For the past several years, St. John’s, OKC, has taken an annual trip to the Washington National Cathedral to be a part of the National Acolyte Festival. Taking place on the Saturday before Columbus Day, the group has plenty of time to explore our Nation’s Capital and numerous tourist sights. Then on Saturday, they join acolytes from across the United States for a morning service of re-dedication and Holy Eucharist. In the afternoon, they attend workshops of enrichment and instruction.
Click here to see a recording of the worship service – you can see the group from St. John’s process into the Cathedral beginning at 45:29, following the white banner.
Below are some thoughts of Patricia Riden, Acolyte Master, who coordinates this event for St. John’s:
It was a full day. We started with a 10:00 a.m. tour of the Capitol. Then we walked the National Mall and had lunch at the Smithsonian Castle. After that, the National Holocaust Museum. I watched with a bittersweet smile as the younger ones lit votive candles in the Hall of Remembrance. Our last adventure of the day was a complete contrast: the International Spy Museum. The laughter was a good thing. Lots of escalators, Metro rides, supper, and walking. 7.5 miles on average for everyone.
We have this delightful parishioner who made crosses to raise money for our trip. Last Sunday, he came and told me to take some to give away in Washington as we wished. I couldn't think of anything more fitting than to leave one of his crosses at the Vietnam Memorial. The Rev. Dana Maynard Orwig said a prayer, and we picked a spot. To you, Devie Maxwell, and to all the men and women who fought in that brutal war, and to the families of those who never came home, thank you.
It was Monuments Day here in Washington, D.C. Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lincoln, Korean War, Vietnam War, WWII, and Washington.
It was also a day of some deep bonding for our group. We ended the day with a wonderful meal at a local pizzeria/pasta place and delicious ice cream down in Georgetown. I leave you tonight with our intrepid acolytes at the Jefferson Memorial, and for the fun of it, their intrepid leader there as well.
When I began the fundraising campaign in late July, I said that experiences like this change young people in unimaginable ways. Tonight I see that once again, this is true for a new group of acolytes. What is also true is that these experiences change those of us who come along for the ride. I know that I am changed each time…I have cherished it all.
The Diocese sets aside some funds to help with the cost of this opportunity for churches in our diocese who are interested in attending. Patricia Riden is a wealth of information on how to make this work and would be glad to help either combine groups or provide you with other insights to help you plan your own trip.
924 N. Robinson I Oklahoma City, OK 73102
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