Update from Intern Melva!

With the new school year approaching, and a rather intense social climate given recent events, much of my time for UCM has involved thinking of ways to best engage students in the Fall, with activities, fellowship, and spiritual growth no matter what God has in store. It is always a challenge to meet the needs of the collegiate community when the social climate of the global world is constantly changing, but I’ve persisted. Currently, I am working with community service representatives from Martha’s Table, So Others Might Eat, and the Leadership and Community Service Learning office in Stamp Student Union, to begin brainstorming programs, service opportunities, and cool things to do in the Fall. 
On a more personal level, however, I continue to wrestle with my secular occupation as a social scientist, my spiritual identity as a born-again Christian, and my socio-sexual identity as a queer body. In the eyes of the world around me, I make the perfect combination of complexity needed in today’s Academy, to offer myself and my talents to students who may relate. However, in my very conservative Christian upbringing, it’s quite the opposite. The beauty, however, that I am realizing over and over, is that every Christian has a purpose, and no person’s purpose is of lesser or greater value than the next. And so, as I continue contemplating God’s asking of all us Christians, to act justly, love freely, and most of all, walk humbly with Him in all that we aspire to do, I take comfort in knowing that God knows what is best for me.  While I may not be educating youth from behind a pulpit, perhaps, I can educate youth in my own unique way without devaluing my identity as a Christian.
Melva Coles
L3 Intern

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