April 7, 2022
JV Reflection on a Land's Deep Connection to Salmon
Contributed by Harry Wojas (he/him)
Sitka, Alaska
As I open the blinds, wet mountains and a windy harbor fill the window. Decaying salmon and cold brine brutally shake my sleep inertia on the morning commute. Living in the rural fishing town of Sitka, Alaska illuminates the emissive power of the environment. Here, I’m subjected to the whims of the ecosystem and reminded of my role in it. I’m cautious of bears. Constantly soggy from rain. Munching on vitamin D pills from lack of daylight. I’ve learned to adapt and flow with the seasons and co-exist with the trees and ravens. One of the major animals impacting this environment is the Salmon.
             There are 5 types of pacific salmon in the Sound. Coho, Pink, Chum, and Chinook. Salmon swim miles out to the ocean, consuming plankton as juveniles. Their muscles fill with the energy of the ocean. When they return in the fall, the salmon fill the terrestrial organisms (myself included) with energy. They fill the raven who pecks the dead fish on the river beds. The trees and mosses are filled with energy from the decaying fish. The people and places in Sitka rely on salmon.
             Salmon are a way of life here. A lot of the people I’ve met rely on salmon for a source of income as well as sustenance, and the salmon are intertwined with their culture. Many here work on fishing boats and in hatcheries. The T’glinit people have been sustaining salmon in Sitka for thousands of years. Seeing the impact of one species of fish has shown me the significance between the environment and people. How we’re intertwined in the same ecosystem. And how we need to support and protect these species and processes as they impact the balance of nature. 
JVC Northwest Opportunities
Share Your Input
Help Us Choose Next Year's Orientation Book
At the start of each service year, we provide JV communities with a new book to read, reflect, and add to their house libraries, as well as invite our whole community to read along with the JVs.

We want your help choosing next year's book! We've selected seven finalists which you can read about and vote on in the linked form below. Please cast your vote by Thursday, April 21.

Virtual Retreat
Value Renewal: Reinvigorating our heart's longings
Sunday, April 24
10am-1pm PDT / 1pm-4pm EDT. Guided by Ignatian spirituality, we will reflect on some important questions: How has your connection to JVC Northwest's four values evolved? What has shifted in your heart? What do you long for now? Afterward, there will be a chance to turn this reflection into action and hear about new opportunities for engagement with JVC Northwest. Join fellow former JVs, JV EnCorps members, and friends to do some spiritual spring cleaning and prepare our hearts for the next loving thing – together. Register here.
Call for Submissions
Crossroads for JVC Northwest Magazine
Where has your journey led you since your JV or JV EnCorps year? Have you reconnected with or made new FJV friends along the way? Did you start a new job or get married?

Send your 2-4 sentence life updates and FJV encounters (along with a photo if you have one) to pgerigscott@jvcnorthwest.org with the subject line "Crossroads" to be included in the Crossroads section of our annual JVC Northwest Magazine coming this fall!

To see examples, you can find last year's Crossroads at the back of our 2021 Magazine.
Abundance of Service
By Collen Colley (she/her)
(Jesuit High JV EnCorps Community) 
Since 2018 I have been assisting ESL teaching with Beaverton Literacy Council, in Beaverton, Oregon. I assisted one year with level 4 students, and since then, with a mix of students in a class called American Ways, which introduces students to American history, customs, culture, and idioms at the national as well as regional and local level. I have enjoyed this class and the flexibility it offered, as much of our curriculum was driven by student interest and questions based on their experiences since living in the U.S. It was more aligned with the Cultural Navigator role I enjoyed for several years with Catholic Charities, until the arrival of refugees diminished under the last administration. I found the enthusiasm and diligence of the adult ESL learners inspirational, and they bolstered my sense of hope and conviction that welcoming the stranger is a powerful force for good. In January, with an influx of refugees to this country, I renewed my volunteering with Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program. I am now serving through their apartment set-up team and hopefully will have an opportunity to provide Cultural Navigator services again.  
Additionally, I was certified this summer through Dove Lewis as a Canine Therapy Team with Houdini, the “career change pup” we had the good fortune of adopting from Guide Dogs for the Blind. Although ongoing pandemic restrictions have put some opportunities on hold, our varied placements include hospitals, courts, eldercare, the Portland airport, and public library “Read to the Dogs” children's programs.

