This summer, I am working with A Christian Ministry in the National Parks, an organization with a mission to embody and extend the ministry of Jesus Christ through worship, witness, and the development of Christian leaders. Alongside my four fellow team members and about twenty other coworkers, I work in Sequoia National Park in California, seeking to care for guests and coworkers in ways that let them know they are loved by God beyond measure, and that they were created for meaningful relationships with God and with others. My team members and I lead worship services in the campground amphitheater on Sunday mornings for any coworkers or visitors who want to attend.
Candler has prepared me for this summer by challenging me to respectfully and lovingly engage with people who appear different from me and/or have different theologies and meaning-making structures, all while recognizing our common humanity and equality. The national park community is a diverse one filled with Americans from various socioeconomic backgrounds and people from various countries. I hope that living and working in such a diverse environment prepares me further for life and ministry by empowering me to get to know and love others for who they truly are, recognizing all people as children of God.