If you followed Anna Thomas’s pilgrimage blog during the Christmas season, you know how active she is in the Diocese of Bethlehem and how much the Episcopal Church means to her.
“I’m an Episcopalian largely because of how much I love liturgy,” says Thomas, who is a lifelong member of Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, and is a junior at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. “I love the process and the practice of going to church and using the whole service as an opportunity to meditate.”
In 2015, she was a member of the youth representation at the Episcopal Church’s General Convention in Salt Lake City.
“It was wonderful,” Thomas says. “Such an incredible experience. First of all, as a person of color in my particular congregation, to see so many Episcopalians of color at General Convention was so empowering. That was probably one of the biggest take-aways from General Convention for me. The experience of being in a larger community of people of color who are also Episcopalians. I also loved the vocabulary Bishop Curry used to describe what it means to be a youth in The Episcopal Church and his approach to youth in the church—the youth are not our future; the youth are happening right now. The whole room was electric.”
Thomas is blogging through January 6. Her first Christmas meditation described her love for her youth group at the Church of the Nativity and how that group, which was her confirmation class, made their own pilgrimage together to San Francisco as a rite of passage at the end of their Journey to Adulthood program.
“I’ve not blogged in such a public way before,” Thomas says. “I used to run a food blog when I worked at the Nativity Youth Camp in which I’d take pictures of the plates. I thought it would be a cool project to document all the food served at camp that week because food is such a universal thing. That’s the first and only time I’ve ever done a blog, but I love to write and to have conversations with people.”
So far she has been pleased with the response, saying, “At first when I started writing these, I was unsure who would be reading. But so far the feedback is really positive.”
Thomas is a chemistry major and hopes for a career that combines science with public service.
“One day I’d like to become a scientifically literate person working in government,” she says. “I love chemistry. As someone who is passionate about science and wants to work in the public sector, I think it is an obligation to be well versed in that field. So as a scientist and a Christian, I think applying a scientific lens to religion is important, too.”