I’ve been thinking for awhile now about place. I came to San Diego seven years ago after having spent all my previous years in Denver, Colorado.
I’ve lived since then in Mexico, England, and Honduras. I’m still recovering from a couple of weeks of heavy travel, a blessed trip to El Salvador and an engaging adventure in the Northeast. Now I face my last two months in San Diego before the next big move. This thing is, I really like it here. I love my life and what I get to do in San Diego.

I stood on my roof last night as the sun set. Looking over the city, reflecting on the day. Yesterday I took a group of moms and kids down to Dorcas House. Stephanie, one of the moms really impressed me. She makes a point of exposing her kids to things like Dorcas House and Halibut with Meyer lemon salsa. I got to thinking that what I have been doing taking people to El Salvador and Tijuana IS evangelism. Church for me has happened most palpably in service trips to Latin America. Both in El Salvador, building a bridge with the people of El Carmen and in Tijuana I’ve had moments thinking “This is Church.” This is what Church means, a community of people working together to lift up their neighbors, to better their collective situation, to overcome that which divides us. Evangelism often boils down to inviting someone to church, and that’s what my whole job has been the past few years: inviting people to Church, “The Church of Building Bridges.” Up on the roof, that all came together for me. The challenging realization that whatever my call may be, it involves helping people cross boundaries and borders to be and work with one another in the crazy community of church.View from my Roof in San Diego

Life at the age of 26 can be hard. Yes, there is a great deal of very romantic travel. I have been incredibly lucky to have opportunities to jaunt around the world, but the lack of permanence, of place, can be maddening. I wish I could commit another 5 years to better knowing the community of people at UCSD and in San Diego, to building bridges over the wall to Tijuana. I wish I could stay put. I wish I could spend time investing in relationships more deeply, working long term on social and political issues, spend time working to build and invite people to Church. Relationships and bridges take time to build. Time seems to be a fleeting resource in the peripatetic life of someone in their mid-twenties.

But I have to go off to seminary, to learn more about Church and bridge-building. I have an adventure ahead of me. I know it will be at least as challenging and exciting as the adventures I leave behind. I hope I can find community, find a sense of place, even if I have to leave it again.

We are all pilgrims, wanderers, immigrants on our way to the Kingdom of God.

Published by Mike Angell

The Rev. Mike Angell is rector of The Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion in St. Louis.

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