Serve Well Blog
Entries tagged 'Krista Foundation Press'
As a civil engineer whose work has spanned two continents, Randy L. ‘02 has learned that bringing dreams to fruition takes more than technical expertise. At the heart of the matter is the community and its vision.
Based in Egypt with his Jessy and daughters Faith and Lily, Randy travels throughout North Africa and the Middle East facilitating design teams for Engineering Ministries International. EMI's clients come to Randy and his colleagues with a property and a project in mind-a school, a ministry center, perhaps a hospital. "They are already invested as owners; their community has already sacrificed in hopes of seeing their vision become reality," says Randy. "We work with them in the planning and design process. What is the immediate need? What is the long-term goal? How can the project develop in phases? Are there technologies that could be appropriately introduced through the project?"
My old stereotype saw the bearded Muslim and was afraid, but now some of them are dear friends. Are we not called to value others more highly than ourselves?
Talking and walking with people in the community, Randy becomes part of the project and the process. "We can only help them develop their own vision and give them the tools to make it a reality, but it must be their reality. This is our common goal."
Because he crosses cultures and religions every day, Randy regularly checks his own cultural filter. "Most of my assumptions and stereotypes have been challenged, and I grow through this rich and flavorful process." While the process can be humbling, he says, "I have more to learn than I could ever hope to teach."
Seeing others through Christ's eyes compels Randy to honor differences and be open to change. "My old stereotype saw the bearded Muslim and was afraid, but now some of them are dear friends. Are we not called to value others more highly than ourselves?"
Recently, my sister and I bought a package of yoga classes. Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with yoga. I have done it sporadically - even co-teaching it during my Peace Corps term in Belize, Central America.
From the unfamiliar poses to the level of focus required, I typically struggle with the practice. However, acknowledging my capacity, embracing my strengths, and growing accustomed to the routine greatly improves my confidence. In my training, I am frequently contemplating posture. This facilitates deeper considerations beyond the mat of how I posture myself in the context of the world. Do I express a posture of humility? Of openness? Of service? Do I project a posture of curiosity? Of adaptability? Of inclusion? More importantly, how is my faith experience at the core of my posture? Especially, to be frank, as a person that has not always found an identity in the church. It wasn't a comfortable place for me. As a gay person, growing up in Eastern Washington, the church was not a place for me. Yet faith still lingers in the air - like a vase of fresh flowers sitting just across the room.
Yoga forms and develops from a strong core - engaging with balance and flexibility - while challenging us to stretch toward our growing edges. Our faith is much the same. I believe our faith journey is more enjoyable when shared and accompanied. So, when I heard that the 2014 Krista Foundation CAST (Creative Action Study Team) invited The Reverend Joan R Harrell to be our featured speaker at this year's Service Leadership Conference I was thrilled. The 2014 conference theme is: GOING PUBLIC: Complex Faith within a Complex World.
Register here: kfconference2014.eventbrite.com
The Reverend Joan R Harrell is an ordained American Baptist clergywoman, Womanist Public Theologian, founder of www.racismcontradictschristianity.com, Visiting Scholar at the National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care at Tuskegee University and Director of Public Communications at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago where she coordinates strategic communications for local, national and global social justice work. As a doctor of ministry student at the Chicago Theological Seminary her scholarship is investigating "How the intersecting of Media, Film, Religion, Racism, Alterity and Politics perpetuates Oppression in Society."
She is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City, an award winning journalist, producer and host of Empowering Voices Uplifting the Voices of the Voiceless, a syndicated weekly podcast and freelance writer for the Huffington Post.
I am looking forward to Joan accompanying us in wrestling with the meaning and value of Christian faith within a world facing stark economic disparity, complex religious dynamics, and polarizing difference. Moreso, given the polarized climate around religion. The fact that public association with the church can often illuminate discomfort. I feel more than ever that finding a space to have critical conversations and ask the big questions about the intersection of faith in our lives and the public sphere is important. Not even just the public sphere but also within the Krista Colleague community. In line with our Krista Foundation value, Christian and Spritual Values and Motivation, which invites us to grow ones' own faith identity by experiencing the diversity of Christian traditions while providing a safe space for expressing and learning respectfully from others. So, Joan will help us practice postures of curiosity, humility, inclusion, public faith, and service.
Together we will explore how to engage the world with more openness and authenticity, stretching into our growing edges. We'll be strengthened to the core as we address the challenges of living out faith in daily life and claiming the sustaining strength of Christian practice. Personally, I will see challenge in this conversation but not be completely fearful. As with all things Krista Foundation when there is much confusion, discomfort, and anxiety it seems as if I look down and feel a steady, loving hand holding my own. It is the foundation and the Colleague community engaged in accompaniment and comfort as we face ourselves toward the world in service leadership.
