Searching for a Metaphor
I’ve heard “It’s like drinking from a fire hose” quite a few times since I arrived in New York, but I’m not so sure. Yes, there is a great deal to learn about the work of Episcopal Relief & Development, but the fire hose analogy sounds really unpleasant to me. There has got to be a better metaphor that addresses the huge amounts of information that I’m receiving about how we work, and where, and with whom. A metaphor that includes all the amazing people I’ve had the opportunity to meet, and the interesting things they do, and the surprises that come from their work, and their smiles, and the great feeling that comes from knowing that my new colleagues are some of the most passionate people in the development world. I don’t know what the better metaphor would be.
Yes, there were a lot of people to meet at the Episcopal Relief & Development Network Meeting in Newark on May 23 – 26, but they were people who love their church, and who are actively engaged in the work of healing a hurting world. They shared how their dioceses had participated in the NetsforLife® Inspiration Fund and how their congregations came up with creative ways to buy goats, work animals and wells from the Gifts for Life catalog.
I joined with them as they saw how Episcopal Relief & Development’s partners in the US Disaster Response program are continuing the work of restoring communities that had been ravaged by Hurricane Sandy, and as the Presiding Bishop commissioned them for their continuing ministries in their provinces and dioceses.
There has also been a lot to learn since arriving in the office on May 28. I believe I have been to every page of the brilliant new website episcopalrelief.org. I have sat with program staff who travel the world to work with our Anglican Communion partners to alleviate hunger, promote health and create economic opportunities. I have met my colleagues in engagement and been inspired by their commitment to the work of Episcopal Relief & Development, and been encouraged by their warmth and good humor.
So, fire hose? I don’t think so. If you have a better analogy, please let me know.
Sean McConnell recently joined Episcopal Relief & Development as the Director of Engagement.
Photos: Right, Katie Mears, Director of Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Preparedness and Response Program addresses our network coordinators before they embark on a site visit to several locations under long-term recovery following Hurricane Sandy. Left, the network coordinators gather at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Staten Island before the site visit.