The Meaning of Change and Growth

“When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.” – Shauna Niequist When I graduated high school, I looked back on the past four years, and I firmly believed that I had changed more in those four years than I would ever change again. I[…]

UPerk, A Place to Be.

I love coffee. Anyone who has known me for an extended amount of time has probably picked up on the fact that I am always carrying a ceramic coffee mug and I coordinate them with my outfits. I have a coffee pot in my room and it’s set to brew 5 minutes before my alarm[…]

10 Essentials to Understanding the Young Adult Volunteer Program

10 Things you need to know about YAV YAV stands for Young Adult Volunteers. The Young Adult Volunteer Program is a ministry of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) and is a year long service program open to young adults, ages 19-30. YAVs serve at sites all across the United States and even internationally! YAVs serve communities[…]

The Examen… like a really big Examen though.

The Examen is a daily prayer that St. Ignatius required the monks in his charge to perform. It involved looking back at your day and trying to find God in it, and then looking forward to your next day and praying about it. I wrote this Examen out for my ministry’s Senior Night. Graduating seniors[…]

Moravian Love Feast

On March 29th, the students of UKirk UTK and Vol Catholic joined together at St. John XXIII for a Moravian Love Feast, a time of fellowship and full bellies that centered on our faith communities’ unity in our mutual love of God. At first, it was nerve racking to consider two totally different religions to meet[…]

A Weekend in Charlotte Well Spent

Over the first weekend of spring break, a few of my fellow UKirk friends and I travelled to Charlotte, NC—my hometown—to take part in a mini-mission trip through CROSS Missions. We arrived on a chilly Friday night and were immediately welcomed by Joel Tomkinson, who greeted us with an enormous amount of energy for late[…]

We Got Better: A Tale of Taylor Swift and Me

About 6 months ago, I read a book of short stories written by Yann Martel, the author best known for writing the Life of Pi. These short stories were written early in his career, before he was successful, or, even by his own estimation, very good. As he continued in his career, he improved and[…]

In Defense of “Safe Spaces”

  “Safe Spaces”, chances are that you have heard this term before, maybe in an article, or on television, or just in regular conversation. I would also wager a bet that the context you heard this term was a less than positive context. I have heard it many times in reference to “millennials” and the[…]