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Summer Stanley Project

CCSJSTANLEYYOU

Join Flat Stanley and the CCSJ Staff as we embark on adventures with Stanley throughout America and the World. Stanley will be going to Spain, Ireland, Tanzania, El Salvador Peru, as well as California and Boston! Please follow Stanley’s adventures on our Facebook and our website.

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Weekly Update: April 25 to May 5

Welcome to the CCSJ’s Weekly Update!

Please note that this is the last Weekly Update for the semester. The Weekly Update will sent out again when school begins in the Fall. Also note that the Weekly Service Sites will be ending this week if they have not already ended.

Featured Events:

Post-Graduate Volunteer and Religious Life Missioning Ceremony

The Missioning Ceremony is a great way to celebrate a student’s choice to volunteer or enter religious life, and it is also a wonderful way to let family and friends know that Creighton supports these worthy paths. This will be the fourteenth annual Missioning Ceremony. Fr. Lannon, SJ, President of Creighton University will be present to bless the volunteers and Fr. Andy Alexander, SJ, Vice Provost forUniversity Ministry will also join us to bless their family/friends. This year our speaker will be Greg Wittenburg, a 2010 Creighton alumnus who volunteered for two years with Jesuit Volunteer Corps International in Peru. If you will be volunteering or entering religious life after graduation, please contact Jeff Peak. All are welcome to attend this event, especially friends and family of these graduates. This event will be from 10:30 to 11:15 am at St. John’s Church.

Events this week:

Rooted in Omaha – Planting for Poverty
Special Screening: Matewan
Community Health Meeting and Forum with Alegent Creighton Health
I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story Smithsonian Poster Launch
Privilege and Stereotypes
Bill McKibben Lecture
Sustainability Leadership Presentation Series
Taizé prayer

Events More than One Week Away:

Senior Retreat
OTOC Environmental and Sustainability Research and Action Team
Post-Graduate Volunteer and Religious Life Missioning Ceremony
7th Anniversary Empowerment Network Conference
Sustainability Council Meeting
Omaha Heritage Festival
Omaha Gives!
“I was a Foreigner and You Welcomed Me” Poster Contest

Service, Faith, Justice, and Diversity Opportunities

Saturday, April 26th
Rooted in Omaha – Planting for Poverty

Infinite 8 Institute, L3C, a social business focusing on creating productive and efficient individuals, organizations, and communities will partner with Omaha Housing Authority, Home Depot, Northwest Feed & Grain Co., VR Permaculture, and the Nebraska Forest Service to recognize the great Nebraskan tradition of Arbor Day. The organization will work with Omaha Housing tenants, volunteers, and partnering organizations to plant sustainable urban agriculture in a high poverty area, further addressing food scarcity and hunger. The project will involve the planting of apple trees and a community garden near the Park Towers from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. The group will meet at 1340 Park Avenue Omaha, NE 68105 at 10:30am sharp. We welcome the company of all. For more information or questions contact Infinite 8 Institute, L3C at (402) 884-5995 or ean@mckenzieandporter.com.

Monday, April 28th
Special Screening: Matewan

For one night only at 6:30 pm, Film Streams, in collaboration with the Omaha Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, will present a special screening of Matewan, John Sayle’s monumental drama starring Chris Cooper, James Earl Jones, Mary McDonnell, and a teen-aged Will Oldham as towns-people caught up in a violent labor dispute. Immediately following this Workers Memorial Day screening, presented with Omaha Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, a panel will be moderated by John Kretzschmar, director of the William Brennan Institute of Labor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and will include retired Brennan Institute professor and Omaha Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Ambassador of Community Services Edgar Moore; Father Dan Wittrock of St. Augustine Indian Mission in Winnebago, Neb., and former journeyman, Steamfitters & Plumbers Local 464; and attorney Dave Domina. For more information about the film, please visit our website or facebook event.

Community Health Meeting and Forum with Alegent Creighton Health

Major changes are happening related to healthcare: affordable Health Care Law, access to Health Care, Insurance, etc. By now, you may have heard about the changes announced by Alegent Creighton Health regarding Creighton University Medical Center. Here is your opportunity to learn more, ask questions and share your thoughts on the most pressing health issues including what services are most needed in North Omaha. Please attend this very important community forum. Your thoughts and ideas are needed to help develop a plan for the future and improve health in our community. All ideas and suggestions will be documented and presented to Alegent Creighton Health, Creighton University, the Charles Drew Health Center and other health providers in North Omaha. This event will be from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Omaha North High School Viking Center located at 4410 N 36th Street and includes a served dinner.

