout the day. For some this is their first time in NYC while others frequent and even live in the city. We have biologists, teachers, youth ministers, students, but we also all seem to be very excited about being here and getting started at the CSW. It’s only been a day but community is forming quickly.
Our first activity was dinner with the other young adult delegations that will participate with Ecumenical Women. There were young adults from all over the world and we introduced ourselves, had dinner, and then began reflections on the scripture passage we will keep close to us this week: Romans 5:1-6. We discussed its history, theology and how it can be applied to our time at the CSW. It also prompted discussion about self and other, access, and what we boast about as Christians. The passage talks about how faith is our access from suffering to endurance to character to hope. We discussed privilege, and erasing a sense of otherness. My small group talked about our access to bring hope to suffering through our faith and grace from God and hospitality.
Jason asked the last reflection question what we boast can boast about as Christians. On the flight from Minneapolis I sat next to a woman who had a book about the Divine Feminine. We talked about the Divine Feminine and as I looked in her book there was a line from Meister Eckhart, “I must become Mary and give birth to God.” I responded to the group that Christianity can give birth to God. We thought that is something that could/should be boasted about. We discussed how Christianity can often be viewed as negative in communities we may be a part of and how we can bring hope to that as well.
The EYAD reconvened for a closing at our hotel then many of us got subway tickets for the week. Later that evening, a few of us gathered around a table in the Seafarer’s and got to know each other a little, talked about the church and why people don’t attend, what could attract people. There is a wealth of knowledge within our delegation and I look forward to see what our group will learn and respond to the rest of the week. We have a great gift and all bring such beautiful gifts, interests, and stories. We start early tomorrow for an all day orientation with the Ecumenical Women and rest seems like a good thing to try and stay caught up with (it may be easier said than done).