The more time I spend here with TCM and the students of Lighthouse, the more frequently I end up sharing the story of how I “randomly” ended up interning with TCM. It’s become a recurrent reminder of the slightly more than serendipitous circumstance under which I arrived in Tacoma. There’s the quick and easy answer– I share a home church in Wisconsin with a TCM board member and he pointed me to the Internship application. That isn’t too different than how anyone finds a job – but that isn’t the entire story.
In reality, I was not actively pursuing an opportunity to intern with a college ministry post-grad. Honestly, the prospect of it made me slightly uncomfortable. I had had plenty of opportunities to engage with college ministries in my undergrad career. I attended a school with the chapel at the center of campus, reflective of the deep commitment to the historic Christian faith and the pulse behind the campus culture. These are inherently good things, yet spending four years in that supersaturated environment left me feeling less excited and agentic, more passive and confused about my faith than when I entered.
At the center of that jadedness was the desire to find a place that was comfortable with the growing discomfort and messiness that are byproducts of the college experience. Then I recognized, at the heart of the Lighthouse ministry, the inclusivity and radical hospitality I understand to be central to the Gospel. The search for these things that had driven me away from faith engagement on my own campus ironically would be that which would bring me to another. I value these things and was longing to see them come to life in a Christian community – the way I’ve now seen it at Lighthouse.
The mysterious gravitational pull between me in the Midwest and this small ministry in a place I’d never been makes sense under these conditions and timing. For this reason, I am inexpressibly grateful for the opportunity to help create the kind of space for critical faith engagement at such a pivotal time in both the lives and faith journeys of students at UPS. I’m excited for a year of walking alongside TCM, Lighthouse, and these students!