I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story Smithsonian Poster Launch

This 8-poster exhibit from the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center celebrates Asian Pacific American history across a multitude of incredibly diverse cultures and explores how Asian Pacific Americans have shaped and been shaped by the course of our nation’s history. The exhibit takes a sweeping look at this history from the very first Asian immigrants to today with compelling, often surprising stories. The exhibit features a downloadable App with supplementary audio, video, and images. Join us for a brief exhibit introduction and free Asian-themed lunch. This event will be from 12:00 to 1:00 pm in Skutt Student Center Art Gallery starting April 28th until May 2nd.

Tuesday, April 29th
Privilege and Stereotypes

This presentation will consist of an hour presentation and discussion about the stereotypes and privileges that are prevalent in our culture today. Participants will be encouraged to examine their own stereotypes and privilege through an interactive activity and scholarly research. Participants will also examine how these stereotypes and privileges impact their work with students in a university setting. This event will be from 12:00 to 1:00 pm in Harper Center Office of Multicultural Affairs (room 1109).

Thursday, May 1st
Bill McKibben Lecture

The Center for Faith Studies presents author and environmentalist, Bill McKibben, for a Skype lecture. His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change. He is founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement. Foreign Policy named him to their inaugural list of the world’s 100 most important global thinkers, and the Boston Globe said he is “probably America’s most important environmentalist.” Bill’s talk will describe the current state of global warming through an explanation of the basic math and science of climate change. He will give updates on the movement working to end our reliance on fossil fuel energy and create a world powered by renewable sources. Bill will join Countryside Community Church via Skype in an effort to practice what he preaches, leaving a smaller carbon footprint. Eric Elnes, Ph. D. will give a brief introduction and facilitate the discussion. This Skype lecture will be 6:00 pm at Countryside Community Church located at 8787 Pacific Street. Tickets currently available in the church office as well as at the door on the night of the event. Suggested donation $10.00.

Sustainability Leadership Presentation Series

Join Metropolitan Community College, in partnership with Central Community College, for a monthly presentation series on topics related to sustainability, energy, the environment and how they apply to individuals. MCC and CCC are committed to leading and fostering sustainable environments for our communities. This series topic is Sustainable Water Use and Management in Urban and Rural Landscapes: Applications for Homeowners, Institutions and Communities. Stormwater can be managed to mitigate flooding, enhance water quality and protect water resources while also benefiting your landscapes. Learn about water-wise plant types, planting design and other strategies to help your yard survive and stay beautiful even in drought. This event is free and open to the public and can be viewed from 3:30 to 5:00 pm live from MCC’s Fort Omaha Campus located at 30th and Fort streets Building 10 room 110 with Steve Rodie or watch online at mccneb.edu/cps/green/slps.asp.

Taizé Prayer

Taizé is an ecumenical prayer service with meditative music, silent prayer, and candlelight alongside short scripture readings. This month’s service is at 8:00 pm in St. John’s Church. To find out more, visit the Campus Ministry Taizé page and the Taizé Community website.

Upcoming Events:

Senior Retreat
Monday, May 12th

Seniors are invited to join us for this relaxing retreat: a final trip to Griswold. Share in small and large groups as you process your experiences at Creighton and contemplate your next steps. The retreat will be from May 12th at 2:00 pm until May 13th at 2:00 pm. The cost is $20 and registration must be completed and payments made in the Campus Ministry Office by May 5. Seniors will need to register on Campus Ministries website. For any questions or further information, please contact Craig Zimmer orMariana Miller in Campus Ministry.

OTOC Environmental and Sustainability Research and Action Team
Monday, May 12th

Omaha Together One Community has created a new Environmental and Sustainability Research and Action Team. The Environment and Sustainability Team will meet from 6:00 to 7:00 pm at First United Methodist located at 7020 Cass to determine which environmental issues the team will research for possible future action. The group will discuss the OPPD stakeholders process and also identify priorities from the other issues discussed in the Feb 22nd Issues Conference.

