“So… you’re doing a year of service, but what do you actually do?” I get asked this a lot. A year of service can look like a lot of different things. It’s great that there are so many ways of serving our communities. But what does this actually look like?
In the Sycamore House Service Corps program, every corps member is matched with a placement site. My site is the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania. The diocese is the governing body of 60 congregations across central Pennsylvania. I serve as the diocesan events coordinator and assistant to the canon for communications. My time is split between planning and managing events and communicating information for the diocese.
I help create each event that the diocese sponsors. I set up registration, coordinate with locations, create agendas– basically covering all the little details that go into events. I’ve gotten to do some really cool things with the diocese. We got to meet the governor at a tree lighting ceremony at the State Capitol.
We did animal blessings at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. It was fun interacting with all kinds of animals and their handlers, as well as seeing Butter Gritty!
My favorite event has been the live nativity. We hosted a live manger scene with donkeys, sheep, goats, and a camel named Percy! He was the highlight of the night.
The other part of my work is helping manage communications. I manage social media pages, assist with newsletters, flyers, and other forms of media. I’m glad I get to use the skills I learned as an English major. Don’t let anyone tell you your liberal arts degree is useless! You never know how things will pan out.
And of course I have to mention one of my favorite parts of the job: our office cats! Lilly Grace and Rey are two adorable kittens that live in the diocesan office. They bring us joy every day. They are reminders to me of God’s grace, love, and humor. They are playful and intelligent. Rey has learned to sit through clicker training! I feel like a proud mom. You can follow Lilly Grace and Rey on Instagram @episcocat_diocpa
What I’ve learned from working for the diocese is that everyone has a part to play in the church. Clergy are not the only leaders in the church! Whatever your gifts are, you can use them to bless your community. I’ve also learned more about the structure of the church. It’s still a whole new world to me and kind of confusing, but it’s also really interesting. And anyone can get involved. Don’t be intimidated or think that you can’t contribute. Anyone can find a way to be involved.
Thanks for taking the time to read this! I hope this gives you a sense of what a year of service might be like. It’s definitely an adventure!