Tashina Good, a current LVC Volunteer living in Chicago and serving at the ELCA Churchwide offices, shares her reflections on what this year has meant for her faith and discernment. Tashina is using her year with LVC to fulfill her internship requirement to become a rostered deaconess in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Her work to bring faith and ministry outside of the four walls of the church is inspiring, and an important piece of our collective social justice efforts!
“It is hard to believe that a full year has past. A full year from when my seminary thesis was in its last stages and a full year from when my candidacy internship applications for rostered leadership as an ELCA Deaconess were in full swing. Today when introducing myself, others get a mouthful. My name is Sister Tashina Good, I am a Deaconess intern and the Lutheran Volunteer Corps volunteer for ELCA World Hunger where I work as the Program Assistant for Constituent Engagement.
My pre-seminary experience resides in youth ministry, yet when completing my seminary education and seeking internship opportunities I intentionally wanted to find an internship outside of a congregational setting in order to better understand how faith formation can be articulated in other settings. With my only restrictions being that I seek an internship outside of my state of residence I began searching for unique internship possibilities. The Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC) was not only excited about partnering with me in this journey but also looking into what this could look like for future roster candidates.
I was blessed to find myself in a placement where my supervisor and colleagues not only join LVC in their excitement about being a part of my candidacy journey, but also have created the most supportive environment I could have hoped for in an internship site. I have grown and been challenged in many wonderful ways. My position works with monthly communications, social media, assisting with events and more. I am able to be in contact with members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America through all of these mediums and work alongside of them to make connections between the ministries they are a part of, and the ministries of the greater church.
Through LVC I have found mentors both in my placement and host congregation who have walked alongside me these past few months as I continue the discernment process of candidacy within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. I have had many opportunities within these two communities that have impacted my understanding of my faith and vocational call. Within my host congregation I have had the opportunity to be a member, not a staff person but a member. I have had the opportunity to preach and be a keynote speaker at an event. I have learned how my local, national and global church is involved in advocacy. Both through the work I do daily, the opportunity to attend the United Nations Commission on the Status for Women last week through the ELCA Young Adult Cohort as a part of my placement position and so much more. I have come to a deeper understanding of how the church is responding to the inequalities around the world and how each one of us is a part of that.
Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement for the Volunteers of the Lutheran Volunteer Corps. This past year has been an exciting adventure and I am looking forward to the next few months!”
This story originally written for the March 2016 Leader Letter.