This page has moved to a new address.

Life Together: The Diomass Intern Program

body { background:#fff; margin:0; padding:40px 20px; font:x-small Georgia,Serif; text-align:center; color:#333; font-size/* */:/**/small; font-size: /**/small; } a:link { color:#58a; text-decoration:none; } a:visited { color:#969; text-decoration:none; } a:hover { color:#c60; text-decoration:underline; } a img { border-width:0; } /* Header ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #header { width:660px; margin:0 auto 10px; border:1px solid #ccc; } } @media handheld { #header { width:90%; } } #blog-title { margin:5px 5px 0; padding:20px 20px .25em; border:1px solid #eee; border-width:1px 1px 0; font-size:200%; line-height:1.2em; font-weight:normal; color:#666; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; } #blog-title a { color:#666; text-decoration:none; } #blog-title a:hover { color:#c60; } #description { margin:0 5px 5px; padding:0 20px 20px; border:1px solid #eee; border-width:0 1px 1px; max-width:700px; font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; color:#999; } /* Content ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #content { width:660px; margin:0 auto; padding:0; text-align:left; } #main { width:410px; float:left; } #sidebar { width:220px; float:right; } } @media handheld { #content { width:90%; } #main { width:100%; float:none; } #sidebar { width:100%; float:none; } } /* Headings ----------------------------------------------- */ h2 { margin:1.5em 0 .75em; font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; color:#999; } /* Posts ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { .date-header { margin:1.5em 0 .5em; } .post { margin:.5em 0 1.5em; border-bottom:1px dotted #ccc; padding-bottom:1.5em; } } @media handheld { .date-header { padding:0 1.5em 0 1.5em; } .post { padding:0 1.5em 0 1.5em; } } .post-title { margin:.25em 0 0; padding:0 0 4px; font-size:140%; font-weight:normal; line-height:1.4em; color:#c60; } .post-title a, .post-title a:visited, .post-title strong { display:block; text-decoration:none; color:#c60; font-weight:normal; } .post-title strong, .post-title a:hover { color:#333; } .post div { margin:0 0 .75em; line-height:1.6em; } { margin:-.25em 0 0; color:#ccc; } .post-footer em, .comment-link { font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } .post-footer em { font-style:normal; color:#999; margin-right:.6em; } .comment-link { margin-left:.6em; } .post img { padding:4px; border:1px solid #ddd; } .post blockquote { margin:1em 20px; } .post blockquote p { margin:.75em 0; } /* Comments ----------------------------------------------- */ #comments h4 { margin:1em 0; font:bold 78%/1.6em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; color:#999; } #comments h4 strong { font-size:130%; } #comments-block { margin:1em 0 1.5em; line-height:1.6em; } #comments-block dt { margin:.5em 0; } #comments-block dd { margin:.25em 0 0; } #comments-block dd.comment-timestamp { margin:-.25em 0 2em; font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } #comments-block dd p { margin:0 0 .75em; } .deleted-comment { font-style:italic; color:gray; } .paging-control-container { float: right; margin: 0px 6px 0px 0px; font-size: 80%; } .unneeded-paging-control { visibility: hidden; } /* Sidebar Content ----------------------------------------------- */ #sidebar ul { margin:0 0 1.5em; padding:0 0 1.5em; border-bottom:1px dotted #ccc; list-style:none; } #sidebar li { margin:0; padding:0 0 .25em 15px; text-indent:-15px; line-height:1.5em; } #sidebar p { color:#666; line-height:1.5em; } /* Profile ----------------------------------------------- */ #profile-container { margin:0 0 1.5em; border-bottom:1px dotted #ccc; padding-bottom:1.5em; } .profile-datablock { margin:.5em 0 .5em; } .profile-img { display:inline; } .profile-img img { float:left; padding:4px; border:1px solid #ddd; margin:0 8px 3px 0; } .profile-data { margin:0; font:bold 78%/1.6em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } .profile-data strong { display:none; } .profile-textblock { margin:0 0 .5em; } .profile-link { margin:0; font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } /* Footer ----------------------------------------------- */ #footer { width:660px; clear:both; margin:0 auto; } #footer hr { display:none; } #footer p { margin:0; padding-top:15px; font:78%/1.6em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } /* Feeds ----------------------------------------------- */ #blogfeeds { } #postfeeds { }

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Thy Kingdom Connected

This post was contributed by LifeTogether intern Justin Harvey.