Post-Graduate Volunteer and Religious Life Missioning Ceremony
Friday, May 16th

Join Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., President of Creighton University, Andy Alexander, S.J., Vice Provost for University Ministry, the Creighton Center for Service and Justice, and the Justice and Peace Studies Program in celebrating our graduates who are volunteering or entering religious life for the upcoming year. All are welcome, especially friends and family of these graduates. This event will be from 10:30 to 11:15 am at St. John’s Church. Dr. Roger Bergman, Director of the Justice and Peace Studies Program, will present the The Ellacuría Award at this event. The Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J., Outstanding Student Award is presented jointly to a graduating Justice & Peace Studies minor or Justice & Society major by the Justice & Peace Studies Program in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology, and the Creighton Center for Service & Justice, in University Ministry. As this collaboration suggests, the two selection criteria are of equal weight: excellence in the classroom and leadership in service and justice activities.

7th Anniversary Empowerment Network Conference
Friday, May 16th

Registration for the 7th Anniversary Empowerment Network Conference is now open. Enhance your leadership skills, build organizational capacity, access new tools and resources, explore opportunities to help improve the community, and expand relationships with local, regional, and national business, faith, civic and community leaders. Click here to register today. For more information, questions, or if you would like to purchase a table please call the Empowerment Network at 402-502-5153 or visit here. We look forward to seeing you next month at our 7th Anniversary Empowerment Network Conference.

Sustainability Council Meeting
Friday, May 16th

Recycling, social justice, energy and water conservation, events (Earth Day, St. Francis Day), alternative transportation (biking, buses, carpooling), gardening, composting, communications and outreach. These are just a few of the aspects of sustainability. Are you interested in one or more facets of the sustainability movement but are not sure how to get involved? Come to a Sustainability Council meeting and learn about how you can be involved – as much or as little as you’d like. These meeting will be at 2:00 pm in Eppley 119, the Energy Technology Classroom Space, on May 16, June 20, and July 18. All are welcome! For more information visit the website or contact Mary Duda.

Omaha Heritage Festival
Saturday, May 17th

Enjoy cultural groups wearing the traditional customs of more than 30 different nations in floats for businesses and other organizations as we celebrate heritage in the greater Omaha area. The parade will at 10 am starting at 10th and Pacific. It will proceed north on 10th to Farnam St., turn east on Farnam St. to 8th St., and finally north on 8th St. to Lewis & Clark Landing. The festival will continue there until 10p.m. where you will find exhibitor tents, international food, children’s activities, and a cultural pavilion with live music. For more information visit their website or send an e-mail to BC Clark or call (402) 763-0540.

Omaha Gives!
Wednesday, May 21st

Omaha Gives! is a 24-hour, online giving event organized by the Omaha Community Foundation to grow philanthropy in the metro area (Douglas, Sarpy, and Pottawattamie counties). The minimum donation is $10 and there is no maximum. Matching funds and prize money will be made available to amplify charitable donations. The goal is to inspire the community to come together for 24 hours to contribute as many charitable dollars as possible to support the work of local nonprofit organizations. Omaha Gives! supports many organizations that the CCSJ partners with so mark your calendars for May 21st (midnight to midnight) as a day to give here.

“I was a Foreigner and You Welcomed Me” Poster Contest
Saturday, May 31st

All students attending Jesuit colleges and universities are invited to participate in a poster design contest: “I Was A Foreigner And You Welcomed Me.” This poster contest is part of a larger Culture Of Hospitality Campaign of the Jesuit Network with Migrants of Latin America and the Caribbean (RJM-LAC). The campaign aims to build a citizenship that is inclusive, hospitable, supportive and tolerant towards migrants, internally displaced people, refugees, the deported and the culturally diverse people of the Americas and the Caribbean, by recognizing that migration is a universal human right. The author(s) of the winning poster will receive international recognition from the Central-North American Jesuit Network with Migrants and the corresponding Jesuit universities from each region, as well as a $500 prize. The due date for all submissions is May 31st and is open to students between the ages of 18-24. For further information, please contact both Dr. Lois Lorentzen and Dr. Maria Vidal de Haymes.

