Serve Well Blog

May 2016 Entries

5.11.16

Wading in the Water: Taylor Tibbs '15

The Krista Foundation | Colleague Press, Faith/Theological Exploration, Post-Service Term Reflections

Taylor Tibbs

Following two years with the Northwest Leadership Foundation's Urban Leaders in Training program, Taylor Tibbs '15 is a program manager for the Act 6 program who is beginning to claim her identity as a person of faith. 

Faith was not part of my upbringing. But in part because of what happened at the annual Debriefing and Discernment retreat and partly because of where I work, I feel I can now call myself a spiritual person.


I have never been formally engaged with religion as a practice, and it has always felt very threatening before this chapter of my life. The possibility of being judged because of my lack of faith or engagement of it has been something my mind went to. When I first heard about the Krista Foundation, I thought, this organization is way too Christian for me! But I have found the community, the dialogue, the way we try to explore service, all in alignment with what I already think. Being with the community and talking about faith, it's like I am walking along a path laid by other people, and I'm comfortable doing that now.


At the debriefing, the final discernment activity asked us to imagine what our ideal version of God, the God that wants us to be the best version of ourselves, would say to us. I had a conversation that was weird but also nice. There was a moment at the end when I was overwhelmed by a feeling of calmness which I had never felt before. And I thought that's what God is.


I've learned there is a way to be, a way you can court faith, without feeling like you have to be all in at once. It's like wading in the water and seeing people who are diving in because they have always dived and people who are getting their feet a little wet and people who are kind of like you. When I was interviewing candidates this spring, I met a lot of people who were seasoned Olympians in the water and a couple people who were like, "this is nice, it's cool." I find myself really open to people who are like me in their spiritual journey.


What was stopping me from really exploring spirituality was that it felt like an overwhelming amount of work. I thought that the practice and experience would be heavy. I didn't think I was strong enough to lift it. But after the discernment exercise I thought, nope, I've been doing it! I have been interacting with that kind of energy or entity for a while but haven't been able to name it until I was surrounded by people who could say yep, that's what God feels like. It took being in a physical place and a mental space with people to explore that comfortably.

 

5.10.16

Where We are From

The Krista Foundation | Krista Foundation Press, Intercultural Development, Post-Service Term Reflections

"During our Debriefing in February, we were given George Ella Lyon's poem "Where I'm From" and asked to rewrite it from our own individual perspectives. What are the places, the people, the experiences that form your path? The result was over 12 poems that reflected our distinct experiences along our service journey.

We realized that the "Where I'm From" poems could become even more powerful if combined as our group's collective journey. "Where We're From" is an attempt to share our individual stories and to recognize the influence of our time together as a group. The stanzas are kept intact, but rearranged with each other's poems to create a single narrative. The poem contains individual poems by Jerrell Davis '14, Taylor Tibbs '15, and Richard Murray '15. We are working on expanding it to include all or most of our Debriefing group's poems.

Ultimately, we hope to create a small, physical book of poetry and invite all Krista Colleagues to share any poetic reflections they have written during their service journey. The feature poem would be the "Where We're From" poem." -Richard Murray ‘15

Where We're From

We are from roots deeper than
the leagues of oceans crossed
by ships carrying Kings and Queens
as means of production.

We are from 5am wake up calls,
scrambled eggs in silk skirts,
payless'd, yet more professional
shoes for grown up girls in public
schools hall ways.

We are from from royalty, humbly borne into
a nation who hated us
and taught us to hate ourselves
But, we are from Love.

We are from hour long conversations
with the copier, with our principal,
with our piece of heaven in the
basement of the beast.

We are from the land of separateness, abandoned.
We are from the Philippines and South Africa,
Or rather somewhere in between.

Consummated in the eyes of the Creator
who made you too;
so We are from Sankofa,
as we reach back to move forward.

We are from downtown, hilltop,
eastside, northend, sixth ave,
skyway, beacon hill, tukwila t-shirts.

We are from Tiya at Tiyo
speaking to Ouma en Oupa,
from first generation to first generation
And now a second
of silence, space, and time.

Estamos Magdalena; unas personas de maíz y la Luna,
y las playas extraviadas de nuestros sueños.

We are from yesterday he was alive,
today we are joyful, tomorrow we
are opportunistic. And little caesars
Pizza.

No necesitamos leer todas las estrellas,
solo vemos a la Luz de los cielos y recordamos,

We hide a connect-the-dots map
of our hearts in our pocket, we pretend
not to do much during the day.

We are from gang signs and privilege;
where Darkness shines
and where we honor the elders,
who remind us
that we are all from the same place,
with different accents.

We are from was, now, and will be.
We are from the grandmother singing,
Planting rice is no fun,
work from dawn
‘til the end of sun.