Servant Leadership Program
This year, the Servant Leadership Program hosted the first ever TEDx conference at Gustavus, titled TEDxGustavusAdolphusCollege: “Creative Innovations to Address Complex Problems.” The conference highlighted 7 speakers with direct ties to the college that provided powerful talks about the power of story, community, listening, and much more. To learn more about the event, check out the website here. To watch the videos of the speakers, click here.
Today's featured member is Angela Gewerth. She is a Junior Athletic Training and Health Fitness major who has been involved in SLP for one year!
Why did you get involved in the SLP?
I initially heard about SLP from a couple close friends who happened to be on the same Habitat for Humanity trip as myself . I loved that reflection was such a big part of the Habitat experience I knew that I wanted more of that at Gustavus. I was completely intrigued about the ability to have intentional conversations with others who also want to be more intentional in their day to day lives.
What is your favorite part about being involved in the SLP?
My favorite part about SLP is being able to share ideas, experiences, disagreements-and in the end, trying to find common ground. That doesn't always mean that we always agree with how our peers think and process, but we can respect and appreciate each person's viewpoint on the subject. It’s one of the best settings to share, learn and grow from those around you!
What is your calling?
I can't say that I entirely know what my calling is, but I can wholeheartedly say that my heart has never felt so joyful and fulfilled as when I was able to participate in various service trips such as building houses and a community through the Habitat for Humanity organization or being able to teach English in Peru through a J-term course. I want to keep journeying through life, meeting people, hearing their story, and showing them love and respect. A good friend of mine once told me that "there are no strangers in my life, only people I haven't met." It doesn't matter the scale or the place, but I'm pretty certain that part of my calling is simply to love people through it all.
What profound action will you take to live out your calling?
I hope that I will never lose my desire to seek out opportunities to met others and hear their story. Whether it means taking more trips abroad or simply sitting down with a stranger at a coffee shop, I want people to know that they are important…they matter…and they are loved. Maybe this isn't profound, but I think it's life.
What is one thing that anyone who is reading this should know about me?
The one thing you should know about me is that I can't be defined my one thing. I'm a lover of Jesus, good coffee, the newspaper, the Minnesota Twins, and naps in the sunshine. But mostly, I love people, good conversation, and am appreciative for the opportunities that SLP has allowed me to have at Gustavus.
Each year, the Servant Leadership Program visits the local coffee shop River Rock Coffee to engage with community and learn from one of St. Peter’s most passionate residents, owner Tamika Bertram. This past year, the SLP participated in a World Café with River Rock employees exploring what it means to take risks and live into who we are – to lead an authentic life that gets each person closer to their own definition of “Right Livelyhood.” The group explored three questions:
- What are the choices you are facing in living a passion filled, authentic life?
- What’s at risk if the choices aren’t made? How do you know?
- What actions can we take to encourage authenticity in ourselves and others?
Participants were able to walk away with a deeper understanding of their own situations and how the choices they make influence how they show up. Ultimately, participants have the opportunity to make more informed decisions that will lead to more authenticity in their daily lives.