January Letter from Executive Director Kelsey Rice Bogdan

Dear Friends,

The day, January 6, 2015, had started as do many January days in Boston: bitterly cold, as I walked through the windy corridors of the Back Bay to my office. It was the Christian Feast of the Epiphany, but otherwise unexceptional. And then a random friend called to ask for a meeting later in the day. “Are you in the neighborhood?” I asked. “No, but I can come from Needham if you’re available.” Intrigued by her sense of urgency, I said yes.

Our conversation, over steaming cups of hot chocolate, focused on an invitation to volunteer leadership within an organization that seemed to be in steep decline. It was small and getting smaller, with a history of infighting. And yet everywhere in this little church body there were glimmers from the margins of new life: from young adults, from immigrant communities, from environmental advocates. As we talked, I began to see my own longings reflected more clearly. Beyond a specific volunteer gig, I wanted to be in those places where unforeseen, unstoppable life was springing forth. Like the Wise Men of the Christian Epiphany story, who saw themselves anew in the Light, I walked out of the coffeeshop that day with a different understanding of my call and the sense that the Spirit would make new ways for me to live into it.. And when, two days later, I noticed a job posting to work with Life Together, it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

We are stuck between the joy of the holidays and the promise of spring, in the cold barrenness of winter. Yet epiphanies are happening around us even now. In this newsletter, Life Together fellow Sharley Pierre-Paul reflects on how a comment from her site supervisor shifted her own sense of possibility. In calling the church to stand as a prophetic sanctuary for those most vulnerable under a new political administration, alumna Cicia Lee opens up the possibility of transformation. As they dig into site placement work and reintegrate into intentional community life, fellows are also discovering new insights about themselves and others in the work of becoming more fully human. In this season of epiphanies, I hope that you find fresh ways to engage in that work as well.