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Four young adults engage in justice internships in Seattle

As four young adults are several months into their service as UCC justice interns in Seattle, applications are being accepted for the 2013-14 Young Adult Service Community teams through the national UCC.

Full-time stipended volunteer interns, ages 21 to 30, have been placed with nonprofits, churches and supporters in six U.S. cities for 11 months of service since August.

In addition to serving 32 hours a week with the agency or church, they participate in four hours a week of faith-based vocational training for justice leaders and they live in intentional communities of four to five people.  They also spend four hours a week engaged in the life and leadership of a UCC or Disciples of Christ congregation.

Young adult interns

Marianne Haney, Steven Boyles, Jenn Hagedorn and Kathryn Murdock in the photo on their blog. Photo courtesy of Rich Gamble

In Seattle, partner agencies are the Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness, the Church Council of Greater Seattle, Puget Sound SAGE and the Faith Action Network. 

Supporting Seattle churches are Keystone UCC, All Pilgrims Christian and Plymouth UCC, reported Lauren Cannon, associate pastor at Keystone UCC.

Lauren said the interns, who were chosen from a national pool of candidates, were welcomed along with volunteers at other faith-based groups, such as Lutheran Volunteer Corps, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Quaker, Mennonite and others.

The 2012-13 participants are Steven Boyles from the Ohio Conference, Jenn Hagedorn and Kathryn Murdock of the Pacific Northwest Conference, and Marianne Haney from Puyallup.

Steven is an intern with the Faith Action Network and serves at Keystone UCC.  A native of Kent, Ohio, he graduated from the UCC-affiliated Heidelberg University with a major in political science and minor in religion.

Jenn is an intern with the Church Council of Greater Seattle and serves at Plymouth UCC.  While completing a bachelor’s degree in human services and rehabilitation at Western Washington University in Bellingham in 2011, she worked with nonprofits in public health.  She spent eight months in Ghana volunteering with government and non-governmental organizations on health outreach and education.

Growing up in the UCC, has “instilled the importance of justice and equality.”

Kathryn is interning with the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness and serves at Keystone UCC.

A recent graduate of the University of Puget Sound in foreign language, international affairs and music, she grew up in University Congregational UCC, where she learned the importance of social and economic justice.

Marianne, who is an intern with Puget Sound SAGE and serves at All Pilgrims UCC/DoC, recently graduated from AmeriCorps NCCC after 10 months of traveling and serving communities throughout the Pacific Region, serving four nonprofits. She enjoys learning different languages and experiencing new cultures and philosophies.

The interns began a blog in September to share their experiences

Kathryn told of registering voters at the Ballard Food Bank.  She met one man who had committed a felony 30 years ago.  He thought he could never vote again.  She explained that the law denying felons the vote was changed in 2009 for anyone no longer under Department of Corrections supervision.

“Seeing the joy in his face when he found out he could vote was amazing,” she said, telling how “his face lit up when he realized he could have a voice.”

Lauren said PNC congregations can connect with the interns by hosting them for a meal and conversations with people at their church, or join their weekly course of study on faith-based justice theory and practice.

“Encourage a discerning young adult you know to apply next year,” Lauren said.

For information, call 206-632-6021, email or go to

Copyright © December 2012 - Pacific Northwest United Church of Christ Conference News


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