Please Note:
Events to be included in the Weekly Update must be received by the Wednesday of the week prior to the event. All events should relate to service or justice and should include name, date, time, and a short description. The selection of events is limited by space and the discretion of the CCSJ. Please, send to ccsj@creighton.edu with “Weekly Update” in the subject line.

A 20 minute training on Creighton’s Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy is now required of all student doing community service with our office or on your own. Please click here to find an upcoming training that works for you.

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Communicating Compassion

group picDuring this past Spring Break, I was fortunate enough to go to Bethphage Village in Axtell, NE. Through this experience, I got the opportunity to get to know individuals living with intellectual disabilities. I came into this trip with little knowledge of intellectual disabilities and the struggles that these members of our society are facing. Admittedly, I was very awkward the first day I was with the residents. Because many of the residents could not verbally speak, I was at a loss for how to communicate with them.

This began to change after I met a man I’ll call Ethan. From the moment I met him, it was clear what a joyful spirit he has. Every day when I would walk into the room, Ethan would get the most enormous smile on his face and stretch out his hand towards me. I spent most mornings and afternoons simply holding his hand or letting him lean his head on my shoulder. As the days progressed, I found myself verbally speaking less and less when I was around Ethan. I quit trying to fill the silence with my own form of communication. Instead, I allowed myself to adopt Ethan’s communication of a wide smile and a gentle touch.

During my time spent with Ethan, he gave me more than I could ever hope to give him. He taught me that all of us want to be understood, regardless of the means we have to convey ourselves. We all have a deep yearning for compassion and community that can only be found in the presence of others. It is what connects us all on a much deeper level than speech can. It is what gives our lives meaning. It is what makes us human.

Hannah Mullally
Class of 2016
College of Arts & Sciences
SBSJT 2014 Trip Coordinator

 

The CCSJ blogs are meant to be a place for Creighton students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and friends to reflect on their experiences with programs sponsored by the office or related to its mission. The views expressed in these reflections, and all other blogs found on or linked to from this website, are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of Creighton University, the Creighton Center for Service and Justice (CCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the CCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.

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Weekly Update: April 18-27

Welcome to the CCSJ’s Weekly Update!

Since summer break will begin in a few weeks, the last Weekly Update for the semester will be sent out Friday, May 2nd. If you have any events for the summer, please submit them by Wed. April 31st. The Weekly Update will sent out again when school begins in the Fall.

Featured Events:

36th Annual Good Friday Walk for Justice

This Stations of the Cross walk will start at St. Mary Magdalene Church located at 19th and Dodge Streets at 1:00 pm. The walk will continue to the Federal Courthouse, Douglas County Jail, Douglas County Courthouse and City/County Building. It is estimated to end around 2:30. All are welcome to join. Sponsored by Holy Name, Holy Family, Sacred Heart, and St. Pius Catholic Churches; Creighton Prep, Duchesne, Marian, Mercy, Roncalli, and Skutt Catholic High Schools; Creighton University Center for Service and Justice; Society of St. Vincent de Paul; and Archdiocesan Office of Missions & Justice.

We Matter Walk: Our Climate, Our Future

Please join the Creighton Greenjays and the Creighton Center for Service and Justice for the second annual We Matter Walk. This will be a fun filled afternoon to promote climate change awareness and to show that younger generations have a voice on the issue. Live entertainment and refreshments will be served before the walk beginning at 3:00 pm on the KFC Lawn and on the mall. The walk will be from 4:15 until 5:30 pm. The route includes walking to the 24th and Dodge corner, around Central High, and to Harper Center for group pictures.

Growing Cities Documentary

A documentary film that examines the role of urban farming in America and asks how much power it has to revitalize our cities and change the way we eat. This event will be at 7:30 pm in Harper Center Auditorium. Sponsored by the Sociology/Anthropology/Social Work department, the Cortina Community, and the CCSJ.

