Welcoming Sojourners’ Intern Cycle 35 | Sojourners

Welcoming Sojourners’ Intern Cycle 35

Every fall, Sojourners welcomes 8 - 10 leaders to our office here in Washington, D.C. for a year-long internship program focused on spiritual formation, professional development, vocational discernment, and communal living. Program members are placed in different departments and work full-time alongside our staff. Throughout the program, interns practice intentional community living: sharing a budget, meals, spiritual practices, sorrows and joys, among many other things.

To enable this important work and provide space for spiritual and interpersonal growth, Sojourners (with your support!) covers the cost of housing, transportation, health insurance, and food.

Our Cycle 35 members come from all over the country and represent a variety of church backgrounds, including United Methodist, Dutch Reformed, and Pentecostal traditions. They happen to be a musical group and the house is often filled with the sounds of piano, guitar, and four-part harmonies. Dedicated to radical peace-making and countercultural shared living, they are currently exploring the intersection of faith and justice both in and out of the office.

Thank you for helping us walk alongside these leaders who are putting their faith into action and building God’s beloved community.

Continue reading to learn about the experiences and passions that led each of our interns to Sojourners and please keep them in your prayers as they grow in their faith and vocation!

Anna Sutterer, Multimedia Assistant

Denver is home, where my family, dog, and beautiful mountains support and inspire me. Raised by teachers of history and English, and growing alongside an art and sociology obsessed sister, I feel Sojourners is a fitting place to end up. I studied magazine writing and dabbled in radio producing at the University of Missouri. I value what I learned there in multicultural courses, in news rooms and in the community, and in small groups and worship teams. I learned about the power of media in the hands of the people; how multimedia platforms can build communities and bring forth action.

I also believe in the power of words, grace, good food, and dance. I look forward to engaging more with stories involving refugees and immigrants, public health, and religion. While at Sojourners, I pray to better understand love in action and the social justice modeled by Jesus. A mission of grace can feel unfair and uncertain. I need help to hold love for all people.

Logan Brock, Advertising Assistant

While I was raised in Bel Air, Md., I come to Sojourners most directly from Wayne, Pa., having attended Eastern University for the past four years. I studied Social Work during my time at Eastern and graduated in 2018 with my BSW. My time at Eastern was crucial in terms of developing my awareness of social justice issues and movements, as well as how my faith should impact my involvement in such causes. I was fortunate to be involved in the work of several different on-campus ministries and eventually was led to intern at a family shelter in Philadelphia during my senior year. In addition to the awareness and drive that Eastern has helped to hone, I am an admittedly avid gamer. I hold my passion for video games and gaming communities with the belief that such games and communities can be an active force for good in the face of difficult justice issues and life challenges. I cannot wait to bring this perspective to my work at Sojourners.

My decision to come to Sojourners could not have been made without the support and counsel of the people God has placed in my life. Thank you to my parents, my friends, mentors, and professors back at Eastern, my colleagues at Main Point Books, and to everyone who talked me through this process and prayed with me and for me. So much love to you all.

Rhea Williams, Donor Services Assistant

I was born and raised in San Ramon, Calif. and graduated from Westmont College in Santa Barbara. Before joining Sojourners as the donor services assistant, I spent my final semester in the Downtown Program for Social Entrepreneurship, learning how to engage with social injustice in the local community and interning at the County of Santa Barbara to develop grant-funded educational programing for unemployed community members. After studying abroad in Turkey, Egypt, and Israel-Palestine in 2016, I came back to the US with a greater understanding of my own identity as an Indian-American woman and daughter of immigrants. This spurred my interest in implicit bias, prejudice, and colorblind racial attitudes in the context of the church, and I found myself drawn to this work both in the Psychology Department as well as in residence life.

Although I grew up in the Pentecostal tradition, I have recently gravitated towards more contemplative streams of Christianity and I love learning about interdenominational spiritual disciplines! Outside of the office, you can find me leading worship on the piano, listening to podcasts about cults, or on the lookout for the best carrot cake in town.

To my “Cloud of Witnesses” that have come before me, shaped me, prayed for me; Indian Community Church of the Valley, Valley Christian Center, Westmont and the greater Santa Barbara Area-thank you for teaching me to think, feel, and love deeply. And of course, my mom, dad, and sister, who humble me with the reminder that peacemaking and justice-seeking begin within the family.

Chloe Hoy-Bianchi, Circulation Assistant

I grew up in the small town of Grass Valley, Calif., but came to Sojourners after living in Southern California for seven years. I graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a bachelor’s degree in Music and Worship with an emphasis in Global Worship and Culture. I have always been incredibly passionate about music, but the combination of music with ethnomusicology really drew me in because it incorporates the study and (more importantly) the celebration of diversity within cultures and backgrounds, musical techniques, and ways in which to worship. In 2016, I traveled to Tanzania, immersing myself in the communities in Singida and Nkungi. One of the main goals of our trip was to empower women and young girls to speak up and deny the power of the patriarchal society. The kindness and generosity shown by the Tanzanian people really impacted me and magnified my desire to change the global climate of justice. Early this year, I spent several months researching and analyzing America’s treatment of refugees and the United Nations Refugee Agency in conjunction with what the Bible says about refugees. This study was a driving factor in my desire to do justice work on a much bigger scale.

