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Five adult Justice Jubilee Program participants begin program

The PNC’s Justice Leadership Jubilee (JLJ) project with adults seeks build leadership within churches, examine systems, strengthen relationships and work across generations to build a justice movement, said Claire West, program manager.

Five adult associates will do 15 hours a week of justice training and leadership development, working for 10 months with social justice agencies and their congregations.

The associates are Lin Hagedorn of Northshore UCC in Woodinville; Christine Hanson of Extravagance UCC online; and Ginger Warfield of University Congregational UCC, Jim Little of Keystone UCC, and Linda Gasparovic of Liberation UCC in Seattle.

The goals of the JLJ and the Justice Leadership Program (JLP) are to empower and support social justice leaders, extend efforts of local and regional social justice programs, and increase the participation of UCC congregations in the work for justice.

Claire, who began with the JLJ in August, has also been spiritual sojourner and outreach coordinator for the JLP since August 2015. 

Claire, who attends St. Peter’s Episcopal in Seattle, earned a bachelor’s in community and environmental planning in 2005 at the University of Washington and a master of divinity in 2013 at Union Theological Seminary in New York.  She served with the Episcopal Service Corps Young Adult program in New York and with Americorps Vista at Solid Ground in Seattle.

As spiritual sojourner she meets weekly with the young adult interns to help them find meaning in their work, and build community. 

“Churches have more capacity when laity are empowered to do the work of the church,” said Claire.

Lin Hagedorn

Lin, who is working with 350 Seattle, an environmental nonprofit focusing on justice for the environment, decided to take a sabbatical year—or gap year—from one part-time job to make space for the year of learning, spiritual growth and deepening commitment to systemic justice change work.  She recently served as chair of the PNC Justice and Witness Ministries Committee. 

Chris Hanson

Chris, a former member of Northshore and former PNC moderator, owns and operates a back-country resort in the Cascades for skiing and hiking.

“As a result I live in the middle of nowhere! Faith community is hard to come by, so I have connected myself with Extravagance UCC, an online church, I am part of an interfaith book group, and I have a spiritual director,” said Chris. “Four granddaughters fill me with joy, as does the support of my family. I love life’s journey as I hold my faith lightly, allowing it to grow and change and guide me.”

Ginger Warfield

Ginger retired from teaching mathematics at the University of Washington to have time for other things, such as being with grandchildren.

“As the dust settled, I realized there was room and a need for more in my life,”she said.

Ginger said University Congregational UCC will take on the issue of racial justice.

“Amplified by Ferguson and my beloved two-year-old black grandson, the call to participate resounded deeply. Jubilee Justice is a way to deepen my knowledge and expand my contribution,” said Ginger, who will work with the Greater Seattle Church Council, whose workshop, “Racial Justice as a Spiritual Imperative,” inspired UCUCC’s current work.

Jim Little

Jim Little volunteers with the Meaningful Movies Project, a social justice documentary film program. Since retiring he has been doing social justice work with Keystone UCC, including its Green Team to help the congregation be involved in climate change. In retirement he has also been learning to cook and be a master gardener, along with spending time with his 11-year-old granddaughter.

He said the structured mentoring and self-reflection in the first JLJ weeks have already brought growth in his faith and commitment to justice.

Linda Gasparovic

Linda, who is drawn to multicultural connections and inclusive community, works with Puget Sound Sage, where she volunteers to support their mission to build communities where all families thrive.

From Sept. 2013 through Feb. 2014, Linda, who earned a degree in art from Southern Illinois University in 1976, participated through the School of Theology and Ministry (STM) in graduate studies with the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Institute near Geneva, Switzerland.  She earned a master’s in transformational spirituality from the STM.

Linda, who has worked in advertising, art and as a creative director for several companies, began attending Bethany UCC and are at Liberation UCC.

“Jubilee” signifies “the liberation and healing that emerge from re-structuring a community toward greater social, economic and environmental justice,” Elizabeth Dickinson, JLP program manager, said.

The training includes legislative advocacy with the Children’s Alliance and undoing racism with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.

For information, call 206-909-8758 or email


Pacific Northwest United Church of Christ News © November-December 2016


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