April Newsletter


Thank you for your continued support to the Lutheran Volunteer Corps! Your gifts, cards, and stories bring inspiration, opportunity, and relief to members of your country and community. Please read about our exciting announcement below, as we continue on the trail towards LVC’s future; a fond farewell to our stalwart former president; and some alumnus information.

Dear Valued Alumni, Placement Partners, Generous Supporters, and Fellows,

I write to you today with profound hope and excitement as I step into my role as the Interim Executive Director of the Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC). It is a privilege to join this esteemed organization, and I am eager to embark on this journey of collective impact with every one of you.

As we stand at this pivotal moment in LVC’s history, we must take stock of our past accomplishments, confront our current challenges, and boldly envision the future ahead. While change may be inevitable, our unwavering commitment to shared values remains steadfast.

For more than four decades, LVC has been a beacon of light, harnessing the passion and dedication of young adults to effect positive change within non-profit organizations. Together, we have touched countless lives and catalyzed enduring transformations in communities. None of this would have been possible without your steadfast support.

In the months ahead, the board and I will engage in a process of reflection and evaluation, seeking to understand our strengths and areas for growth better. As the stakeholders who have been instrumental in our journey, your voices will guide us. Through a lens of collaboration and inclusivity, we will comprehensively assess our programs, policies, and practices. Together, we will strive to develop a conceptual road map for our future- a direction- that will lead to a strategic plan for a later quarter of 2024.

I extend a heartfelt invitation to each of you to join us in this journey of renewal and reimagining. Your perspectives, insights, and experiences are not just valuable; they are essential as we shape the future of LVC together. Indeed, we find ourselves at a crossroads filled with challenges and opportunities for growth and transformation that we can only seize together. Again, this will be the roadmap for our plan of action.

As we chart this new course, let us embrace the unknown with courage and optimism, drawing strength from our shared commitment to social justice and equity, which has always been at the heart of LVC’s mission. Together, we can redefine what it means to serve and advocate for a more just world. I invite you to connect with me. Let’s schedule a virtual coffee and conversation to exchange ideas and insights. I can be reached at jahwesh@lutheranvolunteercorps.org.

With Hope and Gratitude,
K. Jean Ahwesh Interim Executive Director Lutheran Volunteer Corps

On February 29, 2024, LVC bid a fond farewell to President Deirdre Bagley. Deirde served more than five years as President of LVC, implementing new program initiatives and strategically leading us through the COVID- 19 pandemic. Under Deirdre’s tenure, LVC increased the numbers of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ volunteers by 50%, expanded our footprint with more colleges and universities, and created a monthly social justice training led by our partners and fellows.

We wish Deirdre the utmost success in all her future endeavors!
* ELCA – Evangelical Churches in America
** BIPOC – Black, Indigenous, and People of Color  


Zachary Light was born to two queer women in Cambridge and raised in Sharon, Massachusetts. From an early age, Zack developed a keen eye for observing people and bridging their experiences with social dilemmas they read about at length in their free time. Their drive to always extend a hand in healing is rooted in their deep-set value of helping others before themselves. Their journey through Sharon High School and St. Olaf College were stepping stones to exploring the world of social justice and learning ways of service and reconciliation. As a history major and lover of literature, Zack excels at integrating vastly different perspectives and historical evidence into everyday problem-solving analysis. During this time, they supported numerous social causes from participation in GSA- and AAPI-rooted student organizations, courses in the Environmental Studies department that advocated for environmental justice and building community relationships, and the St. Olaf Chapel Choir which regularly highlighted a new social justice issue with each concert, from journeys of racial reconciliation to finding strength and hope in the midst of school shootings and mass loss of life. Zack has always sought to devote their life to enacting positive change in the world, and their first step was working with Community of Hope. Zack is now a very active alum and community mentor for Bon House in Washington, DC. 


Karin attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota earning a degree in Global Studies. After graduating in 2021, she joined the Lutheran Volunteer Corps community and was matched with Luther Place Church in Washington, DC. After completing her year of service, she stayed on at LP to re-open and operate their service-learning hostel ministry after the pandemic. She also began working at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation as part of their Online Learning and Development teams. After three years of living and loving DC, Karin has discerned her call to ministry and will be attending Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA beginning in the fall of 2024 to pursue a role in chaplaincy. 
LVC is looking for housing for 3 LVC fellows in Chicago!
Please email Shae, sagee@lutheranvolunteercorps.org if you have any leads or suggestions!
LVC has received over 90 interest applications for social justice fellowships, which is more interest than we’ve had in years! The staff are busy interviewing and assessing commitment levels, and waiting to see how this boosted interest will translate into enrolled participants in the fellowship program. You can sign up HERE as long as you’re at least 21 years old and can commit to a year. 
AND… CAMPAIGN $10/mo  
Please don’t leave without donating $10/mo as part of LVC’s $10/mo campaign, if you are not already a donor. Can you support $100/mo instead? Can you ask other alumni to do the same? If so, thank you in advance!
Did you miss alum Katie Maxwell’s (LVC ’18) video testimony about her LVC experience? You can view it HERE.