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Justice Leadership Program leads Holy Week Pilgrimage

The PNC’s Justice Leadership Program (JLP) is offering a Pilgrimage Experience during Lent.

“So often in our culture we hear about the celebrities. We know about the athletes, movie stars and politicians, but what about the local heroes who have devoted their lives to the work of making the world more just and compassionate?” asks Rich Gamble, executive director of the JLP.

Who are they? What are their stories? What have they learned?

The Justice Leadership Program is starting a new program called Pilgrimage.

The goal of the pilgrimage is to provide people with an opportunity to dig deep into the issue of homelessness, visit some of the sites, meet some of the people who are part of the response, hear about the struggles and insights gained, Rich said.

The program offers adults an opportunity to spend the first three days of Holy Week, Monday to Wednesday, March 26 to 28 digging deep into the issue.

The focus of the Pilgrimage will be learning the history of the issue of homelesness as it is experienced in Seattle, hearing from some of the unsung heroes of the struggle to end homelessness, learning about various approaches to the work of justice on this issue, and visiting sites where history was made or solutions developed.

The goal of the event is to provide a greater understanding of the struggle to end homelessness and how to become part of that struggle. 

“We see the tents. We hear about people sleeping in their cars. We think that someone should do something,” said Rich. “Then a still small voice whispers that concerned everyday people like us must be part of the solution.

“The Pilgrimage program offers people an opportunity to move from a general concern to active informed participation in providing solutions,” he said.

Scheduled during Holy Week, the Pilgrimage could be integrated into a Lenten study program, he said.

The sites include a tent city, Pioneer Square, St Martin de Porres Shelter, the Aloha Inn, Real Change, Arion Court apartments, Yesler Terrace, 1811 Eastlake.

Hunter Paulson-Smith, a JLP intern, is on the organizing committee for the pilgrimage.

“This is a variant on the educational approach of JLP and Jubilee, finding local social justice leaders in the community to talk about their work. It is hoped that if this pilgrimage is a success that we will have others covering issues such as immigration.,” said Rich.

Participants will spend about eight hours a day as part of this immersive experience.

The cost is $150.

For information and to register contact Rich Gamble by calling 206-632-6021 or email


Justice Leadership applications due for next year

Amanda Agrellas, Renee Lumia, Bri Little, Leda Zakarison, Hunter Paulson-Smith, Daniel de la Rosa and Erica West at a fall retreat.
Photo courtesy of Claire West

The Justice Leadership Program Northwest is accepting applications from change-makers of all ages who are looking to deepen their faith while doing the work of justice, said Claire West, outreach coordinator. 

The program, which is an affiliate of the national UCC Young Adult Service Communities Network seeks motivated young people ages 21 to 35 for an 11-month internship beginning in September 2018.

Interns learn community organizing and political advocacy working full time at Seattle-based nonprofits, while living in intentional community and serving a local congregation.  The priority deadline is Feb. 15 with inquiries to

Justice Leadership Jubilee is filling its next cohort of volunteers, who serve part-time for six to nine months at a local organization working for structural change toward social justice. Jubilee is a program for individuals seeking a deeper analysis of systemic injustice, and a desire to strengthen the connection between faith and justice in a cohort of their peers. Last year’s organizational partners included Puget Sound Sage, 350 Seattle and the Church Council of Greater Seattle. The application is available through

Justice Leadership Jubilee, which is in its second season, seeks participants who will help shape the future program with weekly community work, weekly church engagement, regular learning and skill building, monthly spiritual reflection and sojourning retreats.

JLPNW is based at Keystone Congregational UCC in Seattle with support of partner congregations: Northshore UCC, Plymouth Congregational UCC, Prospect UCC, All Pilgrims Church and University Congregational UCC, as well as the  PNW Conference. 

For information, call 206-909-8758 or visit


Pacific Northwest United Church of Christ News © February-March 2018


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