By Sharon Schwenk
When we gathered on Maundy Thursday for foot washing with the youth of our parish, I hope that we remembered the many adults who have given whole lifetimes for the care and wellbeing of children and young people.
My story is only one of a multitude of those who have cared for youth. For 10 years in my young adulthood, I counseled inner-city youth offenders in a wilderness rehabilitation camp and later served developmentally disabled girls and young women as recreation therapist. Then for 35 years I worked with first- and second-year college and university students. All total, I gave 45 years of my adult life challenging and offering a boost and sometimes a hug to the young. During the 35 years of teaching, I estimate that I had contact with about 4,000 students – individuals between the ages of 16 and 21.
Many, many in our congregation have given of themselves in these ways. Perhaps we need to remember them and hear them.
I pray that our foot washing was a tribute to the servanthood demonstrated not simply in ritual but in real terms and whole lifetimes of these many adults in our congregation. May it have been as well a thanksgiving for the gifts of our parish youth to us all.
My Trinity articles are first-person essays from members, visitors and friends of Trinity Cathedral and Trinity Commons. It’s a space to tell your stories or share a Trinity memory. If you are interested in submitting an essay or discussing a possible My Trinity topic, please contact April Miller.