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Campus Ministry | Community Service

Service & Justice in Action – Trinity’s Spirituality

At Trinity, we believe education and faith/spirituality are transforming powers. Through education, we come to understand the issues and context of poverty. Through the values of faith/spirituality, we are invited personally and communally to work for justice. The stage is set for action, for making a difference for the world in which we live.

Emily Sikazwe, Director of Women for Change in Zambia, speaks about the empowerment of women and African culture.

 As we grow academically, we gain knowledge and people skills, experience cultural and socioeconomic diversity, and grow in personal awareness and compassion. We become more aware of our role as global citizens. We become the “advocates for justice, peace and reverence of all human life” (adapted from Empowered by the Spirit #73, A letter about Campus Ministry from the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, 1985.).

We hope to form a habit of serving and doing justice that not only reaches out to individuals but to communities as well.

We build relationships over time with service agencies both near and far. Often we share a common vision and sometimes a joint project. We stand with our service partners in solidarity working for a common good. Many of our efforts happen here in Ward 5 while other programs take us to vital partner locations, like THEARC in Southeast.

Whether the project is a one time event, a semester-long weekly commitment or an ongoing project that spans several years, our students gain experience and social analysis skills. The lessons learned about the issues surrounding poverty, the day-to-day lives of the poor, and one’s own gifts for making a difference are life-changing.

Sustainable Idealism

Not only do we educate ourselves about those we serve, their issues and the roots of poverty and injustice, we prepare our hearts to welcome them in. A ministry of accompaniment is more fruitful when we are spiritually sound: we seek spiritual peace, strength, and guidance from our Creator so that we can walk with vulnerable populations, serving them with love and grace.

In our walk with others as we volunteer, we create a sacred space for them in our hearts, a place where God him/herself is welcome. You can’t see or touch this sacred space: it is the spiritual quality that we bring to our work sites. This is the spirit of hospitality, the open heart inviting other people in.

Volunteers sometimes need someone to talk to after they serve others–they have unresolved questions, maybe some anger, or a desire to share their stories. At Campus Ministry, we encourage student volunteers to gather–to talk, to blog, to encourage one another. Let your light shine brightly, but don’t burn out! Talk with the people you work with–the supervisor at the worksite–with the campus minister (Lynn Myrick), your advisor, resident coordinator, professor, another student volunteer–someone who will listen and understand. Volunteering experiences are not easy to process, but the rewards of self-growth and new awareness, as well as the joy of serving and encountering vulnerable populations, are exponential and last a lifetime.

Campus Ministry pursues justice through

      • weekly service opportunities
      • an Alternative Spring Break service trip (ASB)
      • community based learning (Cunneen Fellowships)
      • alumnae/i presentations on social justice initiatives (“Sower’s Seed” Lecture)
      • advocacy projects

 

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