Portland Fellow Imani Patterson shares with us about their experience over the past year.

Imani at Hillsboro Friends Church, their site placement.

This year of service with QVS has been a journey, from QVS days to house meetings to learning about spirituality. The biggest part of my QVS year, though, has been understanding what it means to be part of a community, the importance of community, and all the ways you can participate in community.

I’ve had the privilege of serving with Friends Church of Hillsboro. I’ve spent most of my year assisting in their “Service for Worship,” in which they do worship by serving others. Throughout my QVS Year, I’ve gotten to know and spend time with the unhoused population here in the Portland area. I’ve also learned about the various services that are available for unhoused folks in Oregon regarding things like housing, food, and clothing. Hillsboro Friends taught me how to actually cook from the very first week. I was in the kitchen chopping up vegetables (poorly), but for the first time I was learning the proper way to use a knife. During my time at Hillsboro I also learned how to cook meat, season food, and prepare a whole dinner. All of this has been in service of the community I’ve built here.

Imani throwing on the wheel.

Imani throwing on the wheel during a QVS Day.

I’m very proud and grateful for my time in QVS because I’ve learned so much about the importance of community. I have experienced not only what capital “C” Community looks like in Quakerism, but also the different ways we can be a part of community and show up for one another. Everyone wants to be a part of a community, and I consider myself lucky to not only have experienced this, but also to actively contribute to my community, both lowercase “c” and capital “C.” I am excited to take what I’ve learned from this year and continue building community wherever I find myself after my QVS year, alongside my new cheffing skills!

-Imani Patterson

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