At the other end of the leash, I am fortunate to observe the capacity a friendly dog has to soften eyes above facial masks, relax body language, and bring forth joyfulness from those who invite us to visit. 

Interested in joining a JV EnCorps community? Click here.
Virtual Half-Day Conference: "White Supremacy and American Christianity"
Join speakers Robert P. Jones, Ph.D., Fr. Bryan Massingale, S.T.D., and Marcia Chatelain, Ph.D. for a critical discussion on anti-racism presented by NETWORK and co-sponsored by Faith in Action and Sojourners. Saturday, April 9, 12:30-3:30 PM EDT/
9:30 AM-12:30 PM PDT. Register here.
Have an opportunity to share? Send it to pgerigscott@jvcnorthwest.org.
Job Opportunity
Community Outreach Manager
Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado & Wyoming
Location: Denver, CO
Job Opportunity
Oregon Law Center (OLC)
Location: Portland, OR
Intentional Community
Hope Volunteer Community
Volunteer 15-20 hours per week
Location: Ossining, NY
Job Opportunity
Community Outreach Program Coordinator
Loyola University Chicago’s Office for Community Service and Action (CSA) Location: Chicago, IL
Find more opportunities on our website: jvcnorthwest.org/community-resources/
Rev. Sue Koehler-Arsenault she/her
(Seattle Cherry Abbey, '85-86)

Where has your FJV journey led you?

When I completed my JV year in 1986, I could never have imagined that one day I would be the pastor of the Annisquam Village Church in Gloucester, MA. And, yet, the mission of our church is in harmony with the values of JVC Northwest. It includes “Following Jesus Christ's way of love and compassion…we care for one another, reach out in service to the community and the world, and are active stewards of God’s creation." JVC Northwest set me on a course that has led me to where I am today as a person of faith and minister. 

What’s a day-in-the-life look like for you? 

As a pastor, every day is different. But, the way I start my day is the same - with an hour of prayer, something I first witnessed my late housemate, Ken Jagoe-Seidl practice. After writing my daily email to the congregation, there may be pastoral visits, meetings with our Creation Care and DEI Teams, worship and more. As often as I can, I ride my e-bike from my home in Gloucester to Rockport, where my husband, David Arsenault, has a gallery of his artwork. The day frequently ends with my husband and I laughing over a rerun of “Frasier.” 

In what ways are you continuing to live out JVC Northwest core values?

Since becoming pastor, I’ve established a Creation Care Team. We designed an online Creation Care Pilgrimage, put solar panels on the roof, and began an initiative to inspire the community to make a pledge “For Nature.” We also recently hosted New York Times bestselling author of “Nature’s Best Hope,” Doug Tallamy. Leading an independent church, I have the flexibility to design worship that inspires simple, sustainable living and action for ecological justice. For example, on March 20th, we hosted a worship service (in person and on Zoom) based on Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Ten Love Letters to the Earth.” 

The JVC Northwest Core Values continue to animate and inspire me as a person and minister. I will be forever grateful to JVC Northwest and to my housemates, Ken Jagoe-Seidl, Melissa Jagoe-Seidl, Trish Partlow, and Kate Speltz for whole-heartedly embracing these values - and me - while we lived in community. I am blessedly ruined for life! 
We love to celebrate our community! Submit this form to be featured in a future FJV Spotlight.
We acknowledge and honor the Clackamas People as the traditional inhabitants of the land upon which our office resides and this newsletter is published. We pay respect to Elders both past and present. We are committed to deepening our knowledge and perspectives of this land's history as the first step toward a future of justice and understanding. To learn more about the history of where you live, visit Native-Land.ca.