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The Diocese of Ohio is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion represented in the United States by The Episcopal Church.


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Middle School Pilgrimage

by Eric Travis

Nineteen middle school students braved the snowy weather and came together for the Diocese of Ohio’s Middle School Pilgrimage on March 18. The theme for the weekend was “Who am I and how can I tell my story?”

The weekend started like any other youth weekend: making name tags and participating in icebreakers. We played a name game that required everyone to state their name and an animal that starts with the first letter of your name. We had anteaters, aardvarks, manatees, newts, cows, alligators, crocodiles as well as narwhals, monkeys, elephants, and one eagle.

We started diving into the “Who am I?” portion. The Rev. Anna Sutterisch, Canon for Christian Formation, led an exercise where, on a large piece of paper, we put a dot in the middle to represent ourselves and then put 2-3 words that described ourselves. We shared those with the others at our table. We then put a larger circle around that dot to represent our inner circle of friends and family. We were then instructed to put words that described who we were to the people that circle represented.

We continued the exercise with additional circles to represent our larger community, the world, and God. The discussions were deep and meaningful. During this time, Bishop Coadjutor Anne B. Jolly joined us and talked with the kids in their small groups (and played UNO! with them).

We then went to the gallery to experience “In Confidenza: Secrets and Transcendence.” The stories that came out of that time were wonderful. After dinner we had a tour of the cathedral, played hide-and-seek, had pizza, free time, and ended the day with compline before going to bed in the Youth and Family Center. The next day we all went to the 9:00 a.m. service before heading home.

The whole weekend was wonderful and filled with joy, community, and faith exploration. The young people engaged with the topic, shared their stories, listened to others, made new friends, and walked away with a bit more curiosity about who they are in the world and their relationship with God.

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