THE KRISTA FOUNDATION FOR GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP cordially invites you and yours to attend SALT OF THE EARTH: Celebrating the Flavors of Service, the 2014 Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship Fundraiser.
When: Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 6:30 pm.
What: Hors d'oeuvres, sumptuous desserts & drinks, cash bar, raffle, live music, and program with Krista Colleague service leadership vignettes!
Where: Husky Union Building, University of Washington Seattle Campus. MAP HERE
Cost: FREE! RSVP here
Each year exceptional young adults embrace local and global challenges through a service year - engaging the complexity of poverty, educational inequality, human trafficking, health disparities, environmental degradation, and more.
You might believe these young adults are the salt of the earth, but they will tell you that the salt of the earth are the people they interacted with, the communities they endeavored to serve. And that their own lives are changed forever, seasoned with richness, depth, and flavor.
Join us as we explore the theme SALT OF THE EARTH, highlighting the importance of equipping twenty-something leaders - not merely a year - but for a lifetime, positively impacting the community and workplace they serve for decades to come.
Come and invest in a vision of global citizenship where leadership is enriched with the ethics of service and the tools to navigate the complexities the world demands today. Savor a taste of this future.
RSVP here or with your table host.
The Krista Foundation Event Committee
WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO THIS YEAR'S SPONSORS:
THROUGH the berries and broccoli on our plates, all of us are connected to the struggle for immigration reform. Following his service placement as a coordinator for Mentor253 through the Northwest Leadership Foundation, 2011 Krista Colleague Joe Martinez is now Global Advocate and Mexico Program Director for the United Farm Workers, and finding himself in a pivotal leadership role navigating this sensitive and complex issue.
Joe seeks to ensure that H2-A guestworkers working in the U.S. are protected by contracts governing wages, housing, and work hours. A typical day might find him monitoring international farmworker recruitment practices, meeting with the governor of the State of Michoacán, or talking to farmworkers about avoiding abuse. He thrives working independently, until he finds himself in a situation where other perspectives would be helpful.
That's why reconnecting and processing with Krista Colleagues during the 2014 Krista Foundation debriefing retreat was so meaningful for Joe. "At times you think you are alone, and it's hard to believe that someone would understand!" he says. Since he transitioned from his service placement there have been few opportunities to evaluate and assess next steps. "The last year and a half with the UFW, it has been harder to have that space to reflect, to ask myself, is this the path to follow, is it adding to my life?" Besides reaffirming the importance of shared reflection, the debriefing weekend helped Joe brush up on critical process skills like crossing cultures. "Although I am of Mexican descent, I never noticed how American I am until I worked in Mexico. I am not a Mexican from Mexico!"
Re-encountering Krista Foundation tools that focus on understanding one's own cultural lens in the context of multiple cultures is essential to Joe's work among senators, representatives, farm workers, and farm owners on both sides of the border. "I try to meet them where they are, and to bridge that gap so we can try to help one another." His long-term goal? "Comprehensive immigration reform that includes a better process for guest workers, and a path to citizenship."
The Krista Foundation would like to extend gratitude to the amazing sponsors of our March 30th Seattle Fundraiser, SALT OF THE EARTH: Celebrating the Flavors of Service. Without the generosity, support of our work, and commitment to young adults practicing a life of service leadership the event would not be possible!
Without further adieu, here our our 2014 sponsors:
BRIDGE THE GAP House Party | September 15th
TIME 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
LOCATION Home of Ginger and Tim Franey Click here for map!
Celebrate the accomplishments and all that is ahead for the Krista Foundation community. July through September our annual Bridge the Gap Campaign helps meet our budget goals! This year we'll wrap up the year with a house-party fundraiser at the Franey's new home overlooking Puget Sound. (Who can say no to that!?)
Featuring a complimentary wine tasting with social enterprise Sozo Wine, festive non- alcoholic drinks & savory appetizers! All are welcome.
Please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-382-7888
LIKE composting food and garden scraps, reflecting on and processing a service experience can take a long, long time-and create powerful results. To the January debriefing retreat, 2011 Krista Colleague Lindie Burgess brought two years of rich composting materials she had collected through her service at St. André Bessette Catholic Church in downtown Portland, where she fully embraced her task to "create an environment of radical welcome" for homeless community members experiencing poverty and isolation.
