I’ve been thinking about peace lately: what does it mean beyond the absence of violence? What kind of care is necessary to address peace nearby and abroad? How might these questions influence my personal and vocational responsibilities going forward?
Academia has offered me a few clues. As a student in the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, I focused on ethics in policymaking alongside minors in political science and religion. While my education has given me tools to better understand the composition of community, I still find myself wondering about how information is applied. This questioning has been underscored by an understanding that the political is not only personal–it is spiritual too.
I joined First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor shortly after arriving to college. I remember wanting a community that would support an intellectual faith but I found so much more. Mentors in the church have supported my spiritual development and questioning since I started attending four years ago. Practicing meditation, getting coffee, and singing in the choir ordered the time between studying and work.
This fall, I will be joining the Presbyterian Church’s Young Adult Volunteer program. As a volunteer, the PC(USA) will support my work with nonprofit partners in Colombia: a country currently implementing its own initiatives for peace. My hope is that time abroad will give me space to revisit my assumptions about policy, politics, and community. Furthermore, I’d like to refine my thinking about my responsibilities in this context.
This public journal will be a place for me to revisit and reify my thinking and experiences. If you are interested in being a partner in this endeavor, all your thoughts, prayers, and feedback are welcome. (Find ways to support my year of service by following the ‘Support’ tab listed above.)