Introducing PEC's First Intern
Hello! My name is Jonathan Lee and I am Presbyterians for Earth Care’s Programming and Learning Fellow, i.e. the intern, for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. I’ve been at in this position for the past several months now (some of you might have met me in the monthly PECT calls), and it’s about time for me to introduce myself to the larger PEC community.
A little bit of background about myself first: I was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, I graduated from Davidson College with a major in Environmental Studies and a minor in Religion, and I am currently in the 2nd year of my Masters of Divinity degree at Yale Divinity School. I enjoy cooking for myself, reading up on comic books, and have recently begun enjoying the world of vinyl music thanks to a recently inherited LP collection.
I always had a particular curiosity for how I could apply environmental activism and sustainability into my faith and church community. My education and realization of the importance of environmental issues had grown concurrently with the maturation of my faith as I learned more about God’s wonderful Creation during a semester-long high school program along the Maine coast. This originally manifested as a passion for environmental sustainability, which I carried into my time at Davidson as a student worker for the campus’ sustainability office and campus farm. I then devoted my senior year capstone to researching how local Christian congregations were responding to environmental issues. This project introduced me to the PCUSA Earth Care Congregations program and connected me with current PEC moderator, Dennis Testerman. Dennis and I kept in touch over the years when this past summer I reached out asking if he would be interested in having a virtual intern for the fall and spring season. He replied with a yes, and so with the blessing of my seminary I started to work for and get to know the PEC community.
I am so excited for this opportunity to learn while working with Presbyterians for Earth Care. I am still actively hoping for a career related to environmentalism in some fashion post-Yale Divinity, and so I see this as an opportunity to learn more about what environmental advocacy within the church world would be like. This opportunity is also a chance for me to learn more about the PCUSA’s inner machinations. As an Inquirer for ordination in the PCUSA church, I believe this is a great chance for me get a better sense for how the denomination as a whole operates and how I might one day be able to continue my environmental advocacy through the denomination.
Though brief, I hope all of this has given a fuller picture of who I am and what I hope to do during my time with PEC. I’m looking forward to learning more while with PEC and interacting with all of you beyond this written format.