Elizabeth Dickinson, Program Manager, Justice Leadership Program
Two months into their commitment with the Justice Leadership Program (JLP), our UCC Social Justice Interns are already deeply involved in our partner agencies and congregations. We share here some highlights of their work, made possible by support from Pacific Northwest Conference churches and the national UCC Young Adult Service Communities (YASC), of which JLP is a part.
Briana, interning at the Church Council of Greater Seattle, is following worker justice campaigns and inviting churches to explore what a "living wage" would mean for families, businesses, and communities. She is also active in local and national immigration roundtables working for a just and comprehensive immigration reform. Serving at Plymouth Congregational Church, she is learning how a large church organizes to actively incorporate both advocacy and direct service in living out their social justice commitment.
Karin, interning at Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light, helps faith communities engage in environmental stewardship. She and other staff recently met with UCC pastors in Ritzville and Pullman about eliminating toxics from children's products, and were graced with a tour of a congregant's wheat farm. (see www.earthministry.blogspot.com/) Karin has also testified about the impact of coal exports on local and global communities. Serving at Keystone Congregational Church, she is helping to update communications and prepare a Festival of Hope to raise funds for anti-poverty organizations.
Margie, interning at Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, has taken her first trip to Olympia with advocates deeply affected by the housing crisis, and is beginning to plan Housing & Homelessness Advocacy Day (Jan. 28!) and the Conference on Ending Homelessness. Serving at All Pilgrims Christian Church, she delights in the diverse worshipping community and the weekly community dinner for those seeking a healthy meal and friendly conversation.
Together in weekly "spiritual sojourning," they have written mission statements for their year of service and created a covenant for intentional community living. They have appreciated words from Marge Piercy's poem, "To Be Of Use:" "The pitcher cries for water to carry and a person for work that is real."
Thank you for this opportunity to do work that is real, and meaningful.
A Leap of Faith -
a year of doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with our God.