Miranda Joebgen - Marketing and Development Intern
For the last three summers, I worked as a camp counselor at Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center in Oregon, IL. I loved the work I did – I loved running around the hundreds of acres of land with the campers, seeing their smiling faces, and knowing that I was making a difference in each and every one of their lives. That’s the kind of service people easily understand – hands on work. However, this summer I decided that I needed to get a more well-rounded view of service, which is why I applied for the Calling and Purpose in Society (CAPS) Fellows Program which is offered through Valparaiso University. This program was developed by the Institute for Leadership and Service, and it is designed to help students learn more about service in society as well as have the opportunity to begin to understand their own calling and purpose in society. This is accomplished by the fellows serving in a variety of organizations.
When I found out that I had been placed with LSA, I was thrilled and eager to get started. I had known that I wanted to work with a Lutheran non-profit organization, and LSA seemed like the perfect option. Since I hadn’t previously heard of LSA, I did some research. After learning that LSA is an umbrella organization for more than 300 Lutheran service organizations, I was excited to have the opportunity to see how that system works. Also, having never been to Washington, DC, I was looking forward to being able to spend the summer in our nation’s capital.
On my first day at LSA, I was definitely nervous. I wanted to make the best first impression possible, and a part of me was worried that they wouldn’t have a lot of work for me to do. It turns out that I had absolutely nothing to be worried about! I was welcomed at LSA with open arms, and when I told them that I enjoyed being busy, they laughed and told me that I would fit in very well here.
I am currently in my fourth week at LSA and I can’t believe how well everything has been going! There’s a lot of work for me to do, and I feel tremendously supported by the LSA staff. I am working on projects that center around Marketing and Development, such as donor analysis, social media, and various writing/editing projects. I find all of these projects to be interesting and they are helping me cultivate skills that I will utilize often in my professional life.
As a Lutheran, the network that LSA has created fascinates me. When I was growing up, I was always told that we are all one through Christ and that we are all connected. That’s something I think about every day here at LSA. The work done by any one of our members is excellent and necessary, but when you take more than 300 of these organizations and find ways to connect them, that’s when truly incredible work can happen. And every single person involved in these organizations is doing service work – whether they are doing hands on work or office work. This is one of the best examples I’ve seen of the body of Christ in action. Romans 12:4-5 says, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” The members of LSA provide a variety of tasks, and LSA helps bring them together. We are all the body of Christ, serving in a multiplicity of ways, and touching the lives of millions of people every year. Every kind of service is a necessary part of the body of Christ.