Junction NYC, a young-adult Lovin’ Life Ministries program, was featured on Nov. 1, 2011 on the front page of the website This I Believe, Inc., a nonprofit promoting respect for people’s beliefs through essay-writing.
This I Believe was founded to engage youth and adults from all walks of life in writing, sharing, and discussing brief essays about the core values that guide their daily lives. According to the This I Believe website, Executive Producer Dan Gediman says, “The goal is not to persuade Americans to agree on the same beliefs. Rather, the hope is to encourage people to begin the much more difficult task of developing respect for beliefs different from their own.”
“A young adult ministry group called Junction NYC engaged its members, aged 18-25, in a month-long exploration of belief through reading and writing This I Believe essays,” reported This I Believe on their website’s front page. “Some members wrote and shared essays with the group, some produced videos of their belief statements, and others decorated a piece of a This-I-Believe mural to reflect their beliefs.”
The website also included a slide show of Junction’s “culminating event and art mural,” which can be viewed below. For more information about This I Believe, please visit www.thisibelieve.org.
Victoria Roomet, vice president of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP), oversaw the This-I-Believe project during Junction. “One of our young-adult ministry leaders was using various personal statements in a book published by the This I Believe organization, so we took that idea and decided to explore it in different ways through Junction,” she said. “People, including myself, wrote their own This-I-Believe statements, and others even decided to express their statements through a fun video diary.
“For the final This-I-Believe project, we expressed our statements through the medium of art. Our national youth pastor, Jaga Gavin, cut up a big block of wood into pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, and each person got a part of the puzzle and wrote on it what they believed or drew on it a picture that encapsulated their beliefs. About 40 people participated. Then we put the pieces together to create a marvelous mural. We sent the pictures over to the This I Believe organization, and now we’re featured on the website, which is awesome! The first thing that pops up is a picture of us with all of our heads next to the mural we created. The This I Believe organization was so excited, they even “liked” Junction NYC on Facebook. Everyone had a lot of fun, and it was a very deep experience, ” Ms. Roomet tells Familyfed.org.
Selected contemporary This-I-Believe essays were featured in regular broadcasts on National Public Radio (NPR) in the United States from 2005 to 2009, and in only four months had amassed a listener subscription of more than 5,000, according to npr.org. “The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) aired essays from Canadians in 2007. In 2005 and 2006, USA Weekend invited its readers to participate in our project and published selected essays from their readers. And numerous local public radio stations, newspapers, and magazines have featured essays from citizens in their communities,” as per This I Believe website.
This I Believe has more than 2,000 “likes” on Facebook, and is followed by more than 1,200 people on Twitter.
Contributed by Ariana Moon