A Newsletter from the Johnson Intern Program
“If you want to go fast, walk alone. If you want to go far, walk together.”
My Faith Journey with the Johnson Intern Program
By Watson Bowes, M.D., Board Chair
Happy Holidays from Our Interns!
I was not a member of the task force or the Vestry that established the Johnson Intern Program in 1999 and 2000 at The Chapel of the Cross. My first encounter with the program was when I was asked to be a mentor for one of the interns in the initial group (2000-2001). I found that to be a lively, productive experience. Whatever wisdom I might have passed along to the intern was richly repaid when she introduced me in our biweekly meetings to the writings of one of her professors at Roanoke College, George R. McDermott. An Episcopal priest and serious scholar, McDermott is a recognized authority on Jonathan Edwards. From McDermott and this Johnson intern I came to appreciate the serious and intellectual dimension of Evangelicals. This was just the beginning of the rewards of being associated with the Johnson Intern Program. In the third and fourth years of the program I had the privilege of serving on the Advisory Board and was eventually asked to chair the Board of Directors when the program became an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, though still closely associated with The Chapel of the Cross. In the fall of 2006 I was introduced to Servant Leadership by joining the class with the interns of that year. This instruction, which has become an integral part of the educational component of the JIP, showed me how to view life through a paradigm of abundance rather than through one of scarcity. Furthermore, centering prayer, which I learned with a group of the interns, daily enriches my devotional life. And joining with the interns in understanding the Enneagram has brought insights about my own personality, and, I hope, made me easier to live with (though you will have to ask my wife if that is true). Such are the joys and benefits of being connected to this program, and this does not even mention the remarkable individuals that I have become acquainted with as a result of my association with the JIP – the list is simply too long to include here. The young adults coming into the Johnson Intern Program are known as “millennials” in contrast to other generations in our culture (“baby boomers,” “generation X,: etc.). Although the Pew Research Center found that as late as 2007, 25 percent of American young adults aged 18 to 29 describe themselves as religiously unaffiliated, most young adults (I believe) are seeking their way, philosophically, emotionally and spiritually. The Johnson Intern Program provides an opportunity for that search to be enriched by community service, informed by Servant Leadership, and deepened through life in Christian community. For an old “traditionalist” like me, it has been an invigorating experience to be associated with young adults engaged in this journey. Does the program succeed in changing or enhancing the lives of the young adults who spend time in the program? We hope to learn something about this when we have the alumni reunion in the fall of 2010 that will mark the 10th year of the program. Yet who knows? Evaluating the long-term effects of such a program is very difficult to do. Nevertheless, I am reminded that when Mother Teresa was asked how she could possibly succeed in her ministry to the poor and destitute in Calcutta, she responded that God does not ask us to succeed, but only to be faithful. If you are looking for a way to enhance your own faith journey, I encourage you to consider signing up with the Johnson Intern Program as a mentor or as a member of one of the Servant Leadership classes or in any of several other ways to be associated with this remarkable group of young adults.
To watch a personal Season’s Greetings from Loftin, Rachel, Alexi, Ellie, Stephen, Madison, Will, Annemarie and Jimmy
CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW OR TYPE IT IN YOUR BROWSER
WE’RE ON FACEBOOK BECOME A FAN!
A JIP Pre-Christmas Story
Last month was Jill’s Jewels, an annual fundraiser during which fine jewelry is donated for a silent auction and sale to benefit the Johnson Intern Program. Watty Bowes, our Board Chair, attended the event thinking it would be a wonderful opportunity to support the program and buy Chris, his wife, a lovely gift. He found the perfect piece, a gold chain, and when he arrived home he gave the chain to her. It just so happened to be the same piece of jewelry Chris had donated to the fundraiser.
Servant Leadership - On the Outside
By Amey Victoria Adkins
(The following is extracted from the 2007-2008 Year -End Booklet)
Word of Mouth
By Stephen Nobles
I was first told about the JIP last September by a good friend of mine, who is also a past JIP intern, Daniel Cenci. Daniel was a parish intern at my church and we became good friends. He is going into the Episcopal priesthood, as I also want to do, and he gave me his definite recommendation to apply for the JIP. In our church’s ordination process, a year of service before seminary is not required but preferred as a part of our discernment. It’s especially encouraged for young single people who have the time and freedom to do so. After hearing about the JIP, I couldn’t think of a better service internship to apply to. When I visited the interns in the Spring and talked to them about their experience in the program I was glad I applied. The JIP really appealed to me, because it combined intentional community living with spiritual growth and enabled interns to work in placements of social justice and community service. I knew that the program would help me learn how to live out my faith in practical worthwhile ways and give me time to realize if a life of service and ministry was what I truly wanted to pursue.
