This weekend we experienced a day of "Rites of Passage" for three people with special connections to the community. Saturday afternoon brought a high school graduation party for the daughter of an El Salvadoran refugee who was befriended (along with her six children) by our Sanctuary Committee 14 years ago. When the rest of the family moved south she returned to Erie and has lived with us for three years to become the first in her family to earn a high school diploma. In August she will begin her college studies at Penn State University-Behrend College in Erie.
Saturday's Evening Praise (Vespers) incorporated a funeral service for a 94-year-old resident of our Benetwood Apartments--the father of one of our sisters. For over a decade this man had joined us for Sunday liturgy, weekday prayer, and an occasional evening meal. Saturday ended with another celebration for a Benetwood resident as the mother of two of our sisters reached her own 90th. A daylong get-together topped by cake and ice cream was enjoyed by both her immediate family and by her many friends and extended family members from Benetwood and the Mount community.
Our prayers go with all three of these special friends as they embark on the next stage of their journey.