While the new year is just beginning for most, our intern year at Sojourners is halfway up.
Applications for next year's program are due March 1st, and if you or anyone you know is on the bubble in regard to applying, here are a few thoughts from this year's interns as to why you should apply.
My year at Sojourners has been an opportunity to grow personally, professionally, and vocationally. For example, one meaningful work experience was helping facilitate a conference for evangelical environmental leaders with the aim of uniting their voices to build a movement. That same week, the intern class enjoyed a seminar on the cycles of group vision. The lessons from the seminar informed my understanding of the conference, and our house community was a place for me to process my thoughts from both. I am grateful for this unique setting to explore and integrate community, work, and service.
Something I have begun to be aware of while here at Sojourners is the breadth of the broader church. The “church” — Christian, people of faith, and truth-seekers doing their best in following The Way — encompasses such diversity of individuals, communities, and missions. While we may not all be doing the same thing or be as coordinated in our efforts as some may want or as the world may need, we do all strive to follow the call of the Gospel for truth, compassion, and justice in our world. I have witnessed Sojourners as it strives to be the conveners, the facilitators, bridging the gap among Christian groups and across religious creeds to try to find the truths in today’s messy and complicated world to help build the kingdom.
My year at Sojourners has been amazing. As an aspiring religion reporter, being able to work at one of the top religion publications in the country has given me invaluable insight into my chosen field. I could not put a price tag on the experience and knowledge I’ve gained or the people I’ve been able to meet.
My time at Sojourners has been a wake-up call. It is invaluable to work among staff with hundreds of years of experience — combined years, that is — in practicing Christian community and fighting for social justice. This experience has confirmed my understanding that Christ’s call to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ cannot be an easy, half-hearted effort; it must be a lifelong journey of passionate devotion that engages mind, body, and soul. While I have become painfully aware of how much I have yet to learn, I am grateful to be absorbing the wisdom and knowledge of these faithful disciples.
I think when I started this program it was easy to think of it simply as a resume builder — a stepping stone. And while it is a great place to get started, it is also an awesome place to grow. The community I became a part of — in both the intern house and in the Sojourners office — has taught me so much about who I am, who I’m becoming, and who God meant me to be. I’ve disappointed myself, surprised myself, and been really proud of myself. I know that I’ve changed in the last six months, but that there is a lot more in store for me to discover in myself and in others before my year here is up. One thing is guaranteed — I will learn here like I never have (or could) learn anywhere else.
It’s been such a blessing living and working alongside so many other socially conscious, politically active, and spiritually engaged Christians. Life in community has been a challenging, stretching, wonderful, perspective-altering, life-changing experience — and one I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Over the course of the year I’ve become more mindful of how I’m using my resources and more committed to seeking out new ways to engage and interact with the community at large. I have always loved seeing, hearing, and learning different perspectives, so having the opportunity to live in a city as culturally diverse as D.C. has been a welcome and wonderful way of broadening and challenging my worldviews.
For more information on the Intern Program, check out our info page and apply today!
Photo: Brandon Hook / Sojourners