Intercultural Experiences

Aiden Kolck, Garrett Durflinger, Dawson Davenport, Katelyn Swantz, Sophie Marshall, Angela Villatoro

For our week of Service and Learning Term, we partnered with Rev. Meg Wagner and Lisa Covington at The Beloved Community in Iowa City. We learned about racism, how people have experienced it throughout history and in our community, and what we can do to dismantle racism and work towards a better future for our neighbors. At times it was overwhelming but we met some wonderful people who are in the middle of doing this work. They shared their stories with us and we shared ours with them. We also were able to do some service work by serving breakfast at the Agape Cafe and getting the community garden beds ready at Matthew 25 ministries in Cedar Rapids. We also got to have dinner with Sudanese friends that we’ve met through our Spanish teacher, Sierra Cheney. We learned what loving hospitality looks like and got to taste some yummy new-to-us foods.

One of the exercises we participated in this week consisted of dreaming about what a good, equitable world would look like? A world where there are no disparities for others based on wealth, ability level, perceived race, or age. It was an exercise that gave our students agency to right some of the wrongs done in our current world that we learned about during the week. They did a great job imagining spaces where we could live and work together in peace and love. It sounds a lot like God’s kingdom on Earth as it is in heaven.

We learned together and grew together. We are so thankful for this opportunity to meet our neighbors in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids and to get to know each other better. We hope to carry the things we learned with us as we work to shape our world into a Beloved Community. May we all remember we were all created in God’s image and work toward bringing God’s kingdom in our community.

Our students created a devotional to share with community members when we had our Service and Learning Term Showcase. You can see it here: Beloved Community Devotional.