Hi! My name is Sejana. I wanted to re-introduce myself to you, especially since it’s been a while and a lot has changed these past 2 years.
I love playing board games and ‘talking smack’ with friends when I can. I’m married and I have two teenagers living at home. I was in the active duty Army for 12 years. I am pursuing my second master’s; this one is for Seminary. I’m currently working as a hospital chaplain (resident) in Central Texas, so life is very full. But I’m here, doing well, and these past couple of months, I’ve been talking with a particular church pastor about racial and cultural diversity. Actually, it’s been coming up at work pretty regularly by patients (often catching me off guard) and I live very aware and more sensitive to others now (whereas before, I was not). This was not something I ‘decided’ I would focus on, but rather a question and then a hope in my heart that I noticed as I attended church each week and that, over time, I recognized would not go away.
I am embracing how God has gifted me in a variety of ways throughout my life to perhaps be a part of this deepening exploration for the church (especially leaders) and for others and so here I am. I am using my counseling background and spiritual direction background to help the church do some ‘holy listening‘ with one another to see and to hear and to love others around them more deeply. I am hopeful that we would have more candid and prayerful conversations about this and other potentially sensitive topics in the church and with one another. I think we can do better as a church and as a people. I feel compelled to help and to grow and to learn about this alongside others. This is not an easy work. This is an ongoing examination and awareness of self as we continue to listen and be affected alongside others with God.
One could call this topic ‘diversity and inclusion’ but I see this as more of ‘loving our neighbor.’ This seeing and hearing and caring for others with whom we perhaps wouldn’t normally notice or engage with deeply could be viewed as engaging in basic hospitality and a true welcoming of others into our lives and heart. I believe the church is called to lead in ‘loving others’ and to do it well simply because Jesus loves us well and starts from where ever we are (physical location, mental and heart location, as well as our spiritual location).
So… this is what I’ve been up to lately. I thought it was time to say this out loud (online) because unless you’ve been around me in person and heard me share about this, you might not know. If any of you want to connect, have knowledge about this, want to pray with me through this, or would like to share resources, have conversations or questions about this, or simply just want to stay connected to encourage one another along in ministry (including ministries that are focused differently than mine) – please reach out! ‘Loving one another’ well through conversation about racial and cultural differences area just one of the areas that I care about- there are others as well! So, let’s talk! Send me an email at email@example.com or through any of the other ways that you may know me. I hope to hear from you and connect with you.
Sejana Yoo, M.S.
Hospital and Hospice Chaplain Resident
My next blogpost should include the list of resources I sent out with ideas to consider together to use with the leadership and perhaps eventually the church regarding racial and cultural diversity.
A part of why I’m putting this out there is because I’d like to find others who are also interested in this and working in these areas. I hope we can help and support one another in this much needed work.