I grew up in one of those big stone Episcopal churches. One of those churches with old wooden pews, stained glass windows, big parish hall. I am so grateful to have grown up in a progressive community of faith, centered in faith, tradition, and reason. But as I have moved away from the church of my family and my childhood, I am grateful to find faith and God outside of the walls of a stone building – in the small moments, in the air around.
When I came into movement work, it felt so far from the faith in which I was raised. I felt burnt and burnt out by formal religious institutions and found home in communities of young people of color with the vision to change our city and country. This Lenten season, I am reflecting on this quote by Octavia Butler, and I am committing to redefining my faith within my social movement context.
“All that you touch
All that you Change
The only lasting truth
God is Change. God is found in the everyday moments, in the conversations and connections. I am committing to centering conversations and practicing deep listening this Lenten season. To seeing holiness in the way each conversation and each connection changes me and how I impact the world around me. I am committing to taking my faith outside of the walls of the church and into the social movements in which I find home, knowing that building a new world is God’s work, remembering that God is Change.
Carolyn Chou is a queer, mixed race, Chinese American woman who is committed to working in Asian American communities and building grassroots power and solidarity with other communities of color. Carolyn currently serves as the Executive Director of the Asian American Resource Workshop where she supports the programming and organizing work of the organization led by our amazing staff and manages AARW's fundraising and operations with Janet and the Board. Previously, Carolyn served as the Director of Programs of AARW and was a STRIDE Postgraduate Fellowship recipient from Harvard College. Carolyn was politicized as a college student at Harvard College, where she was deeply involved with the Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA). At PBHA, Carolyn worked with recent immigrant youth in Dorchester through the Boston Refugee Youth Enrichment (BRYE) program and supported after school, summer, and advocacy programs led by students and community members.