Stepping in to provide a service that is needed in a one-time visit is special because it provides the opportunity for us to learn about a community, their needs and our ability to meet those needs, and yet, it may not always be a place where we decide to connect long term.
1. Before you go, allow yourself to notice any nervousness or judgment that you may have of yourself or others as you begin your work. Ask yourself, what are you expecting? How do you think you might be able to help? Are you open to being helped?
2. What type of relationships would you need to have in the community where you served to grow to understand and communicate better with the community?
3. Is this a community or an area of service that you would like to be engaged in more deeply? If so, how might you go about becoming more fully connected?
4. In an Ignatian way, reflect on how you experienced the time you spent at work. What did you notice about yourself? About the world? About the thoughts or worries you brought to the work? How attentive were you to the people and community around you? How did you display reverence towards them?
Working in community with others over a long period of time is often the most rewarding type of engagement because it is through long term connections that we learn about the gifts that exist in a community and then ways to be of help. By first learning about the strengths of a community we can partner in community with one another.
1. Before you go, ask yourself, what quality of attention are you bringing to the individuals and communities with whom you are engaged? As you prepare for engagement in the community work or service, what do you notice about yourself? what do you notice or pay attention to in the community?
2. In what ways has your understanding of the strengths of the community changed over time?
3. In what ways has your understanding of yourself changed because of your relationships in the community?
4. What has your engagement helped you to understand about our society? About problems in our laws, policies, perspectives on others? In what ways might your engagement help you to think about ways to impact systemic issues?
5. On a regular basis, reflect in an Ignatian way about your time spent at work. What do you notice about yourself? About the world?