April 2022: Program Day/Retreat Weekend–Climate Change and Enneagram
- Climate Generation’s Climate Change Trivia — The spring retreat included Climate Change trivia, consisting of four-rounds of questions on climate change science, sounds, pop culture, and more. Each LVC community will be a team and compete during this fun and educational trivia! Teams brushed up on environmental justice/climate change knowledge, to test their understanding of the challenges.
- Chelsea Forbrook (LVC alum) — I never planned on being a Spiritual Director or Enneagram Educator, but it turns out God has a sense of humor, so here I am. Before I discovered and claimed this particular type of ministry, I was on track to be a church youth director, then a theologian, next a social worker, then an artist, community organizer, activist, and finally, a teacher. All of these identities still live within me, and surface in various forms. However, I have found that holding space for and encouraging other people’s spiritual journeys and healing is what brings me the most joy. I believe that as we heal our inner wounds, we stop acting out of that unhealthy place, and open up the possibility of peace. This is true on both an individual and collective level. As we heal, we discover and accept the humanity within ourselves and others. Let us work toward wholeness, together! I have been meeting with my own spiritual director for over 12 years and studying the Enneagram for seven years. This relationship has been transformative and healing beyond measure. I have worked with her on many issues, including (but not limited to): grief, healing harmful images of God, moving through spiritual stagnation, learning new ways to pray and experience God, codependency, relationship struggles, and shame around sexuality, money, and past actions. I’m so humbled and thrilled to be equipped to offer this support to others. My unique journey has led me to refer to myself lightheartedly as a “Liberationist-Buddhist-Universalist-Mystic-12 step-Queer-Christian.” Those I work with need not identify with these labels. I only mention this to convey that there is no spiritual question, experience, or identity that I would shy away from with clients. I am Christian, with an interfaith orientation toward Mystery. I’m open.
March 2022: Discernment, and Discernment Journeys Panel
- My name is Mayga (May) Sapru and I served my AmeriCorps year of service from 2020-2021. My service site was a nonprofit organization in Baltimore called Boys Hope Girls Hope, where I lived and worked with the students that I helped coach to excel academically, physically, and emotionally in school and in life. Coming into my service year, I was gearing up to study for the MCAT and apply to medical school. I was wedded to this particular career path for so long, that I never took the time to slow down and think. It was during my service year that I realized what I enjoyed doing (helping others, dancing, spending time with my family, etc.) had been completely neglected during my pursuit of medicine and that I wasn’t happy about it. I think the biggest thing that my service year reminded me of was that you can help and serve people in so many ways. Since this realization, I am happy to say that I’m in a masters program for biotechnology at Johns Hopkins University that I absolutely love and am exploring a career in biotech and pharmaceutical consulting where I feel challenged, but also content with my work/life balance.
- Conductor Amanda Weber is passionate about uniting music, art and community through her work as an artist and collaborator. Weber is the Founder and Artistic Director of Voices of Hope, an organization that builds choral singing communities in correctional facilities in the state of Minnesota. She has received significant recognition for her research on prison choirs, most recently as the recipient of the 2018 Julius Herford Dissertation Prize, and also as a TEDx speaker at the 2016 Minneapolis Salon. Weber’s interest in using music as a tool for social justice grew through her work at Luther Place Memorial Church in Washington, DC, where she founded Bethany’s Women of Praise, a choir for homeless women, in 2008. In addition to her work with underserved populations, Weber is active as a conductor, singer, pianist, and composer. She currently serves as the Director of Worship and the Arts at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis and has served as adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and Concordia University (St. Paul, MN). Weber received a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Minnesota in 2018, a Master of Music Degree in Choral Conducting at the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music in 2013, and a BA in Music and Art at Luther College in 2008.
- Sarah Henning (she/her/s), J.D. Candidate University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Law. Sarah is a current second year at the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. During her time at UNC she has interned with the Orange County Public Defenders and the Orange County Criminal Justice Resource Center. This upcoming summer, she is working with the Public Defender Services of DC and upon graduation intends to work as a public defender or as a movement lawyer working with local abolitionists fighting mass incarceration. While at UNC, she serves on the Executive Board of the UNC Pro Bono Program and this upcoming year will be the Executive Comments Editor of the NC Civil Rights Law Review. Prior to law school, Sarah spent 8 months in Tlaxcala, Mexico with the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission Program working with La Sagrada Familia, a short-term migrant shelter for men, women, and children. Sarah is an alumnus of the University of Georgia earning a Masters in Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs.