Events this week:

36th Annual Good Friday Walk for Justice
Dust Off Your Bike
Refugee Camp Simulation
Speakers from Jesuit Refugee Service
Moved to Greater Love Sharing Session
Poverty Simulation Program Coming to Campus
Nāwahī: A Solution to the U.S. High School Dropout Crisis
Growing Cities Documentary
We Matter Walk: Our Climate, Our Future
Asian/Pacific Islander Culture Fest: A Fundraiser for Typhoon Haiyan
Immokalee Summer Internship
Safe Housing for Refugees: Volunteers Needed

Service, Faith, Justice, and Diversity Opportunities

Friday, April 18th
36th Annual Good Friday Walk for Justice

This Stations of the Cross walk will start at St. Mary Magdalene Church located at 19th and Dodge Streets at 1:00 pm. The walk will continue to the Federal Courthouse, Douglas County Jail, Douglas County Courthouse and City/County Building. It is estimated to end around 2:30. All are welcome to join. Sponsored by Holy Name, Holy Family, Sacred Heart, and St. Pius Catholic Churches; Creighton Prep, Duchesne, Marian, Mercy, Roncalli, and Skutt Catholic High Schools; Creighton University Center for Service and Justice; Society of St. Vincent de Paul; and Archdiocesan Office of Missions & Justice.

Tuesday, April 22nd
Dust Off Your Bike

Bring your bike and get it ready for riding this spring! This event will be from 1:00 to 3:00 pm on the mall near Skutt Student Center. Sponsored by The Bike Nest, Creighton’s Co-operative Bike Shop.

Refugee Camp Simulation

Have you ever wondered what it is like to live in a refugee camp? Would you like an insider’s view of the day-to-day life of a refugee? Come join us for a refugee camp simulation and experience firsthand the hardships that refugees experience every day. This event will be from 4:00 to 5:30 pm on KFC Patio. Sponsored by Jesuit Refugee Services in partnership with Eyes Wide Open.

Speakers from Jesuit Refugee Service

Join us to hear from two speakers, Erin Stabile and Fr. Kevin White, who work with the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. They will present the situations of refugees around the world and describe the international work of JRS. This event will be from 7:00 to 9:00 pm in Harper Center room 3023 and 3023A. Sponsored by Jesuit Refugee Services in partnership with Eyes Wide Open.

Wednesday, April 23rd
Moved to Greater Love Sharing Session

Optional prayer, reflection and sharing session for national Jesuit Lent & Easter program “Moved to Greater Love.” All colleagues at Jesuit universities are invited to join the Jesuits across the country praying “to ask for the graces we need to discern the Lord’s presence in the many changes coming to Jesuit ministries.” This sharing will occur in Saint John’s Church from 4:00 to 5:00 pm.

Thursday, April 24th
Poverty Simulation Program Coming to Campus

The poverty simulation experience is designed to help participants begin to
understand what it might be like to live in a typical low-income family trying to survive from month to month. It is a simulation, not a game. The object is to sensitize participants to the realities faced by individuals in low-income situations. The experience lasts from two and a half to three hours. It includes an introduction and briefing, the actual simulation exercise, and a debriefing period in which participants and volunteer staffers share their feelings and experiences and talk about what they have learned about the lives of people in poverty. This event will be from 6:00 to 9:00 pm in Lower St. John’s Church. Sponsored by Sigma Lambda Gamma, CSU Program Board, and Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Nāwahī: A Solution to the U.S. High School Dropout Crisis

Every year, nearly one million school-aged children in the U.S. do not graduate high school with their peers. Nāwahī is a documentary film that presents the success story of a school that utilizes native language and culture as a foundation for modern education, achieving a 100 percent graduation rate. In the early 1980’s, Hawaiian language had been banned from schools for over 90 years and fewer than 50 children were fluent in Hawaiian. As a result of the Hawaiian language revitalization movement, today Nāwahī and other schools like it in Hawai‘i are internationally recognized for demonstrating successful indigenous language revitalization combined with quality academics. Join us to watch the film and take part in a lively panel discussion about the importance of culture and identity in providing high-quality education to students of diverse backgrounds. Refreshments will be provided. This event will be from 7:00 to 8:30 pm in Harper Center room 3029.

Growing Cities Documentary

A documentary film that examines the role of urban farming in America and asks how much power it has to revitalize our cities and change the way we eat. This event will be at 7:30 pm in Harper Center Auditorium. Sponsored by the Social Work and Sociology/Anthropology departments, the Cortina Community, and the CCSJ.