About a month ago, we had a spontaneous dinner party at our house, which started with one person getting coffee with us and ended up with seven of us in our home, eating soup, drinking beer and having great conversations. There was August, the guy who works at the grocery store in our village square and whom we befriended; there was Stephen, the realtor who got us our apartment when we moved to Boston and whom we’ve become good friends with; then there were Luke and Martha, a few coworkers of Skye’s at the bakery she works at, and one of their friends… During it all, I thought to myself, “Ohh so this is how networks work.” Every person there had come into our lives in a different way, but all of them were connected; the apartment we live in, the neighborhood we live in, the jobs we have, the local businesses we frequent.. they’re all connected! And this network, the random-yet-connected gathering of folks gave birth to life – good conversation, laughter, sharing of stories – all of which are life giving practices. Experiences like that make you stop and think: what if this is how life – how church - is supposed to be?

The reason that networks are on my mind – and the reason a question like that is particularly on my mind – is because I’m reading through the new book by one of my professors from grad school, “Thy Kingdom Connected” by Dwight Friesen. Dwight highlights that life is really all about networks, and challenges us to view the earth, our cities, our neighborhoods, and yes, the church, through a new network-lens.  He does this by looking at and weaving together elements of network theory, the physical sciences, and theology, which might sound overwhelming, but I found it very accessible. One of the ways Dwight helps us see leaders as connective is in what he calls "the parable of Google." When you or I go to Google, we rarely go there for Google's sake: we go there to find links, to discover other places on the web. If you think about it, it's quite remarkable. Their success lies in their ability to connect you and I with the information we are looking for, but Google doesn't generate content, they link us with those who do. Google possess  no authority over us other than that which we give it; instead, Dwight says, " its authority is earned through consistently serving its users by giving away the very connections it has." We have come to trust Google. But the moment Google no longer connects us in the ways we need, we'll find another site that will do that for us. The church, then, has much to learn about this kind of connective leadership, as it's leaders "humbly serve those connected to them, linking them to others even at great personal cost."

I highly recommend you pick up a copy of his book. It’s already reshaping how I see life, including incidents like the one above.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Grace Church Medford Hosts Lenten Food for Thought Campaign

In the fall Grace Church Medford’s Priest-in-charge, Noah, and the Junior Warden, Linda, approached me and asked if I would use the tools I’ve learned through the Hope in Action community organizing training to organize a church-wide campaign on hunger issues. I immediately began the groundwork. I started having 1:1s with parishioners, looking for people to help me organize this campaign as well as for the resources that we have in our church and in the community. Working with a team of leaders, we started reaching out to local food pantries and soup kitchens, asking them about their ministries and what kind of help they would need from our church. We then reached out to local agencies who work with the hungry and food insecure to find ways to partner with them. By January, the “Food for Thought” campaign was just about organized.

The purpose of the Food For Thought Campaign is to unite the Grace Church community in a fight against the injustices of hunger. The goal is to help eradicate hunger in our local community by giving generously of our time and resources. We will continue to share the compassion of God through our service to others.

On Sunday February 21st we kicked off the campaign with a luncheon and panel discussion after our 10am service. The panel included volunteers from three local food pantries and soup kitchens, St. Luke’s, St Francis, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Medford. After the discussion, we asked everyone to make a commitment to participate in this campaign through volunteer work, financial donations, or donations of food.

We began a food drive with the goal of raising 144 boxes/bags of food, enough to fill the stage in our parish hall full of food. Families were asked to fill a box or bag each and bring them in. Volunteers would later help bring the food to different food pantries. Other volunteers would help serve food in those food pantries and soup kitchens.

On Wednesday evenings we began a Hunger Justice series. Our first and third speakers were from Project Bread. They spoke to us about what food insecurity and hunger looks like in Massachusetts and the different programs available to help alleviate and eventually end hunger. Our second speaker was from Episcopal City Mission. He spoke to us about the difference between charity work and justice work in addressingpoverty. His presentationalso helped us to start to think of what we can do as a church to address hunger and food insecurity on a systemic level. And This week we will have speakers from The Food Project and Gaining Ground who will speak with us about community supported agriculture.

The youth have learned about hunger issues during Sunday school and gone on tours of local food pantries as well as had the opportunity to volunteer at a soup kitchen. A group went to Over Look Farm  and learned about hunger in other countries. And a group of our teenagers will be going on a mission trip to New York City to work at food pantries and soup kitchens with the Youth Service Opportunity Project.

