Spring Break has a new meaning for many college students and other young adults who have taken part in the Young Adult Urban Pilgrimages at four sites from coast to coast in recent years.
“Instead of partying on the beach in March, these young adults immerse themselves into the lives of farm workers, the homeless, immigrants and those living within urban violence. They reflect theologically on the experiences and return home to take action in their own communities,” said the Rev. Jackie Lynn, executive director of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship (EPF).
The Violence After Katrina program in New Orleans, for example, explores the frightening increase in handgun violence particularly among young African-Americans during the almost seven years since the hurricane hit, said Allison Sandlin Liles, site director.
Reflecting the growing presence young adults continue to create within EPF nationwide, she and fellow site director the Rev. Jessie Vedanti (Austin), also serve on the fellowship’s national executive council. EPF also offers a ten-day General Convention experience for ten young adults.
Registration deadline for Urban Pilgrimage is March 1 for the four March offerings. Participant subsidized cost is $150 plus transportation.
Urban Pilgrimage sites are Homelessness & Immigration in Austin, Texas, March 9-14 – Urban Education Inequality in Boston March 9-16 – Violence After Katrina in New Orleans March 18-22 – and, Food, Faith and Farming in Oxnard, Calif., March 23-25.
Details about the Urban Pilgrimage, many participant blogs, contact persons and an application form are at http://epfnational.org/young-adult-brain-trust/young-adult-urban-pilgrimage/
“Only a few days in, the pilgrims are already talking about how seeing the farm workers labor in the field, visiting their homes and learning about the challenges that face farm worker families is helping to open their eyes to the real human costs associated with food production,” wrote Nicole after working in the California crop fields during the Food, Faith and Farming pilgrimage last March in Oxnard.
“This trip has had a profound impact on me. I have never felt God the way that I did on this trip,” wrote Sally after cooking and sharing a meal with the immigrant residents of Casa Marianella after exploring other Homelessness and Immigration issues in Austin, Texas, in 2011.