By Miranda Joebgen
With the blink of an eye, the 8 weeks of my fellowship with LSA have come to an end. This always seems to happen – I start out a semester or a summer thinking that I have all the time in the world, but when I look back on it I'm shocked at how quickly it ran by. I want to express my appreciation to the LSA staff for their immense support and guidance this summer, particularly my supervisors: Tania Hernandez-Anderson (Vice President of Marketing) and Deborah Hoesly (Vice President of Development).
In my last few days here in DC, I've found myself thinking back to my first day at LSA. I walked from the Capitol South metro stop and I couldn't believe that I was walking past the Capitol Building and the Supreme Court on my way to work. As I met with my supervisors in person for the first time, I was eager to get started and help in any way that I could.
As the Marketing and Development fellow, I spent my days at LSA managing the social media platforms and assisting Debbie with compiling and analyzing LSA's individual donor history for the 2015 fiscal year, in addition to various other smaller projects. Managing the social media platforms was something I really enjoyed doing, mostly because it often allowed for me to research what our various member organizations were currently doing so that we could highlight them. While analyzing LSA's donor history involved a lot of reorganization numbers and formatting charts, I was actually intrigued by what the analysis showed us about LSA's growth just between the 2014 fiscal year and the 2015 fiscal year.
What continues to impress me over and over again about the LSA network is simply its vastness. Over 300 member organizations whose workers and volunteers manage to serve 6 million people every year. While all of these organizations are connected by their Lutheran roots, not everyone who serves with these organizations consider themselves to be Lutheran. Despite this, every single worker and volunteer within the LSA network have one thing in common: the desire to serve. This desire is something I have been learning about my whole life and it has only grown stronger through the years. It is something that I know each and every person in the LSA network has.
I've spent a lot of time thinking about what service means this summer, and I'm pretty sure I've wound up with more questions than answers. The LSA network helped show me that there are countless pictures of what service looks like, and I've loved being able to learn about the many ways God is using His people. As I enter my senior year at Valparaiso University, I hope to continue thinking about the kind of service God has in mind for me, and a willingness to abide by His Will.
God has instilled in each of us a call to serve – and serve we shall.
Marketing and Development Fellow
Lutheran Services in America