I identify as a musician, a poet, and an amateur comedian. I am an avid coffee drinker, and I have an extreme case of the travel bug. I also love to bake sweet treats and binge watch Parks and Recreation.

I am eternally thankful to my dear friends, Kali and Joshua, who are the reason I am here at Sojourners. They are the truest embodiment of the saying, “friends are the family you get to choose.” I am also grateful for the mentors who have supported me, laughed with me, and have always pointed me towards God.

Erin Haagsma, Summit/GA Assistant

I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Mich., a place that will always feel like home thanks to the loved ones who live there, Midwestern friendliness, and the Dutch Christian Reformed community I grew up in. I am a recent graduate of Calvin College, where I earned a B.A. in Linguistics with minors in Spanish and Philosophy. While at Calvin, I spent a formative semester in Honduras, where I lived with a host family, spoke Spanish, and learned more about the brokenness and beauty of the world and the people who live in it (including myself). I was also deeply involved with Calvin’s Service-Learning Center, most recently as the office’s spring break trips coordinator, where I recruited for and facilitated service-learning trips to wonderful communities around the country.

I care about a lot of things, but a few themes that have really attached themselves to my heart are Latin American communities; the power of story, literacy, and education; the empowerment of women and girls; and LGBTQ inclusion in the church. I am excited to be at Sojourners, working with people who care about similar things and using my gifts to serve God and God’s people. I’m happiest when I’m reading a good book or having a good conversation. I also love spending time outside on a cool day, practicing my Spanish, exploring new places, and singing at the top of my lungs to Taylor Swift’s album Red.

I’m thankful to my family, friends, and mentors for supporting me and loving me throughout my life, and to God for his unwavering faithfulness.

Greg McCollum, Communications Assistant

In May of 2018, I graduated from Ohio State University, receiving a B.A. in history with a minor in Russian. While at Ohio State, I had the opportunity to study ecumenism, and wrote on the history of Roman Catholic-Lutheran reconciliatory dialogue for my undergraduate research thesis. Additionally, my work on church history was presented at the 2016 Midwest Slavic Conference. Before joining Sojourners, I served at Grove City United Methodist Church as a part of the Next Generations Leadership Ministry Intern Program of the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church.

In my spare time, I enjoy riding my bike, hanging out in coffee shops, and reading. Some of my favorite books include Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Christus Victor by Gustav Aulén, and Cardinal Contarini at Regensburg by Peter Matheson. I am passionate about the ways Christian history can inform the church’s preaching and outreach in the world today.

Kathryn Post, Editorial Assistant

Raised in a New Jersey suburb on the outskirts of Manhattan, I graduated from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. with degrees in political science and writing. Ever since first reading “The Letter from Birmingham Jail” in a high school history class, I’ve been fascinated by how Christians are called to respond to injustice. As a writer and religion editor for my college student paper, I covered issues such as gentrification in Grand Rapids, the college administration’s response to the termination of DACA, and student responses to #MeToo. I also spent a summer researching evangelical masculinity and the ways it can manifest in abuse. Most recently, I’ve been exploring the Church’s approach to racial justice, equity, and inclusion at a faith-based think tank in D.C.

Though I love learning about topics related to faith, justice, and politics, I’ve struggled with how to put my research findings into action. For me, faith is distinctly political; I believe that the Gospel’s depiction of radical love has unavoidable implications for how Christians are called to live. One of the reasons I’m excited to be part of the Sojourners' intern program this year is because of the opportunity to enact my convictions — not only will I be contributing to current conversations regarding faith/social justice as an editorial assistant, but I will also learn to live a life characterized by service and sacrifice alongside my fellow interns. When I’m not reading books about social justice, you can usually find me running around the National Mall, exploring coffee shops, binge-watching The West Wing, or belting showtunes in the shower.

Many thanks to my family for supporting my unpredictable life-decisions, and to my friends for giving me the courage to take the leap.

Will Young, Editorial Assistant

Born and raised in the Washington D.C. exurbia of Fredericksburg, Va., I recently graduated from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. with a bachelor’s in Journalism and minors in Political Science and Business. Spending the past four years in the heart of the religious right was a very enlightening, albeit very frustrating, time in my life; more than anything, I walked away from Liberty with a thorough understanding of the foundational political and social divisions within Protestantism. I served as editor-in-chief of Liberty’s campus paper for the past year, during which time I led a newsroom that strove to publish unbiased and fact-centric content—challenging a university administration which sought to censor important issues and a campus culture that encourages Donald Trump’s belligerent fight against mainstream news outlets.

I became invested in social justice issues as a student journalist who spent a lot of time reporting on Lynchburg City’s pervasive problem with intergenerational poverty. Reading books and articles about poverty’s connection with other societal plagues—racial injustice, the school-to-prison pipeline, climate change—further impassioned me, and I became increasingly curious how Christianity fits into these issues, bringing me to Sojourners.

I find myself constantly reading a lot of non-fiction by talented journalists, namely There are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz,The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad and Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing by Ted Conover. In addition to trying to make the world a better place, I enjoy hiking, D.C. sports, and documentaries about things I don’t know about.

This program is made possible by the generous support of sojourners like you across the country. Learn more about Sojourners' internship program, and ways you can invest in the next generation of leaders.