My name is Emily Zinsitz and I was a JSC corps member in the 2018-2019 cohort. I came to JSC after quitting the corporate world, looking for an intentional community in which to explore non-profit work and my possible call to ministry. I found what I was looking for and so much more in Durham, where I connected with so many brilliant, passionate people, both in the cohort and in the community. (I even met my spouse during my service year!)
From late-night impassioned conversations about what was going on in our service placements and the world, to contemplative moments during JSC retreats, I found a community in which to ask difficult questions and practice tenacious love. When conflicts arose in the house, or outside events came inside our home, I and my housemates had to learn to face them directly, together. We had help along the way from JSC classes and retreats, where we learned about everything from servant leadership to conflict management. As the year began to come to a close, we spent long nights discerning the path forward together, talking about strengths and fears, celebrating with accepted applications and scholarships, and carrying each other through disappointments and worry about the unknown. I still stay in touch regularly with my housemates, as counselors and friends.
Now, I’m an MDiv/MACEF student at Princeton Theological Seminary, studying theology and discerning the next step in my call to ministry. I’m still working with a partner from my JSC placement at the Center for Responsible Lending, who since moved to lead the UCC’s Economic Justice Movement. I’m also beginning urban ministry in Trenton, exploring the possibility of non-profit work alongside churches as I finish my degree at PTS. My heart is still in North Carolina, though, and I hope to return at some point to the friends and community I built during my time in JSC.