Representatives from the Diocese of Southeast Florida, Simone Allen of Trinity Cathedral and Melanie Veizaga of Church of the Resurrection recently attended the Urban Pilgrimage of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship (EPF). EPF is a mission of the Episcopal Church whose purpose is to connect all who seek a deliberate response to injustice and violence. EPF seeks to pray, study and take action for justice and peace in our communities, our church and our world.
Simone and Melanie recount their experiences below, recalling highlights of their pilgrimage in Austin, Texas in June of this year. They will bring this program to our diocesan young adults in Miami in July 2015.
The week’s mission revolved around the meaning of justice, pulled from the sixth chapter of Micah in the Bible. We engaged in many activities including feeding the impoverished, understanding the social issues of immigration and recognizing the increasing need for equal housing opportunities.
The Urban Pilgrimage was a learning and growth experience that I will forever cherish. Through the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, I have seen a different side of society in a new light. Through this experience I have been forced to see without “rose-colored glasses,” the racial and cultural disparities faced by the city of Austin and many other cities including my own. I have questioned myself as to my purpose and relevance to the issues of social injustice, poverty and exclusion of our invisible society. At times, I am frustrated by my inability to be honest with myself about the fact that many of the same issues present in Austin are occurring within Miami. I felt helpless. However, through prayer and meditation, I have seen the devotion of my fellow pilgrims and their commitment to correcting the issues of social justice. With their help, along with the conversation throughout the weekend, I am prepared to provide education and intervention around these issues and bring serious focus to my community.