Finding The Trinity in Appalachia

One of the fundamental tenets of our faith is the understanding that the God we worship is one God in three persons. This means that at the core of our faith, the very nature of God is built upon the truth that God exists in relationship.

This week almost 50 youth and adults from three parishes in our diocese have come together to make seven homes in central Appalachia warmer, safer and dryer as part of the Appalachia Service Project.   This is my fourth year leading this mission trip, but the first time we have invited other youth and adults from other churches to participate with us.  As I was putting together the pairs of adult leaders and work crews of youth I wondered–and more than twice–are they going to bond?…are they going find the connections that help to form strong relationships?

Celebrating a birthday on ASP with ice cream and 40 or so new friends.

Celebrating a birthday on ASP with ice cream and 40 or so new friends.

In this new adventure of mission for St. Alban’s, St. Margaret’s and St. Columba’s forging those new relationships between the youth and adults of these three congregations has been key.  At the end of each day here we pray the Office of Compline together, with a youth volunteer serving as the officiant. After we finish I ask the whole group two questions: “Where did you experience God alive and active today?” and, “What do you hope for tomorrow?” Far and away our experience of God has centered around the relationships being built between team members, and the relationships we are experiencing with the families we are serving.

My “hope for tomorrow” (next year at ASP 2016) is that we will have 8 churches and almost 100 people participate, building new relationships, seeing God alive and active in the mission work we do serving our brothers and sisters in Christ in Central Appalachia.

Want to come?  Let me know.  We’ve got 99 more spots open–but act fast, they’re going quickly.

In Christ,


About matthewhanisian

Associate Rector at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C.
This entry was posted in The Rev. Matthew R. Hanisian. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Finding The Trinity in Appalachia

  1. WOW. HOw great, Matthew. I’ve never worked with kids except for in a teaching capacity and with poor Roma or gypsy children in Rome, Italy. I was successful with the Roma children and one of the mothers asked me to baptize her infant daughter because the priest didn’t understand them. I have often been thrust into the capacity of priest (once also at the Monastery where I had to read the Gospel to the congregation all through Holy Week and Easter.) I guess it means something and God is telling me something. In any case, I’m not listening because God has been so mean to me.

  2. Linda V says:


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