Chasity Jones, a global mission fellow, assists Audra Hudson (another GMF, serving at Tacoma Community House) at Faith Action Network’s Interfaith Advocacy Day early February. View more photos: bit.ly/interfaith-advocacy-2017.
By Jesse N. Love with Chasity Shavon Jones
Chasity Jones serves as a US-2, Global Mission Fellow for The United Methodist Church. She is currently assigned to Faith Action Network serving as an organizer. Inspired by mentors Esther Gibotu, Sophany Heng, the Rev. Dr. Romeo L del Rosario, and others, Jones has channeled her faith through the Global Mission Fellows program. “We hope to stand in solidarity with the communities that we have been assigned to and engage in the community, connect the church in mission, and grow in personal and social holiness!” shares Jones.
During Interfaith Advocacy Day (February 9), she supported this event through setting up and breaking down, as well as assisting attendees in finding their meeting spots. Here, she shares some insights in being a young missionary intern for the Church and for FAN.
What is it about being a global mission fellow that you enjoy or is a challenge?
I love that advocating for justice is my day job and that I don’t have to squish it into one day a week when I have time. I am so blessed to be able to enjoy my work and be excited to go into the office every day. I feel accomplished that I am contributing to more than my own personal wealth or success, but that I can give my life in this way. I often times miss my family, friends, and home. The longer I am away I realize that how much I love Louisiana and that it is a very unique place. I am challenged daily by living in a culture that is so similar, but so different to that of my home.
How has the recent election affected how interfaith advocacy day was planned, in terms of programming and legislative content?
Because of the election results and the impending fight for so many things that President Trump has promised to remove or discontinue, the preparation for Interfaith Advocacy Day was extremely urgent. I could feel that even the advocates and volunteers felt this sense of urgency. We were able to recommend specific issues that their representatives have influence due to their assigned committees. The legislative content was tailored to our legislative agenda and based on the bills that have been proposed in the session so far.
What aspects do you enjoy or challenge you within Faith Action Network?
I enjoy sitting in the front row of such a historical time in American politics and using my skills to organize and mobilize people of faith to resist. I also enjoy the recognition and support of the local United Methodist Churches. I am challenged by the desire to dive more directly into racial justice and navigating being unapologetically black and authentic in a predominantly white space/network and explore other places in Washington State outside of the Seattle area.
For younger adults who are interested in the Global Mission Fellow, US-2 program, what are your recommendations for them?
I would recommend that they follow the pull of their heart. I meet many young adults who pass up on opportunities to become a Global Mission Fellow because their primary concern is pleasing their parents, who hope for them to become as successful as possible as quick as possible. Although, I understand that, I would recommend separating their hopes/dreams/goals/desires from that of their parents and society. Being placed at FAN has given me the opportunity to develop many skills as well as allowed me to see many opportunities that have always been possible, but that I have never been able to see. In short, I am the first person in my family to do ANYTHING like this. I can see that I am changing the narrative of what life is, what success is, and what is possible for my younger siblings and cousins.
Chasity Jones hopes to continue her work for social justice after serving as a GMF, integrating public health and racial justice to be in solidarity with her community and others.
Also read Jones’ article, “Dear Dr. King: I Still Struggle for Freedom”.
Jesse N. Love serves as graphic designer & print manager for the PNWUMC.