Sojourners is a breath of fresh air.
For most of my life, I have felt like I didn’t quite belong anywhere. Christians who take their faith seriously are all-too-often allergic to social justice. On the other end of the spectrum, I have frequently been frowned upon for my faith by people interested in social justice. I have even felt isolated in progressive Christian contexts where people are shamed for thinking critically about established political or religious doctrine.
But being at Sojourners has deepened my understanding that pursuing God and pursuing a biblical call to justice can happily coexist.
This is the foundation for a strong, loving, and resilient community in the fellowship house where I live, as well as in the organization.
As one of ten people in the fellowship program, we live in community with each other in Washington, D.C.
Living in the intentional community feels like living with nine siblings. Holding faith, justice, and empathy as a foundation, we actively choose to get to know each other and allow ourselves to be known.
When I lived in a house of eight in college, I liked all my housemates, but we did not make the intentional effort to share meals, have faith conversations, or discuss social justice priorities. At Sojourners, we have a solid grounding in our work that leads to fascinating dialogue and growth.
The beauty of Sojourners is that there is room for conversation while still being solidly a Christian organization working for social justice. Because the people on staff come from numerous faith backgrounds, have different life experiences, and hold different issues as priorities, there is an understanding that we won’t always agree on everything. But one thing is certain — there is no shame in being devoutly Christian and being enthusiastic about God’s justice, which, to me, is social justice.
At the office, I have had the opportunity to experience and support this work and learn about non-profits in general. My supervisor has coached me on how to identify Sojourners’ needs, how to manage logistics, how to “manage up", and how to catalyze the changes I envision. These are skills that will benefit me for the rest of my life.
The best part about working for Sojourners is that I can be here without hiding aspects of myself. I come with all my quirks, questions, opinions, and interests, and I have been welcomed with open arms. The fellows this year come with differing interests and hobbies and are from as far away as Washington state to as close as Virginia. Some of us like to garden, others like to bike, some prefer to read a book, but what unites us is the foundation of wanting to answer the biblical call to social justice.
Each fellowship cycle is different, but the opportunity to live in community, to learn and grow in a new context, develop friendships, and work for God’s justice seems to be consistent across cycles. I’m thankful that I can be a part of it.