MW USA Board Member Serves Sabbatical at The Corrymeela Community

Beth Martin Birky, editorial advisory council board member takes sabbatical from Goshen College to live and serve with an intentional community in Ireland.

Hear from Beth about her purpose and hopes for her month-long sabbatical. The Corrymeela Community holds to these purposes: Embracing Difference. Healing Division. Enabling Reconciliation. The following is a short profile Beth submitted to the Corrymeela staff newsletter:

“Hi, everyone! I’m looking forward to joining you all for a month. I’m an English and Women’s Studies professor at Goshen College in northern Indiana, about 2.5 hours from Chicago. Goshen College is a small, Mennonite liberal arts college with a focus on faith, peace, and global understanding. As part of my sabbatical this year, I wanted to participate in a service organization that could help me enrich those themes in my own work, especially for a course I have developed called “The Global Women’s Movement.”

As I teach feminist theory, I always insist that theory is embedded in practice, so I wanted to get out of the classroom and live the themes of justice and faith that are foundational to my own understanding of gender issues around the world. A month working, worshipping, and living in community at Corrymeela doesn’t seem long enough, but it will be an important step. For four months next spring, I will be teaching a “Gender in Central America” course for a US college in Costa Rica.

My husband Dave and I met at Goshen College 34 years ago and have been married for 28 years. We have two children, Maddie (18) and Hugh (14). Maddie is a freshman this fall at Goshen College where she is playing soccer, singing in the choir, and getting to know lots of new people. I believe studying fits in there somewhere. Hugh is a freshman at the local high school. He plays tennis, plays the violin in the orchestra, sings in the men’s choir, and is active in our church youth group.

Since we moved to Goshen, Indiana, we have lived by the river and enjoy time on our deck with friends, as well as boating and gardening. Although I have spent most of my time running between soccer games and tennis matches, music lessons, and orchestra performances, I love walking in our neighborhood, doing cross stitch projects, going to an occasional yoga class, and reading. I also love traveling and have been to England and Scotland. I’m looking forward to my first trip to Ireland. See you soon!”

Learn more about Beth.

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