My name is Emma Wright, and I am currently serving as a volunteer for the Episcopal Church through a program called the Young Adult Service Corps. As a YASCer, I will spend the next year living in Muscat, Oman and volunteering with an interfaith organization called the Al Amana Centre. Keep reading for a little bit of my background and what led me to this moment, or click Blog from the main menu above to catch up on my latest adventures and reflections.
I grew up in Arlington, Virginia, USA with my lovely mom, dad, and older brother. Throughout my childhood, we were active in the parish life of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, and I spent all year looking forward to the summer weeks I would spend at Shrine Mont Camps. I attended college at Duke University in North Carolina where I majored in Cultural Anthropology. If I wasn’t in the library, you could probably find me sprinting around the frisbee fields or singing Alto II in the Duke Chapel Choir. And upon graduating, my life plan was to work for a year then pursue of Doctorate of Physical Therapy, so I accepted a job at a small physical therapy and personal training business in Durham, where I did a variety of technology and customer service tasks. However, my previously vague sense of calling to ordained ministry in the church began to grow in strength and clarity, so in May 2019 I decided to pivot my career plan and create space to listen and explore God’s calling.
Currently, I am in the vocational discernment process in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia through a program called the Young Priest Initiative (YPI). This period of discernment involves a retreat, regular meetings, and an 8-week internship in a parish setting, which I completed this summer at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia. It is just one step in a multifaceted process of personal and communal reflection, conversation, and prayer, and I am excited to see where it leads. Even if I don’t know exactly what lies ahead in discernment, in Oman, and beyond, I have a really good gut feeling about it all. I feel a sense of calm and safety and joy that can only be described as God’s loving presence.
While in Oman, I will be volunteering at an ecumenical organization, called the Al Amana Centre, that strives to promote trust, peace, and reconciliation among various faith communities. The Centre welcomes visitors from around the world, typically leading them through a one-week program focused on interfaith dialogues and cultural immersion. I look forward to learning more about the Al Amana Centre and the Sultanate of Oman in the coming months!
Fun Facts About Me:
- I took a semester off from college to solo thru-hike the entire Appalachian Trail in 2016
- I played Ultimate Frisbee in college, but due to ACL tears and concussions have retired to long-distance running as my main sport
- I love Duke Basketball and will be live-streaming every game in March from Oman
- My ideal afternoon is finding a cozy spot outside in nature to sit, read, and journal for hours uninterrupted
- My nickname while backpacking is “Wonka” because I love chocolate so much
- I launched my own business leading introductory backpacking trips for women and girls. It’s called Alta Trails, and I 100% plan to resume leading trips when I return to the USA