There’s a word that I like a lot: “confluence.” Confluence describes how things come together, in a natural and unhindered sort of way.
I am delighted to introduce Callie Crowder as the new Assistant Director of the Maker’s Place. Callie has come on board with us this past October. As I’ve gotten to know her, I have sensed a kind of divine confluence. I believe that God has brought our paths together, and has uniquely equipped Callie to be a visionary leader and deep spiritual presence in the city of Trenton.
I first met Callie at Princeton Theology Seminary, where we were both taking classes in the Master of Divinity (MDiv) program. Our paths crossed again last year. Callie has recently returned to Trenton, the city of her roots. She recently purchased a home around the corner from where we held our Diaper Depot this past summer. Callie will be serving with the Maker’s Place part-time, working to manage and grow our diaper bank, and adding her strengths as a businesswoman, entrepreneur, and a compassionate leader to our Maker’s Place ministries. I’ve already seen countless ways in which she is helping us live out our core principles of radical hospitality, unconditional love, and asset-based community development.
Not long ago, I asked Callie to share a bit more about herself. She sent me back a rich and reflective account of her sense of vocation and mission-minded purpose. Rather than trying to summarize it all, I’d like to let Callie speak in her own words. She writes:
“My calling is to help, to heal, to share, to teach, and to love. At this time, God is helping me develop layered concepts for cooperative ministry in the city of Trenton. Recognizing that big things start small, and that God is already at work in the world, I need only to stay connected to God, and the resources necessary to participate with God will be provided.
“The city of Trenton is home to marginalized residents who suffer from the ills that typically plague urban centers with similar demographics. It is filled with young people with parents who have done the best they could, but nevertheless suffer numerous calamities under the stiff hand of oppression and the political economy of racism. I am called first to listen, then to build relationships with them and their families as I help them to believe in themselves and to tap into the hope of Christ and the future that God has for them--a future directed towards hope, liberation, and restoration.
Trenton is filled with young people with parents who have done the best they could, but nevertheless suffer numerous calamities under the stiff hand of oppression and the political economy of racism. I am called first to listen, then to build relationships with them and their families as I help them to believe in themselves and to tap into the hope of Christ and the future that God has for them--a future directed towards hope, liberation, and restoration.
“As a parent and native Trentonian, I can relate to many of the experiences of the tri-fold oppressed group with whom we are building relationships. As a navigator of self-employment for over eighteen years, I am skilled in leadership and am a solutions-oriented problem solver. My life is a testimony to the goodness of God and I believe I have been profoundly shaped to bring hope and empowerment to all people, as the mission of the Maker’s Place intends.”
Callie is passionate about building life-giving relationships with people, and to grassroots approaches to community formation. I’m excited for what she brings to the table, and for the ways in which we will be better together. Already, she is helping us accomplish our mission: to connect neighbors with neighbors, so that all God’s children can experience life in abundant community. It feels like confluence!
If you’d like to connect with Callie, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.