Episcopal Service Corps in Hawaii


By Hadley Montgomery

Executive Staff

Photo courtesy of Lauren Buck Medeiros

On December 7, Sabol Rodgers  (C’16) hosted a Coffee and Conversation at the Community Engagement House on her time since leaving the domain. After graduation in May, Rodgers embarked on an adventure, working with the Episcopal Service Corps.

Rodgers works in Hawaii with Creation Care at Camp Mokule’ia. The Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii owns this camp on Oahu’s northwestern shore. According to the Episcopal Service Corps, the camp’s mission is creating a place for people to obtain “balance and harmony with God’s creation.” It is a “sacred place for rest, recreation, and renewal.”

Rodgers’ day “starts with and ends in mindful practice that is serving the community.” These practices include weeding, cooking, raking invasive species, etc. After this first hour of mindful practice to the community, Rodgers’ day consists of typical camp work and trying to make the camp a place people can have rest, recreation, and renewal. According to Rodgers, they “almost never go through the day as planned”; however, this enables the workers of the camp to adapt to the needs of the camp in order to fulfill the mission of rest and relaxation.

As an Episcopal Service Corps volunteer at Camp Mokule’ia, Rodgers works alongside another volunteer. They each live in a yurt, a circular tent, with no electricity, and receive a small food stipend and gas stipend each month; however, this experience is teaching Rodgers lessons on intentional living. Gil Horner (C’20) commented “Sabol clearly is weathered in the intentional living mindset; even back in Sewanee, her descriptions of what she has lived for some months since leaving were deliberate — this gave her a sheen of authenticity that I really enjoyed.”

At the camp, each person has an area of expertise. Rodgers is learning about water catchment systems at the camp, while her fellow Episcopal Service Corps volunteer focuses on creative recycling education. There is also a garden at the camp for people to learn about island ecology and restoration, the purpose is “to be connected to the environment in one way or another”, according to Rodgers. Lucy Weller (C’20) said, “I really enjoyed hearing about Episcopal Service Corps. I hadn’t heard of it before and it was interesting to think about the ways your environment can relate to your faith.” The camp teaches people of all ages about the vast effects of global warming and the increasing environmental problems.

Bre Ayala (C’17) said, “It was awesome to hear from a Sewanee student about how she’s doing something she loves! From a senior’s perspective, it is comforting!” Although her time of service occupies most of the day, Rodgers spends her free time on the weekend swimming, snorkeling, and hanging out. She says it’s “most healing to be in the ocean.” Rodgers will be with the Episcopal Service Corps until July 2017, working with Camp Mokule’ia and Creation Care. The Episcopal Service Corps is a program through the Episcopal Church lasting for a year. This program uses service to promote social justice and peace across the United States. The mission of the program includes intentional, simple living and “enhancing spiritual awakening and vocational discernment” said Rodgers.