The campaign (which ends on Easter Sunday) has been a great success so far. As a church we have learned so much about hunger and are finding more and more ways in which we can get involved to eventually end hunger in our community. For more information about what Grace Church is doing, please check out our blog.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Stephen's South End participate in Diocesan Youth Event

posted by Kathryn Kendrick, Micah Intern at St. Stephen's South End
also visit

St. Stephen’s brought 8 people to the Sr. High Retreat at Barbara Harris Camp February 5-7.  This was our first overnight Diocesan event, and it was AMAZING!  We had 4 girls, 2 boys and 2 chaperones participate in fun and fellowship with youth from all over Massachusetts in Greenfield, New Hampshire. We had more than 100 people representing over 15 parishes from the diocese, including Our Savior Somerset, St Mark’s Burlington, St Barnabas’ Falmouth, All Saints’ Chelmsford, St Stephen’s Lynn, Christ Church Andover, Old North Boston, St James’ Amesbury, Trinity Weymouth, and a bunch of kids from Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) from all over the place. The theme was “Zoom-Out” which focused on taking a broader view of our lives and ministry in the world.  The retreat was largely run by the Diocesan Youth Council, comprised of youth from all over the Diocese, who shared their stories, organized worship, led small groups as well as other games and activities for the weekend.  St. Stephen’s youth actively participated in worship, small groups, team building games, basketball, singing, dancing, yoga, hiking, journaling, and eucharistic bread making.  It was a fantastic weekend that inspired youth to strengthen their relationship with God and one another.  We look forward to upcoming events with the diocese and have begun planning our own youth-led service at St. Stephen’s! 
“While I was on the retreat I met some great people! People I wouldn’t have met if I didn’t attend the retreat. What I loved the most was the strong vibe between everyone. I was comfortable with expressing my feelings during the bible study and during the small groups. I also enjoyed the band “Attaboy” their music got me going! I had a wonderful time and I can’t wait to work at BCH this summer!” –Atiera, St. Stephen’s 
“I liked being at BCH because it was out of the city.  It was so quiet and I could actually see the stars.  We played basketball and I did yoga for the first time.  The program and small groups were easy to relate to because they were led by young people my age.  I would love to be on Diocesan Youth Council and I can’t wait to go back next year.”  Michael, St. Stephen’s

A honeymoon, Haiti and Chile

Thanks to diomass intern Waetie Kumahia for this post.

It is was a Sunday in 2002, and I was feeling fresh-faced and
inquisitive about everything in New Orleans, Louisiana and the
potential to move there for a teaching opportunity at the Isidore
Newman School. My research had told me that the House of Blues
Gospel Brunch was one place to prioritize during my visit, and the
passion and beauty of the worship that morning made it so none of us
listeners wanted to leave. When we did pour out of that sacred
building and into the humid streets, I left with the desire to reach
out further to the city that had so quickly embraced me. But, as I
began to talk to mothers, gamblers, and restaurant owners about their
experiences living there, many cautioned against my decision to move. One
elderly woman warned, “Those who make it here, usually strive to get
out”. Or I was told how the combined effect of dependency on tourism
and the lack of any restrictions around the opening and closing of
bars made it so that the local man, with three children and bills to
pay, could gamble his life away at any time of night. It was not hard
to see how all of this could be prohibitive to the city’s
infrastructure and social ties. In the end, my decision to move back
to Boston for another opportunity was only partially tied to these
admonishments, but they did stay with me.

Three years later, I thought of those words and the people of
Louisiana on the morning after my wedding day. It was raining heavily,
and my husband and I had awoken in our hotel with great plans for our
honeymoon and a future that we prayed would be marked by blessings
and favor. Yet, when we turned on the television that day, and for the
remaining five days of our honeymoon, the tragedy and mayhem of black people, marooned and suffering, was always within view. Our horror and guilt as we sat-- passively, thinking about the cost of our lavish affair and how it might have been used differently ---all
of this was palatable in the seemingly acrid taste of our dinners by
candlelight. The memory of these times are etched in with the early
days of our young marriage as we both realized that the honeymoon was truly over and real marriage, and real life had begun.

And here we are in a week like this, where we watch our neighbors flee for shelter from the rain on Monday, where we complain that our basements are flooded, and my husband and I are curled
up safely in bed at night. Here we are thinking about Haiti, thinking about Chile, and thinking about our mortgage. I am wondering what more I can do aside from sending a text to the Red Cross. I think about those people who drive around with bumper stickers that say, “What would Jesus do?” I think, in this case, I know, but in the din of my responsibilities and personal life, Waltham seems as far away as Haiti. Not a day goes by during this year of service where I don’t realize
how much bigger and greater God’s plans are for me than what I
imagined at 22 while walking the streets of New Orleans. Today, as I
discern my next steps, I pray that my heart and mind will be open to
the irony and unpredictably of the next leg of my journey.

Labels: , , , , , ,