Service is trendy. It is a good thing to serve others, and really, it’s all the rave. Celebrities link their names and faces with charities. College graduates look away from well-paid opportunities, at least for awhile, to serve in programs like Teach for America, or the Johnson Intern Program. Working adults make regular commitments to serve in their churches and neighborhoods. And, don’t get me wrong, this is great. But, the reality is, service is trendy. It’s the thing to do. It makes us feel good and it helps other people. Well, as I reflect on my uber-trendy college resume-on-steroids (seriously), I recall how many service oriented activities I was involved in, and how I was really committed to none of them. That’s right – none. I was a kind of service-addict. Do a little here. Help a little there. Fix a bit here. Many of those activities I begrudgingly attended. I knew there was some sort of connection that I was supposed to be making, but it just wasn’t happening. So, when I came to the JIP, I was looking for something more. I, too, had turned down some of those well-paid possibilities, but not because I was dedicated to service. Instead I was searching for a formative experience that would re-orient my priorities in life. I knew if I didn’t take some time to do it right, that I would be swept up, yet again, into a world of façade-like service, where my personal commitments didn’t have to be held accountable by those whom I sought to serve. And I’m forever grateful to that year in the JIP. It was here that I began the long journey to learning, and I mean really learning, that our “service” does not manifest itself in moments of conspicuous charity. True service, rather, is a lifestyle, and a difficult one. It’s a personal commitment — a deep facet of what it means to call oneself a Christian. And, it is perpetual – something that we are always attempting to live into, something that we are always messing up, something that we are always trying again to get right. Servant leadership radically changed the way that we, the interns, saw each other, as well as the world. We were held accountable to our choices – personal, relational, financial – by one another, and by our friends and neighbors in our service placements. We were called to look at this experience, or at life, not as something that we would “get” something out of, but as something to give to. We were moved to look at life as a place where we could share of ourselves and bless others. A place we could serve.
So far I love my placement at a local senior citizen center. I’m learning so much there. Also, intentional community living with seven other people has And, it is these lessons of service as a lifestyle, not as a trend, that I have been challenging to say the least. However, it’s been recarried with me as I still learn and live what it means to be a servant leader. It is the consistent, day-to-day choices that tell the story – study- warding and I wouldn’t trade it ing less in order to help a friend in need. Buying green products, even if for anything. The friends I make here will, hopefully, be they’re pricier. Mowing the lawn for a neighbor. with me for life. I’ve learned so It’s the small moments that reflect the voice of God in our lives – that are much from each of them already and I know we will continue to what servant leadership is about. In a momentous year spent with the grow together throughout the JIP, the memories I cherish the most are ones no else would have norest of our internship. Last, but ticed. That cup of coffee with Justin. That walk through the park with not least, I have fallen in love Erika. That spontaneous dance party with Angelique. These moments with the Chapel Hill/Carrboro were the ones in which we allowed ourselves to know and be known; to area. It feels more like home love and be loved. These were the moments where we let our guard everyday. down to serve our hearts. These are the moments when I realized that I, too, servant-leader-intraining, was actually the one who desperately needed to allow myself to be served. And these moments are what still allow me to be my authentic self, broken and all, and offer myself to God and to others in service. It’s much harder to remember that, now I’m on the “outside.” But what I remember on the inside is the way that the JIP sought to love and serve me (and still does!) – a gracious gift that gives me the strength and empowerment to continue seeking to love and serve the world.
Amey is a 2005-2006 Alumna
LEADERSHIP & STAFF
Watson A. Bowes, Jr. Jim Crow Jill Edens Ernest Kraybill Lawrence (Larry) Logan Katie Thompson Leona Paschal Whichard Marian S. “Chick” White Andrew Dobelstein Mary Chase Pat McCarthy Vincent Kopp Susan Gladin, Exec. Director Ebeth Scott-Sinclair, Assoc. Director
The Robert and Pearl Seymour Center
My service placement is with the Seymour Center in Chapel Hill. It’s one of two main senior citizen centers in Orange County. The Seymour Center is a unique place, especially among senior centers. It’s recreational, not residential, and although nobody lives here it still provides invaluable services to local older adults. Bocce Ball Group at the Seymour Center Thousands of people pass through our doors each year. Our facility is amazing and it’s only two and a half years old. Orange County government money and generous contributions from the Friends of the Seymour Center board keep the place afloat. There are dozens of events, trips, activities, meals, classes and various counseling programs offered to seniors here each month. Most of them are free or subsidized, so the center really tries to reach out to poor and disadvantaged seniors in the area. My job is to help and assist in any and everything I can. I have several supervisors, whom I love, especially the Center Administrator Janice Tyler! I’ve worked with serving meals, event coordinating, compiling newsletters, television productions, and so much more. There’s still a lot I’ll get to be involved with next year. I especially look forward to assisting with our dementia caregivers’ support group. Caring for aging adults will continue to be an immense need for our society in the future, especially through churches. Unfortunately, long term elderly care is often neglected and mishandled by most churches. I hope to take all that I learn here and use it to the best of my ability as a priest.
Contributed by Stephen Nobles, intern at The Seymour Center
The Johnson Intern Program blends social ministry, intellectual inquiry, and intentional community into a year that enables young adults to explore their spiritual life within the context of servantleadership.
Your Support is Appreciated!
Donate Today 919-929-2193
What We Need is Here
Geese appear high over us, pass, and the sky closes. Abandon, as in love or sleep, holds them to their way, clear in the ancient faith: what we need is here. And we pray, not for new earth or heaven, but to be quiet in heart, and in eye, clear. What we need is here.
Pictured at left is one of two quilt panels made for the intern house by Chapel of the Cross parishioner Twing Pittman. We hope you have a chance to come by the house and see the panels in place. Ms. Pittman left space for the interns to inscribe their own names into the quilt, making it a legacy for years to come. Ms. Pittman has been an enthusiastic supporter of the JIP, providing the interns with a grill for their patio, framed art for the house, and now these beautiful quilted wall hangings. She volunteers in the Chapel of the Cross office on Tuesdays.
The Johnson Intern Program * The Chapel of the Cross * 304 E. Franklin St. * Chapel Hill, NC 27514
To be removed from our mailing list please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line. Questions or comments? Contact us at email@example.com or 919-929-2193