By Jaleesa Hall
Our education program, Driven 2 Succeed has officially started at H.D. Woodson High School, where we are serving more than 60 students through the implementation of three of our services, including our classroom residency-The Let's Make a Difference Project, in-classroom support, and lunch-time study hall. We just finished our mid-point evaluation with teachers and the administration and have been told that they have already seen gains in attendance and classwork/homework completion. This is our first full-service partnership, so we hope to use our initial, mid-point, and final evaluations, as well our data tracking systems to create our first impact report to see where we are, but also give is the ability to scout new partnerships. We are officially gaining steam!
By Meghan Hatcher
This is a season of endings and transitions with all of its attending emotions. There are a number of endings to take care of between now and Commencement Day as I look toward graduation from Wesley Theological Seminary in just 17 days. And while those endings bring sadness (and a fair amount of relief, to be honest), what I am most anticipating are the beginnings and the continuations I’m walking toward. The Clay Jar Project will continue after graduation, after my time in Washington, D.C., comes to an end, and hopefully well into the future. That’s exciting stuff!
The formation of this storytelling ministry and all the people who have helped me develop it since 2016 has been an experience for which I am very grateful. I am deeply thankful for the learning experiences, mentorship and space to experiment that was afforded to me as a Community Engagement Fellow while studying at Wesley the last three years. My thanks extends to the Life Stories Institute of The Theatre Lab in Washington, D.C., whose training in 2017 helped me format the methodology used in the creation of The Clay Jar Project ministry. I’m thankful for the many conversations, the bulk of which arose out of pure God-happenstance, that led me to the initial idea and name for this ministry, the how of this work, and the partners along the way.
I would not be in pursuit of this work without the support and wisdom of many storytellers and teachers who have gone before me. For those I studied with in person and for those whose words I only read over these last few years, your revelations are a means of grace in my life and ministry. Perhaps most especially deserving of my infinite gratitude are the women who partnered with me for the pilot group of this ministry in Spring 2018. I continue to be amazed by their utter bravery and willingness to dive deeply into the vulnerability of their own life stories and to proclaim their voices loudly. Their spirits were a source of strength and encouragement for me then and now.
Now as I move to new places and new expressions of ministry, my prayer is that we always remember that what we have is enough.
By Mark Bacolod
And I will build my life,
upon your love,
it is a firm foundation.
I think about these verses written by Passion ft. Brett Younker and I find myself facing disappointment. Why not me? If the same power that conquered the grave lives in me then why can't I get the details of this project together?
Why can't I get Elev8 Baltimore, Will B. Better Bodies, My Church, all the potential volunteers and even partners I've cast vision to together and with me? Why can't I get the people fall in line with my vision?!