Friday, April 25th
We Matter Walk: Our Climate, Our Future

Please join the Creighton Greenjays and the Creighton Center for Service and Justice for the second annual We Matter Walk. This will be a fun filled afternoon to promote climate change awareness and to show that younger generations have a voice on the issue. Live entertainment and refreshments will be served before the walk beginning at 3:00 pm on the KFC Lawn and on the mall. The walk will be from 4:15 until 5:30 pm. The route includes walking to the 24th and Dodge corner, around Central High, and to Harper Center for group pictures. Everyone is encouraged to bring a blanket to sit on and a reusable water bottle for refreshments.

Asian/Pacific Islander Culture Fest: A Fundraiser for Typhoon Haiyan

Join a humorous conversation on Asian/Pacific Islander stereotypes with guest comedian Uncle Ngo. His conversation will be followed by performances that showcase the unique artistic talents of Creighton’s Asian/Pacific Islander students as well as members from the greater Omaha Asian/Pacific Islander community, including both traditional and modern dance and song. Then, end the evening by dancing to some of the best in Asian Pop music. Refreshments will be provided. Donations collected at the event will go to benefit the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. This event will be from 8:00 to 11:00 pm in Skutt Student Center Ballroom.

Immokalee Summer Internship

Intern with the ally team in Immokalee this summer or fall. Summertime in Immokalee is a crucial piece of the work we do: strategizing the campaign, strengthening our organizations, planning for the fall Encuentro, and setting the stage for the season ahead. Applicants should be flexible to organize with each of the three CIW ally organizations — SFA, Interfaith Action, and Just Harvest USA — in a variety of tasks including logistical support for the CIW, office and administrative work, and national and local campaign coordination. Interns will receive free housing and a modest monthly stipend. Given our commitment to developing a diverse leadership, we strongly encourage people of color, women, working-class, LGBTQ, gender non-conforming and differently-abled people to apply. Applications for the 2014 Summer Internship are accepted on a rolling basis. For a detailed description of intern roles and responsibilities and to download the application, visit the SFA site. All summer applications are due by the end of Friday, April 25, 2014. All fall applications will be due by Friday, June 20, 2014. Completed materials should be mailed to organize@sfalliance.org.

Saturday, April 26th
Safe Housing for Refugees: Volunteers Needed

The Benson Area Refugee Task Force needs volunteers to help revitalize a Benson apartment complex in order to assure refugee families have safe housing. BART needs volunteers every Saturday from April 26 to August 9 from 8:00 to 9:00 am, noon to 1:00 pm, and 6:00 to 7:00 pm. Volunteers will be moving furniture from refugees’ apartment units to a heat garage and then back again. The heat garage will exterminate bed bugs. Volunteers may come for just one hour one day or as often as they would like. Volunteers will meet with the BART Coordinator or trained student leader to learn bed bug prevention techniques before they begin volunteering. That meeting would take 15 minutes and could be arranged based on personal schedules. If you are interested please contact Shannon Linehan at BensonRefugeeTF@gmail.com or by phone at (703) 244-1143 . BART will be able to provide transportation on most Saturdays.

Please Note:
Events to be included in the Weekly Update must be received by the Wednesday of the week prior to the event. All events should relate to service or justice and should include name, date, time, and a short description. The selection of events is limited by space and the discretion of the CCSJ. Please, send to ccsj@creighton.edu with “Weekly Update” in the subject line.

A 20 minute training on Creighton’s Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy is now required of all student doing community service with our office or on your own. Please click here to find an upcoming training that works for you.

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Simply Living in a not so Simple World

nanny resume picture
Imagine spending a week in a place you have never been, with people you don’t know without your phone or laptop. In a world that is constantly connected, it is somewhat liberating but also terrifying to be socially detached. When I went on my spring break service trip with the CCSJ, I experienced this social isolation. Although it was frightening at first, I quickly realized it was a great opportunity to live vulnerably. I believe that vulnerability fosters enormous growth because it forces one to take risks and experience new things. I am thankful I had the opportunity to leave my phone behind and experience Detroit, Michigan unplugged, off-line and disconnected.

