My name is Caroline Kothari (she/they). Last year I served with the Young Adult Volunteer Program (YAV) with the Presbyterian Church of U.S.A (PCUSA) in New Orleans, Louisiana. I’m from Philadelphia, PA.
These first two months with Johnson Service Corps (JSC) have been great! I didn’t grow up in the Episcopal Church so it has been good for me to learn from another faith tradition. It has been wonderful to experience such a wide welcome from so many people who have been part of the JSC community over the years.
My placement is with the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina working with the council of advice on public policy. My main project for the year is working on an asset map so that the diocese has a clear picture of everything that is going on within all of our parishes. I’m really enjoying my work learning about all the great ministries that are happening within the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. My favorite part of my job so far is getting to meet so many amazing people who are doing such great work.
My cohort has been awesome. We all come from a lot of different backgrounds and most are from North Carolina. I’m thankful that our community life is going well. We have enjoyed many great meals together and we have shared a lot of laughs together (particularly over a gnome in our house who we named Doug).
This month we went on a pilgrimage to learn about Durham’s history and the pain and hope associated with it for those who are African American. We got to experience Stagville Plantation, a walking tour of downtown Durham and the notable places associated with it including Parrish Street (known as Black Wall Street), Carolina Theatre and the Pauli Murray Mural. It was a powerful and emotional weekend. We all learned a lot. This month aside from JSC programming we all decided to go to the NC State Fair together which was a lot of fun!
We have been visiting many Episcopal churches in the past two months. It has been really interesting to experience the variety of Episcopal churches around Durham and Chapel Hill. It has been wonderful to see how Episcopal churches worship, serve and love God from the high churches to the low churches. There are so many ways to be in worship and to do the work of Christ and I have really enjoyed experiencing the different ways it is done throughout Episcopal churches.
I’m thankful for all the ways that I’m learning and growing within JSC. I know I will continue learning, growing and failing and that’s all part of the journey. I’m grateful every day to be here.
May the journey continue wherever it leads.
Doug, the house Gnome, enjoying the Ferris wheel at the NC State Fair
House dinner with Reality Ministries