As promised, a final blog post!
The first thing I had to adjust to in Liverpool was the fact that home was five hours behind. Now that I’m back in Massachusetts, I now have to adjust to my home over in Liverpool being five hours ahead (and I’m sure Debra relishes the fact that she is now constantly ahead of me!).
Leaving Liverpool took some sorting, to say the least. Between tests, courier packages, baggage screenings, and a delayed flight, I was quite happy and tired when I finally arrived in the family home to the nonchalant but positive reception by the family dog, Wilfred (who I think sees me mostly as another source of scratching and feeding. I don’t mind). I’m glad to report that Scruffy and Wilfred get on famously, and the introduction of my Liverpool-acquired soft-toy animal companions with my older has gone swimmingly.
As for what I’m up to, I’m awaiting the outcome of a job interview and exploring additional opportunities as well. I also hope to be continuing academic research opportunities begun in Liverpool, but virtually and at a distance. It will be good to have a continuing project that will tie my recent past with present reality.
A question, to which I know there is a considerable answer, but continually trying to articulate, is, “What have I learned during two years in Liverpool?” The beginning of the answer is probably, “a good deal about myself”: my introverted nature was confirmed, but I also know the value I set on human interaction (something many introverts and we all learned to appreciate during lockdown); I learned that I have a love the daily round of worship; have now an even darker, drier, and unashamedly British sense of humour than I had before; that I maintain a commitment to the divine call, nay mandate, of incarnational justice in the person of Jesus Christ; that I love chocolate digestive biscuits; and, of course, the proper preparation of proper English tea.
I tried to throw myself into my work, and have begun to develop a sense and appreciation of my own abilities, which I remember I found absolutely excruciating during that compliment exercise at missionary orientation.
Life in Anglicanism is life committed to diversity; and I’ve begun to appreciate and find the presence of the Divine in a diverse set of locales: the food bank, the altar, the street, the door. Each of these presences informs us about the One of whom they each are but momentary glimpses.
I owe thanks to so many; to the Young Adult Service Corps of the Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Massachusetts, and my parish, St. Mary’s, for their faith in sending me; to the Tsedaqah Community in the Diocese of Liverpool for receiving me; for Liverpool Cathedral and Micah Liverpool for putting me to work; and to all the individuals who make those great and godly institutions what they are.
And to you, who have made this journey with me, and supported me in this journey monetarily and prayerfully.
And, thanks be to God, for his constant faithfulness, and the guidance of the path to which He has called me, and to wherever he will call me in the future.
I can only now commend to you the YASCers who will be making this journey in the coming months; the page to watch out for their blogs will be here: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/YASC/meet-yascers.