While in Detroit, myself and five other Creighton students stayed with the Daughters of Charity. These women were such gracious hosts and I learned so much about love and selflessness through their hospitality. They welcomed us with open arms each night as we had dinner with one another. This was a special time for the sisters because it was the time of day in which everyone was home. During the day, each sister went out to serve in different ministries throughout Detroit. We visited several of their ministries and helped when we were able to be of assistance in the soup kitchen, Catholic grade school and Covenant House which housed homeless 18-22 year olds.

Living with the Daughters of Charity for a week was a great opportunity to live in solidarity. Each night after dinner we would watch the news with the sisters. Each of the sisters had their own craft they liked to do while sitting together in the living room. My group and I actually learned to crochet on our trip thanks to one of our group members who taught us all. This was a special way that we joined the sisters to work on our crochet while we sat with them after dinner. Although there was a considerable difference in our ages and interests, watching the news was a simple way for us and the sisters to come together and be in each other’s presence.

Although sitting and watching the news while crafting seems insignificant, this experience taught me to be present to the people I am with instead of constantly being concerned with my phone and things happening elsewhere. Living in solidarity with the sisters allowed me to appreciate the simple lifestyle they lived and how they cared selflessly for each other through small acts of kindness; clearing other peoples’ plates from the table, serving dessert to others before themselves and simply offering up one’s chair for the comfort of another were just a few acts of kindness these sisters constantly did for one another. It was a privilege to meet these examples of humility and experience solidarity I would have been deprived of had I been consumed with the pettiness of my phone. There is a world happening right before our eyes filled with people to meet and experiences to be had. However, sometimes our phones and laptop screens get in the way. Close your laptop and put down your phone. Look around you. There is beauty to be found even in the most simplest of things.

Steph Sehon
Class of 2017
College of Nursing
SBSJT 2014 Trip Participant

The CCSJ blogs are meant to be a place for Creighton students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and friends to reflect on their experiences with programs sponsored by the office or related to its mission. The views expressed in these reflections, and all other blogs found on or linked to from this website, are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of Creighton University, the Creighton Center for Service and Justice (CCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the CCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.

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Mercy & Forgiveness

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When someone hurts you, most of the time our initial reaction is anger. We get upset at the fact something bad happened to us because of another person’s action(s). Usually, if it was a complete stranger that hurt us it is easy to let go and move on. We vent about it to our friends and family, sometime allow it to bring us down for the day, and then move on.

But what happens when the person that hurt you is someone you are close to? What happens when this person is someone you trusted? What happens when this person is someone you care about? Then what; then how do we react?
Often times we have the same initial response: anger. However, the anger that is attributed to this situation, unlike the first scenario, is anger that is a result from the feeling betrayed. We are no longer upset about the objective portion of the situation; we are upset at the trust that has been severed. Sometimes we allow this anger to take hold of us. If this happens, resentment and hatred for the individual who hurt us usually occurs.
Today and every day, though, we are asked to be merciful and loving like our Father in heaven. Mercy doesn’t have room for hatred or resentment, neither does love. Mercy asks us to forgive, even when we believe the person doesn’t “deserve” to be forgiven, and love asks us to love, not because someone has ‘earned’ our love, but because we are dedicated to making love apart of our character. This means to love even when someone is difficult to love. To be merciful and loving is a difficult to understand and even harder to put into action.
During this Lenten time, I challenge us to take a serious look into our lives. Are there people in our lives we have not truly forgiven? If so, let us ask God to take this period in our lives to reshape our hearts into hearts of love and mercy. I also challenge us to ask ourselves this question: have we hurt someone and have not asked for forgiveness? Although we are called to have mercy and forgive those without being asked for forgiveness, saying I am sorry never hurts. It is never too late to apologize.

Dear God,
As we continue on our Lenten journey, create in us hearts of mercy and love. Help guide us in acknowledging people in our lives who we need to forgive. Help us also recognize those whom which we hurt. Give us the courage and strength to not only give forgiveness but to also ask for forgiveness.
In your name,
Amen

Christine Prissel
Class of 2014
College of Arts and Sciences
CCSJ Student Coordinator

The CCSJ blogs are meant to be a place for Creighton students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and friends to reflect on their experiences with programs sponsored by the office or related to its mission. The views expressed in these reflections, and all other blogs found on or linked to from this website, are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of Creighton University, the Creighton Center for Service and Justice (CCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the CCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.

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