A challenge I’ve faced in my service year is…
To supplement my experience with Lutheran Volunteer Corps, I joined Service Year 100, which is a pilot program being rolled out in five U.S. cities: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Seattle. Its purpose is to support our professional development and grow our network through a series of four "challenges." They're more like activities with incentives if we complete and post about those activities. Anyway, I'm not going to get into semantics. My point is that I will periodically post here and on my social media about my experiences.
Our first challenge was to find new friends in our placement city. For those of you who may not be familiar with Lutheran Volunteer Corps, one of its three main components is Community. The others are Spirituality and Simple/Sustainable Living. By this, I mean we are living in community with one another, forging relationships and digging deep about our shared values and about how we want our house to function. That right there is the most obvious answer I could give to this challenge.
But, I like to dig deep. So, why stop there? This challenge is about building trust, friendship even, with strangers. As I have been mulling over how to respond, I remembered my placement at Faith in Place.
I could not coordinate its Winter Farmers Market Program without developing trust with LOTS of strangers. Since I started in mid-August, my colleagues and I reflect on our varying communication styles & our personality types quite often. It's a challenge at times, but an invaluable learning experience! Each day, I gain new insights into how we work together or ways we can improve.
Moreover, my colleagues make it possible for me - a newcomer to their interfaith network - to collaborate with Houses of Worship. That takes trust from all three parties to foster relationships which are mutually beneficial. What excites me moving forward is to see how these repationships will germinate!
(Haha, germinate! 🌳)