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Three women on social justice journey together

The Jubilee Justice Program has three participants for its second year, 2018 to 2019, said Christine Hanson, who participated during the first year in 2016 to 2017. As part-time program coordinator, she has recruited the adult participants and arranged the organizations they will work with.

She will also, along with Elizabeth Dickinson, Justice Leadership Program manager, facilitate “sojourning,” which are monthly reflection gatherings at Christine’s home in Seattle.

Barb Anderson
Photos courtesy of Jubilee Justice Program

Justice Leadership Jubilee is a 10-month program involving eight to 15 hours a week for adults who want to integrate faith and justice work into their lives in a meaningful and transformational way, interacting with a community of peers.

Each month, participants spend 24 to 40 hours working with a community partner agency that is doing justice, two to three hours reflecting with a spiritual sojourner, about four hours in skill-building training, and four to eight hours engaging with their congregations.

This year’s participants are Barbara Anderson, Kathy Dawson and Jan von Lehe.

Barb is working with the Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness and is a member at Keystone UCC. Kathy is working with Earth Ministries and ibelongs to All Pilgrims. Jan is working with and is a member at University Congregational UCC in Seattle.

Growing up with her parents running a grocery store in Port Angeles, Barb said conservatism was hammered into her.

“I decided to find my own directions in life and moved to Seattle, where I worked more than 50 years in sales,” she said.

Kathy Dawson

She and her husband ran a small computer supply business for 41 years. She was vice president and sales manager.

Since they closed the business in April, she feels “free to pursue my interest in working to help solve the issue of homelessness in our community and our country,” said Barb, who has participated in social justice work at her church.

She volunteered at Mary’s Place for five years and then decided “to focus on changing the system.” Her placement with the Coalition on Homelessness means she will work collaboratively “to ensure safety and survival for people while they are homeless and to end the crisis of homelessness in our region.”

For Kathy, Micah 6:8—to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God—has long been a touchstone.

“Recently I was introduced to the vision of the Pachamama Alliance of a world that works for everyone, an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet,” she said. “I knew it was my contemporary re-statement, capturing the particular call on my life.”

Jan von Lehe

She sees environment, spirituality and social justice as “so intertwined, so interrelated that none can be achieved without the others. I believe that the generations living now must bring the three together to transform human civilization if there is to be any chance for it to continue beyond our lifetimes.

“It is an incredible, frightening and exhilarating time to be alive,” Kathy said. “The future is in our hands. No one can do it alone, and it will take every one of us to make it through.”

Now retired, she is looking for clarity in her calling to climate action as a volunteer.

“How am I called to act? Where shall I put my energies? How can I sustain the spiritual strength to keep at it when the powerful make the situation worse?” she asked. “These are some of the questions I bring to my time with Justice Leadership Jubilee, confident that the service our cohort will embody will inspire me in many ways and that accountability to the group will keep me engaged with the questions.”

Jan looks forward to the faith-guided social justice journey of service as a first phase of her retirement.

A life-long “UCC-er,” she has lived in Seattle most of her adult years, raising family and working in health care leadership roles, primarily in hospice.

“Grounded in the University UCC circle and having recently completed a term as moderator, I am now actively working with our Calling, Engagement and Community Ministry,” said Jan, who has roots growing up on a Minnesota dairy farm.

“I have deep love of the Pacific Northwest ‘wildness’ that brings beauty and sanctuary on hikes and adventures,” she said. “I come to Justice Leadership Jubilee with deep concern and commitment about how we can work together to create stronger communitis.”

For information, call 509-679-7430, email or visit


Pacific Northwest United Church News - Copyright © November-December 2018


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