Reflection from a Wesley Theological Seminary Intern
By Techika Rhodes
I have served as a WATER staff associate for the last year through Wesley Theological Seminary’s Practice of Ministry and Mission program. It has been both a transformative and enlightening process. There have been many important lessons that I have learned along the way and for that I am grateful.
For many years I have desired to learn about the ins and outs of nonprofit work and WATER served as the perfect fit because they uphold integrity in the work of feminist social justice. I have desired to serve outside of a church context. I would like to open either my own nonprofit organization or a women’s center so women can be empowered and rejuvenated.
Through the help of WATER, my sense of community and church has been broadened, and I now feel better prepared to provide liturgies outside of a traditional church context. Through collaborative processes of planning monthly rituals, I have been more emboldened to utilize my musical gifts.
By reaching out to faithful donors, I was able to utilize my gifts of hospitality which will help me in the work of the ministry. My greatest learning curve was learning how to use a Mac computer, as I have often used other brands. I learned how to order and process books from various publishing companies that become part of our Carol Murdock Scinto Library.
Through Wesley’s Practice of Ministry and Mission’s program we were invited to have monthly theological reflections. I was privileged to be mentored by Dr. Diann L. Neu and the Rev. Clarafrancie Cromer. They have both assisted and challenged me to expand my horizons. They have introduced me to womanist theology, and I am still learning more about this subject.
Much to my surprise, I have learned more about my culture as an African American woman.
I have had the privilege to both work beside and travel with my colleague Laura Carr-Pries to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Laura and I went with Cheryl Nichols, long-time WATER colleague, to the Harriet Tubman Museum and historic sites in Cambridge, MD as inspiration for the Harriet Tubman ritual we planned for Women’s History Month. Overall, my time at WATER has been very life giving as I have served with the WATER staff, and the many great women who are a part of the Alliance.