Dancing on the Head of a Pin

There is a legend of St Thomas Aquinas asking "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" At this blog we ask all questions dealing with our faith and spirituality. Some are down to earth, rubber meets the road questions, while others are more lofty...like, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

For the least, who are the greatest

Monday and Tuesday 11 youth and 5 adults went to Charleston, SC to paint a day care room for Rural Mission, Inc. Rural Mission is a ministry of the South Carolina United Methodist Church (but is heavily supported by Charleston Episcopalians) for the Low Country Migrant workers and for the Sea Island population. In the past, many migrant workers would put their children in 5 gallon buckets and carry them with them in the fields as they picked tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. The room we painted will greet these children as they no longer have to "ride" with their parents in the fields, but can be safe, cool, and surrounded by love. Perhaps the most memorable event for our youth was to participate in a Sea Island Prayer Meeting.
The Sea Island folks are descendents from the Gullahs and still carry that distincitve accent and are the last members of a culture that is quickly dying out. About 8 women, the youngest being 69 and the oldest being 94 gather together every Tuesday for hours to sing spirituals and pray. They amazed us with their double claps (two different rhythms kept with feet and hands) and their songs that were composed from hardship, poverty, and undying faith. Our youth, 11 lily white kids from middle class families, held black hands that had seen 70-90 years of hardship, discrimnation, prayer, and hope through faith. These "spiritual mothers" held some of our youth in their laps and prayer for them and sang of the goodness of God that has brought us all to a new day. Another important aspect of our trip was prayer. Between Monday morning and Tuesday afternoon, we prayed the daily office four times. Before we left we said the Morning Devotions in the Prayer Book. We had Evening Prayer at St Michael's Episcopal Church in Charleston, we had Compline at Rural Mission, and Morning Prayer at the Church of Our Savior on John's Island. For some of the youth, this was the first time keeping "time" with prayer.

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