I am so delighted to serve as the first Ministerial Intern at UUCWC. Originating from outside of Boston, I’ve spent time in the western part of Massachusetts working in a nonprofit; in the Midwest for undergraduate and graduate work; and I have family along the East Coast, not to mention roots down South.
Answering the question of where I am from is always interesting. As you can imagine, there are a lot of reactions to the Midwest, the South, and yes, even the East Coast. Without fail, I hear of fears and stereotypes about locations others have not lived in. It’s one of the great things of having lived in so many places: I can’t generalize anymore; stereotypes have been proven useless.
When I first went to the Midwest, I discovered that I had been taught unfair stereotypes about Midwesterners that were short-sighted. And I was grateful to my Midwestern colleagues for airing their own surprise finding out I came from New England not aligning with the stereotypes they were taught. Now wherever I go, I remember I come with my own perspectives and biases and welcome the complexity of people and their locations to unfold in their own time.
When people found out I was moving to Jersey I was amused to find out there were no neutral opinions about the Garden State. I heard everything from which drinks to avoid at the bar, to what the Jersey wave is. I would need to learn every single song written by Bruce Springsteen; that I must not miss the corn, tomato and peach seasons; I could go on.
I have been nothing but impressed with Jersey so far. I have been delighted by the people and places I have met and seen and I am so glad to have a bit of nature to enjoy too. There is so much to discover so please, as a way of introduction, I would love to hear about your favorite places to eat, to enjoy nature, to experience the festivities you never miss. And maybe, to help me remember your name and who you are, consider telling me something other than where you are from or what you do (although I welcome this too). I love music, movies and books, and am always excited to hear about what people are drawn to and why. Do you have a spiritual practice? What in your life gives you a sense of wonder, and joy? Where is the best place you have ever been? Tell me about the people that mean or meant something to you.
I look forward to meeting all of you and thank you for being willing to go on this learning journey with me as Ministerial Intern for the coming year.