A Fulfillment of My Belonging
Not knowing what to do for work in the pandemic, Sharon jumped into the heart of Ergon, with "unforeseen and fruitful" results.
I joined Ergon early in the pandemic because my volunteer jobs had ended, and I needed meaningful work. I ended up working online like everyone else. I have learned over the years that although I don’t have a regular job because of family needs, working is necessary for me. I had left volunteering at the art museum the year before when the director retired. Then I was working at a Dorothy Day residence for women and families, but they closed in the first months of Covid to all but live-in volunteers.
I had taught resumé and writing skills in college some years previously, so I offered that help when I first heard of Ergon. Then I was invited to help with matching mentors and mentees, which has been my job for about a year. I am really happy to participate in one of the “works” of the Movement. I have been to the Rimini meeting several times over the years and have seen the beautiful works that emerge from our charism. And I have witnessed other such endeavors in the U.S. There is a certain openness and breadth and respect for those helped that is so striking and compelling. Often the results are quite unforeseen and fruitful.
The weekly core meeting is really important to me. It is a place to share the needs that come up, to brainstorm and get direction. I have certain ideas coming in, and I am learning that a big plan is not necessary. The work is something that unfolds and calls for a response. I’m not always quick to answer, but this is something I am learning from those I ask help from. There are some people who are so simple and available, so willing to step up, and they move me.
Then there is this providential underpinning. I have a volunteer list which doesn’t seem to grow—I would like it to be much larger and broader in expertise—and yet someone always emerges who can help another who needs support in a job search or even to stay in their current job. Another surprising thing is that it is not uncommon for a mentor to also be looking for a job. It is a community of support, of give and take. There are some really difficult situations, and these are humbling. It removes the pretense of solving something and reveals my own need.
Ergon helps me with my other work, which is caring for my grandchildren. The way people respond to and welcome others, with gratuity and not judgment, draws me out in my own family. Working with Ergon is a blessing for me and a real fulfillment of my belonging to the Movement.
Sharon, Duluth, Minnesota