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Students Seek God’s Kingdom Outside Seminary Walls

Aug 02 2011

John Lucy is entering his third year as a Master of Divinity student at Wesley. This summer, he biked across the country to raise awareness for modern-day slavery and human trafficking. The trip took him from the Wesley Theological Seminary campus in Washington, DC on May 19th to Magdalena, New Mexico on July 6th.

Not only is John bent on raising awareness, he is also raising funds for the Polaris Project, which was named after the North Star that guided slaves towards freedom along the Underground Railroad. Polaris Project has been providing a comprehensive approach to combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery since 2002. 

Lucy said, “Too often when the word 'slavery' comes up in conversation our minds jump immediately to the past, to some other country, or perhaps maybe of the people that are homeless that we often pass by on the streets, we effectively allow ourselves not to become too closely involved because we think that slavery and trafficking are not happening all around us or that we aren't directly affected.”

2011 graduate Sara Jo Emmerich was awarded a summer fellowship from The Beatitudes Society, which she discovered through attending their preaching seminars last year. She is serving at Greater Washington Interfaith Power & Light in Washington, DC. The organization works with hundreds of congregations of all faiths across the DC area to save energy, go green, and respond to climate change.

Sara said, “I did want to work with an environmental non-profit in order to help people explore the connection between the environment and spirituality. I want to help people understand how simplicity can be a bridge both to faith and to protecting the environment. Simple living is a different approach to addressing global warming and encourages a holistic way of looking at the environment.”

She is engaging the topics of simple living and climate change through sermons at local churches, presentations to small groups and administrative and organizational tasks that will prepare her for service as she enters into full-time ministry, hopefully in advocacy for environmental issues.

These Wesley students seek God’s kingdom, not just within the classroom walls, but in the world.

Lucy aptly summarized this attitude when he said, “We need to understand ourselves and the societies we live in.  We need to understand where we have gone wrong in the past and actually do something about it.  We have been given the power and the tools to create justice by those who have gone before us.  We need to claim that and start making a difference.”

If you’d like to read more about John Lucy’s ride, visit his blog. For more information on The Beatitudes Society or Greater Washington Interfaith Power & Light, visit their websites.

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