- Blair Moorhead (she/her) is the site coordinator for the DC site of the Presbyterian Church (USA) Young Adult Volunteer Program. You have seen her, along with DC YAV Quinn, at monthly program days. Her life journey has taken her from Southern CA to ND to NJ to Kenya to NYC to the DC area. She is a clinical social worker, an ordained minister in the PC(USA), and also works as a director of mission at a church in Arlington, VA. Blair was raised in conservative church settings, and didn’t know there was such a thing as progressive Christianity until college. Throughout her life, though, she has always found herself in settings where she and her community ask how to faithfully respond to Jesus’ call to love neighbor in the world. That has meant being a one-year volunteer herself, attending seminary and social work school, seeking social work jobs working with people living in marginalized communities, and helping young adults and churches engage more fully in their communities.
- Dan Swenson-Klatt is a 1984-85 LVC alum who served in Baltimore as a community center director and after school program coordinator. Dan currently lives in Minneapolis, MN. His discernment journey has included making decisions to live an urban lifestyle, teach in high-needs school settings, to balance full and part-time work with child care, and eventually to change career paths completely to own and operate a neighborhood cafe. Dan is happy to share how discernment has taken on many forms through this journey.
- Hi all! My name is Kendra Hernandez and I currently serve as Grants Coordinator at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. Before coming to LIRS over a year ago, I was serving as a YAGM in Central Europe up until the pandemic hit in March 2020. I have a Bachelor’s in Marketing, have been a life-long Lutheran, and have a deep love for serving others. I am currently living in Baltimore, MD, but am originally from Southern New Mexico, where I grew up immersed in life “by the border” and was raised serving those in need of services and benefits in my local area. Outside of work life, I love hiking, spending time in the sun, and ample amounts of coffee.
February 2022: Recommitment to Community
This is a vital time to check-in with community and decide how to renew your commitment to one another for the second half of the year. In this time of recommitment, it is helpful to include both self-reflection and reflection as a whole community. Using the “Mid-year Check-in Questions for Community Time” document, Volunteers will take some time to reflect individually and together.
January 2022: Community Organizing Training, with Washington Interfaith Network
WIN seeks to create long-term power through a broad and united front of organized institutions, organized people, and organized money–acting consistently and persistently for change on multiple issues at the neighborhood, regional, national, and city-wide levels. WIN engages leaders across the divides of race, culture, income, faith, and neighborhood in order to initiate public action on their issues (e.g. affordable housing, public safety, youth, etc.) and to partner with and hold the government and corporate sectors accountable for addressing these issues.
December 2021: Grind Culture — How White Supremacy is Creating Widespread Burnout
Paul Johnson is the founder of Proactivism, a social business that helps white-identifying individuals stay actively and meaningfully engaged in anti-racism work through coaching and training. He also is the co-host of the podcast The Modern White Man, which explores the roles white men can play in racial and gender equity work. Basically, he is passionate about galvanizing white folks to be a part of the solution to end systemic racism and white supremacy. Paul lives in Minneapolis with his partner, Bailey, and their one-year-old, Mirae. December program day also included LVC’s Mental Health Resource Group, alumni practitioners supporting Volunteers.
November 2021: Retreat — Learning the Community You’re Serving/One-on-Ones
Lenny Duncan joined for a quarterly check-in to hear from Volunteers how their community one-on-one meetings were progressing. This follows up on conversations about how we enter a community where we intend to serve, to do more help than harm.
October 2021: Mapping Our Roles in a Social Change Ecosystem
Using the Ecosystem Map, you’ll all get a chance to think about what skills and interests you bring and where you best show up for working towards social justice.
September 2021: Conflict as a Door to Resolution-Intersectionality of conflict with the three core values of LVC
Volunteers discussed Consensus as a model for agreement, and explored how conflict intersects with the three LVC Core Practices. Then, using transportation as a case study, and the new U.S. president’s administration budget, Volunteers brainstormed 10 different viewpoints; identified areas of potential agreement in those diverse viewpoints; and discussed how that area of agreement might be a door to creating community on a national scale. To use consensus in action, Volunteers met with their house communities and began discussions about food and budgeting in community for practices they will carry throughout the year.