A Reflection from a Mennonite Voluntary Service Intern
By Laura Carr-Pries
I came to WATER in January 2020 through the Mennonite Voluntary Service program. As we transitioned to working from home in March, I spent more of my time working remotely than in person. I am very grateful for the time that I spent in the office working alongside Diann, Mary, Techika, and Joe. These strong relationships at WATER, formed over cups of tea, allowed me to continue feeling connected to my colleagues when we began working remotely. My time at WATER has given me many gifts that I will carry forward.
In planning WATERrituals alongside Diann and Techika, I was struck by the creative and imaginative spirit that emerges in working together across denominational lines and seeking to build upon our unique traditions. This experience in feminist liturgy and ritual planning has expanded my understandings and ideas of how communities can gather together in prayer to be sustained while acting for justice.
One of the unique pieces of working at a feminist non-profit is the collaborative spirit of WATER, that is woven through all the work. I appreciated and learned so much by working alongside a team that sought to share knowledge and expertise, and to create together. I loved the process of reading and reviewing books in feminist theology and then coming together as a team to craft these reviews.
As WATER has transitioned to Zoom, I valued meeting with individuals in the Alliance to navigate this technology together. I have deeply appreciated that help that was given to me and discovering ways that we could connect.
Throughout the sobering realities of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests, conversations during WATER programs and the people who I have met have filled me with hope. I am very grateful for the opportunities that I have had to reflect, to ask questions, and listen to scholars, activists and mentors. The commitment of those in WATER to pursing justice has inspired me to take continued action for change.
I am incredibly grateful for the time I spent at WATER, and the ways that I am sure I will keep learning from and connecting with those I have met here. And, thank you to Mary and Diann for your leadership, your mentorship and commitment to making WATER a place that nurtures learning.