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Growing Up Catholic

I grew up in Long Island, New York in a Catholic household. For the most part, I have very good memories growing up as a Catholic. Every Sunday we went to Mass. During the week, we went to confession. Saturday mornings, we went to confraternity. I spent many Saturday afternoons at the church with my Mom, who routinely volunteered at the book fairs, bake sales and other charity events. One of my earliest childhood memories is that of my Mom praying the rosary in her bedroom, in the dark, on ... Read More »

My Roman Catholic Family

Growing up I understood two things about my friends who were Roman Catholic: they could not skip church on Sunday morning, and they could not eat meat on Friday. The first prohibition made me sad for them—and for me when I spent the night at their house on a Saturday night. The second rule made me happy because I had choices like grilled cheese and pizza for my school lunch on Fridays. After college, I met and became engaged to Jerry who was not only Roman Catholic, but he also ... Read More »

I Wonder as I Wander

Christmas is a season of giving as Christians celebrate God’s most wondrous gift, Jesus Christ—God with us, born in a manger, a Savior for all the world. In response to what God has given, Floris United Methodist Church (Floris UMC) has a tradition that celebrates Christmas through giving. Using themes such as “Blessed to be a Blessing,” or “It’s Not Your Birthday,” those attending Christmas Eve services at Floris UMC are invited to give generously to an offering that is dispersed locally, domestically and abroad to both do good and ... Read More »

The Value of Nature

I love taking personality tests. Myers-Briggs, Enneagram—you name it. I love the insights these tests give into who I am and how I am uniquely created. Most of the time, the assessments are right on the money. I’m an ENFJ, no question! But sometimes I struggle with the results. About two years ago I took a personal values assessment. The results of that test nagged at me, and ever since then I’ve been on a mission to “fix it.” Here’s why: at the very bottom of the list of 50 ... Read More »

Why Do We Go on Mission Trips?

Editor’s Note: In May 2016, a group of Floris UMC adults traveled to South Carolina to assist in rebuilding houses affected by recent floods. The following is a blog submitted by those group members. When we pulled up to our worksite, it was about 100 degrees outside. We arrived at a small, one-story house that had been victim to a flood that damaged the walls and floors and left the roof barely functional. After looking around a bit, the veteran mission trip members in our group hit the ground running. ... Read More »

How Blessed

Editor’s Note: Last week 30 high school students and six leaders traveled to Alajuela, Costa Rica to help with construction projects, work with children at a Vacation Bible School program and help meet the needs of the local, under-resourced community. The following is a blog post from one of the students, Laney Hartin. My week in Costa Rica has been an incredible experience of learning and connecting with new people. I came into this mission trip not expecting much; however, I have bonded with not only other teens from the church but also with ... Read More »

Surprised by Community

Editor’s Note: This week 30 high school students and six leaders traveled to Alajuela, Costa Rica to help with construction projects, work with children at a Vacation Bible School program and help meet the needs of the local, under-resourced community. The following is a blog post from one of the students, Erin Dare. Going into this mission trip, my anxiety was through the roof. Not only was this my first mission trip, but also my first mission trip would be in another country. I kept putting off the fact that the trip was ... Read More »

Our Hard Work

Editor’s Note: This week 30 high school students and six leaders traveled to Alajuela, Costa Rica to help with construction projects, work with children at a Vacation Bible School program and help meet the needs of the local, under-resourced community. The following is a blog post from one of the students, Justin Smith. This is my first time in Costa Rica. My brother went on a previous trip so I thought I knew what to expect. I entered into this week expecting the work we do to be something to get through before ... Read More »

Already Feels Like Home

Editor’s Note: This week 30 high school students and six leaders traveled to Alajuela, Costa Rica to help with construction projects, work with children at a Vacation Bible School program and help meet the needs of the local, under-resourced community. The following is a blog post from one of the students, Kyle Kanode. This is my first time visiting Costa Rica (and also my first time traveling out of the country), but it is certainly not my first mission trip. Today is day two, and everybody is beginning to get settled. Today began ... Read More »

Being Flexible in Costa Rica

Editor’s Note: This week 30 high school students and six leaders traveled to Alajuela, Costa Rica to help with construction projects, work with children at a Vacation Bible School program and help meet the needs of the local, under-resourced community. The following is a blog post from one of the students, Tabitha Tufano. I was invited to come on this trip by my friend, Casey. This is my first mission trip, and so far it has been wonderful. The first thing that caught my attention after we arrived was that although we are ... Read More »

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