This fall we are pleased to welcome our first cohort of Church and Society Fellows.
Each fellow has the opportunity to work with the staff of Church and Society full-time on a project. Fellows are required to do weekly reading, check-ins and blogging to reflect on their experience of living faith. Another aspect of this program is living in community. The Church and Society Fellows program is designed to encourage spiritual and professional development.
Meet Hye-In Lee
I am Hye-In Lee from South Korea, where I am a member of Chungdong First Methodist Church in Seoul. I hold a bachelor degree in business administration and I have worked for the American Methodist Korean Women’s Mission Foundation and the General Board of Global Ministries for the past few years. I just started working at the General Board of Church and Society as a Church and Society Fellow. The biggest reason why I chose this program is because I have wanted to work continuously for justice and peace with my faith in the society we are living in and have found some areas I can work on through General Board of Church and Society. I believe that there is a lot to learn here and I am truly excited to start in the process.
Scripture motivates me
The Bible verse of Jeremiah 33:2-3 motivates me; “Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Knowing the Lord promises great and hidden things helps me to be calm and carry on with life with purpose. Reading the Bible, I realized that the way of God is that if our minds are renewed in Christ we will receive the power to transform the world. Jesus has already shown us the way through his own life, so I want to contribute to world justice and peace. I love to read the Bible in both good and bad times in my faith journey. This makes me realize that the judge of all the earth has to act justly and that the Lord hears me just as he has promised in the Word.
The everyday work
I am working on two different projects at General Board of Church and Society and my work areas are Global Migration and communications - projects related to sharing the work of General Board of Church and Society. The work I have done this week are making a PowerPoint slides and gathering materials highlighting the issues we focus on for the board meeting this week to share what kind of work and advocacy we are doing and to explain the facts and faith about peace and justice issues. I am also researching the United Methodist Church Resolutions on Migration, Refugees, and related issues for another project and I am learning a lot through my work.
Learning from community
I now have new communities not only at the workplace but also outside of the workplace. Those in my new community are very hospitable and make me feel that this place is exactly where I need to be now. What I have learned about community this fall is how to welcome others and how to receive welcome at the same time. I personally am not good at receiving a warm welcome because I have always been the one to have to welcomed others wherever I go. I am sure that this is also another learning process for me to accept and to take things as they are. I think that is how we learn lessons through our lives.
Meet David Joyner
My name is David Joyner. I am from Mount Olive, North Carolina and I attend Brogden United Methodist church in Dudley, NC. In May of this year I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in Political Science and English, and a minor in Public Policy. My experiences at UNC led me to apply to work at the General Board of Church and Society; the Wesley Campus Ministry I attended allowed me to explore what it means to live out my faith while my academics centered on secular institutions of power.
My work this fall will focus on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and contextualizing poverty in the United States and around the world.
What excites you about this fellowship?
I’m excited to be in Washington, DC for this fellowship program. The General Board of Church and Society has been kind enough to provide our class of fellows with both office and living space for our time here. One thing that I’m looking forward to experiencing that I hadn’t considered before arriving is the larger faith community in the city. GBCS staff have been quick to offer suggestions of congregations for us to visit, and we’ve met other young professionals who work in faith advocacy. It’s been eye opening to hear about their experiences and to learn directly about some of GBCS’s partners from those groups’ interns and fellows as well.
In addition, our building is only a block away from the Folger Shakespeare Library, which holds the world’s largest collection of the printed works of William Shakespeare. My inner bookworm is looking forward to visiting and hopefully seeing a show in their theater.
Meet Dennis Muzahuzi
My week in review
Week one for me involved a lot of learning, walking around DC and figuring out paces to go and things to do. I learned to take the train from point A to B. I had to learn the location of the places that are really important to me like, the church, the shopping centers, and places where I can to my mind.
I did a lot of paper work, trying to make sure I have the necessary information needed for me to work. There was a lot of communication between me and my supervisors on what is required of me for the success of my department. I attended a meeting with my supervisor Pauline with members of other organizations. The meeting was focused on grassroots organizing for maternal health.
I also participated in a female condom awareness party in DuPont, and while there, I met a friend who invited me to a young black democrats party on the same night. On Friday, my friend Ivan Milosi and I were invited to the annual Congressional Black Caucus by Mark Harrison. That was a good learning event and a place where a lot of people of color shared many ideas on various issues, especially economic development of Africa. Finally I got to attend church with Neal and my friend from the DRC, Albert at Dumbarton UMC. It was really great to meet with old folks and hear their stories. We later went out to lunch with the young adults from the church, and shared awesome stories.
Research and social media sharing
My second week involved doing a lot of data entry for my department. I have been researching on faith based organizations that work on maternal health issues. I also worked on a social media post highlighting the importance of maternal health advocacy, which is to be shared over Facebook for people to get an understanding of what we do and get involved as well.
This Friday we will have a recap of how things went this week, and then look at what our next task for the following week will be. I look forward to a more relaxed weekend, watching my favorite soccer club play, a lot of sight seeing and catching up with more fun events around the city.
Follow the blog
You can keep up to date on the work and experience of our Church and Society Fellows by following their weekly blog.