Ordinary Saints

Julia Watkins, Princeton Presbyterians 2016–2017 intern, reflects on her year with the ministry:

On a Sunday evening in early November, I knelt before a canvas banner alongside other members of the Breaking Bread worshiping community. The banner, which was already covered in a multi-colored array of letters and pictures, grew gradually fuller and more vibrant, as each of us paused to pen a name or two. These names represented a portion of the communion of saints. They were the ones who had gone before and beside members of Breaking Bread in their respective journeys of faith. I imagine that these people, while exceptional in the lives of those who remembered their names, were otherwise quite ordinary. They may have been grandparents or pastors, friends or teachers. Their lives were relatively brief, their vocations limited. Yet, by the power of the Holy Spirit, their mundane acts of faithfulness amounted to something beyond themselves, something shared across generations, something holy.

In campus ministry, the journey together tends to be brief—4 years, if all goes as planned. My stint with students as the Princeton Presbyterians chaplain intern was even shorter. Still, through this little time, I experienced God at work through worship, bible study, and fellowship. God showed up, often through the most mundane elements—a loaf of bread or a basin of water—to heal, strengthen, and make holy a group of ordinary people. God is involving Princeton Presbyterians in a call, which transcends the limits of the schoolyear—the work of justice, kindness, and humility. The community’s sharing in this work challenged and encouraged me, as I continue preparing for ministry. I am humbled to have participated in Princeton Presbyterians for a season, and I trust that I will continue to grow in the truth of God’s love, ever transformed by the saints who go before and beside me.