The article "Service Compost" by 2003 Krista Colleague Sarah Wanless Zwickle, explored on the first day of the retreat, helped "action-oriented" Lindie use the composting metaphor to see the value of "sitting on some of my experiences" instead of expecting instant insights. "In my two years downtown I experienced community at its absolute best and its absolute worst," she says. "How do I dig through the really harmful memories in order to live in a way that honors that my journey has been both richly painful and full of joy?"
During the retreat, Lindie and other participants were invited to put both positive and painful memories on the compost pile and let them decompose a bit. "The compost pile looks like it is dormant, but lots of activities are taking place," she says.
In the safety of the Krista Foundation community, where right answers are not required and wrestling is encouraged, "I could share the frustrations, joys and celebrations of service and lay those stories faithfully down," Lindie says. "For me, an important part of the ongoing work of processing is discovering a love and trust for God. I am still learning to be in community with God and it was important to be with others who are articulating some of the tensions I feel towards religion and the idea of God that I inherited from my very human teachers."
Lindie is now Program Manager for the Moreau Center for Service and Leadership at her alma mater, the University of Portland. As her compost pile cooks, she is "paying it forward" by mentoring students as they learn from their own service experiences in the Portland community. "Turning things over in a facilitated manner with community input, I can leave behind some of the things I don't have to carry anymore, and end up with richer soil."
Meaghan Driscoll became a Krista Colleague in 2011 at the moment she realized her plan to become a lawyer was missing a vital step. She wanted to advocate for the poor, but she couldn't advocate for people she didn't know! Working side by side with marginalized women and children at St. Margaret's Shelter in Spokane, she came to see life and the legal system through their eyes. Today the second-year student and Thomas More Scholar at Gonzaga University School of Law is discerning her next step in her field of public interest law.
When her peers focus on career mobility, they aren't always exploring "'what type of person do I want to be?'" she says. Meaghan approaches her future by asking herself deeper questions about her vision and values. "I see discernment as a community effort," she says. "I make a point of talking to people with different backgrounds and who I assume would have different insights. I also try to pay attention to what's going on with me emotionally and how I'm responding to what they are saying." Spending time with Krista colleagues and other former volunteers who share her service-motivated perspective is also helpful. Recently, after an organic process of reflecting on everyone's input and her own principles and feelings, she decided not to pursue an available opportunity.
"Being nurtured to think broadly, to put yourself in someone else's shoes, and consider the perspective of disenfranchised people completely changes how you view a legal case," she says. "Knowing ‘the other' changes how you look at things." Meaghan's next big challenge is to resolve her tension between wanting to tackle systemic change by focusing on policy, or trying to create change from the ground up by working with clients in a legal practice. "I get joy out of working with people," she says. "I wish I could do both!
As a volunteer case manager at Central City Concern in Portland, Megan Hurley Menard (who became a Krista Colleague in 2006) worked with homeless clients with acute medical needs who had recently been discharged from the hospital. But as a case manager, she was often viewed with suspicion.
One day, she watched a visiting public health nurse tend to a client whose deeply tangled health and addiction issues included a stomach ulcer. As the nurse unwrapped the wound, Megan was struck by the nurse's competence, compassion, and the trusting relationship between nurse and patient. "I realized that I had been working with the woman on all of her issues except this one. Until her physical wound could heal, the rest of her wounds would not solve out," she remembers.
A Krista Foundation grant enabled her to continue exploring her interest in health and homelessness at the Housing First Conference in Washington, D.C. Discernment skills presented at the KF debrief retreat and service leadership conference helped confirm her direction, and a year later she entered nursing school, focusing on care for women and babies. As a nurse, she thought, she could develop long-term relationships that help people think about immediate health needs as well as questions that affect their ability to look ahead. "When you are in pain, you can't think about the future."
After serving in a medical-surgical ward, a nursing home, a farmworker clinic, and a public health program focused on refugees, Megan Menard, R.N. and new mother of a 6-month-old girl, now encourages and empowers new moms in the Mother-Baby Unit at Spokane's Deaconess Hospital.
"Central City Concern's Recuperation Care program gave me a sense that there are thinner places when we are ready to change," she says. "In a hospital, you can see where your life has been and get some ideas on where you want to go. At Deaconess, I meet people at a very powerful time, when a new family member has arrived. I love helping new moms get a sense of their competence and power, work with their own intuition, and get breast feeding started."
Arts & Culture
Children and Youth
Integrating Service As A Way Of Life
Peace & Reconciliation
Post-Service Term Reflections
Poverty: Urban US & International
Preparing To Serve
Transitions Home & Beyond