Laura Martin

I was born in a place of front porch conversations in the mountains of southwest Virginia. I grew up in a family that didn't attend church but taught me the living faith of caring for others. When I went to college at the University of Virginia, I felt called to a religious community and became part of the United Methodist Church's Wesley Foundation. On a spring break service trip with the Foundation, during a night of karaoke and poetry reading with people living on the streets, I experienced a call to work with people who were homeless. After graduation, I worked with homeless individuals in a variety of roles with a nonprofit. Most of my work focused around chronically homeless single adults with untreated mental health issues. I was invited to speak to a UCC church about my work, and my experience there was like finding a home that I hadn't known existed. I was drawn to the UCC's inclusion and extravagant hospitality. In 2009, I began to feel like I was having an incomplete conversation in my work. I longed to offer clients communion and to tell them that they were, as Desmond Tutu says, "created by love, for love." I began taking classes at Wesley Theological Seminary and became a member in discernment for ordination. Later that year, I transitioned from working with homeless singles to working with homeless families in a range of housing programs. I became an intern at Rock Spring in fall 2012. I was drawn to the church for its dynamic social action work, its provocative preaching, creative worship and music. I was also compelled by the church's commitment to inclusion--both for other faiths and the LGBT community. My ministry is steeped in love of literature and poetry, and encompasses both the real pain of Good Friday and the Resurrection-eyes through which I see the world.

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Rock Spring is a supporter of the 4th Annual Voices From the Holy Land Film Series. This annual event seeks to explore the complex, difficult, and emotional issues that are preventing peace in the Holy Land through the voices of the people living in the region.

Maundy Thursday Dinner & Stations of the Cross - Thursday, March 29, 6:30 p.m., Carpenter Hall