COLLEAGUE YEAR: 2018
PLACEMENT: UCC Justice Leadership Program, Earth Ministry
Space for tackling uncomfortable issues and learning to lead difficult conversations is at the heart of the Krista Apprentice Facilitator program. As a new Apprentice Facilitator, Krista Colleague Hunter Paulson-Smith describes participating in intentional dialogue with white peers as “a great practice, but definitely uncomfortable. I have to recognize that the skin that I am in, the body that I am in, has political and historical ramifications for the people around me. I am not just the neutral good white person I see myself as.”
Having first participated in the Krista Foundation Debriefing Retreat, Hunter began to make sense of a dizzying two years of service—starting with the Justice Leadership Program doing advocacy through Earth Ministry and culminating in writing grants, unclogging toilets, de-escalating arguments, and connecting people with housing at Community Lunch of Capitol Hill, which offers hot meals and survival services to people experiencing homelessness in Seattle.
Looking back, Hunter realized that having been so intensely in community with people in so many different ways, they needed to take a breath, look back, and recognize all they had done and learned. The Debriefing retreat coupled with the training to become a Krista Apprentice Facilitator means “I can be more intentional and thoughtful about the steps I’m taking in my life. To do things that lean toward justice and make a difference, you really have to have self-awareness and intentionality about things.”