Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New adventures to be had!

It's time to brush the dust off of this blog and start documenting a new adventure! This was such a wonderful way to share with supporting friends and family what I was learning and how I was spending my time on my trip to Kenya last summer (already a year ago?!). Now we've been encouraged to use blogs in the same way to share our experiences, adventures, and what we're learning in this new adventure I am about to embark on. Our large class of US-2's and Global Mission Interns are completing our last days of training, preparing for our commissioning ceremony, and will then be on our (very) separate ways and move to serve in our placement sites domestically within the United States, as well as around the world.

So here we are! Let's just do a little recap of what I'm mumbling about, shall we? After completing the application and interview process throughout spring of this year, I was accepted to serve in the US-2 program, which is through the overlying organization of the General Board of Global Ministries through the United Methodist Church. It is this incredible program that focuses on young adults being placed in various locations around the country for two years to focus on service, social justice, and addressing various systemic issues within the United States. Pretty amazing, yeah? I sure do think so.

I found out in late May that I'll be placed in Miami, Florida with the Florida International University/Miami-Dade College Wesley Foundation. My fancy title is campus & community liaison for missions and social justice. But more understandably, I will be placed on staff at this campus ministry to bring awareness of and hopefully excitement towards social justice to the students, the broader campus, and to connect both with organizations around the Miami area that are already working to address injustices. It's wonderful! I am thrilled about this! I have been so greatly impacted by campus ministry throughout college and am eager to see it played out in the lives of students in another context. I am so excited to integrate social justice and service into this Wesley Foundation's pursuit of God and faith and to learn & grow along with them.

So for the past 3 weeks I have been in New York training alongside about 40 other individuals (both from the United States, as well as a variety of other countries!) who will either be within the US-2 program as well, or serving abroad in the Global Mission Intern program. We have been having a lovely jumble of discussions, lectures, sessions, activities, and lots and lots of thinking about what we may encounter in the next few years. We've been addressing issues such as cross-cultural ministry, interfaith cooperation & celebration, racism, sexism, class distinctions, LGBT, worker's rights, mass incarceration, poverty, and so, so much more. It has been overwhelming in such a good way. I am so thankful for the discussions we have been having and feel a wave of relief at the fact that so many other people care about these things. It gives me so much hope!

It has been a great time to prepare for the transition we are all about to make. We are now hopefully feeling more prepared than when we started, we are excited to find our place in addressing systemic injustices, as well as completely unsure about what this will all look like! I am also confident in saying that we all have more questions than answers about the majority of topics discussed...but that's the good stuff. So much more room to learn and grow & that is something to celebrate in and of itself.

We travel tomorrow from New York City to DC to participate in our commissioning ceremony for the next few days & I will be heading back to North Carolina on the 5th of August to say farewell (buh!) to friends and family before I am on my way to sunny Florida. I'll be meeting a wonderful pile of new people, hopefully orienting myself somewhat in the city, and finding a way to call it all home. Once I arrive, I'll head with the rest of the Wesley leadership team on their leadership retreat to Key West (woah buddy!) to get ready for the upcoming year. I'm about to dive right into this thing & I'm so eager to see what it will all look like!

Until next time, friends.