Meet My Friend: Karen
I know you’ve all heard about the yoga class that is held on Monday nights at Girard First United Methodist. If you have not, you really need to know about this offering. Every Monday evening at 5:30, our very own Karen Johnson shows us how to slow down and take in breath and pray with our bodies. In a harried world that causes us to feel like we need to be MORE productive, this practice encourages taking time to just BE.
If you haven’t met Karen, you need to. When she is not working, she is here at our church every Sunday and has ushered and served with joy and grace.
If there is anyone who knows how necessary it is to unplug, it’s Karen. She spends her days at the Air Force Reserve Base in Vienna, using her skills as a prevention specialist, educator and friend. She teaches classes on preventing interpersonal violence such as sexual assault and suicide prevention in addition to providing training on resilience and personality. She understands the effects trauma can have in one’s life and works to help them move forward. She has been providing this type of support for over 24 years now and experienced trauma herself. She is either reading or traveling to trainings to learn more about the effects of trauma on people and animals.
I’d imagine because of this exposure , she had to find a way to manage the things that come with it. Yoga and meditation have become a big part of her self-care and it is her way of giving back to the world. Another thing Karen is heavily involved in is equine therapy. She is working on a certification in this as another means of helping people connect with their inner selves in a physical, but powerful way.
Karen talks about how the yoga class is something she offers free of charge as a ministry to the church and community, but it also is a service that feeds her soul. She has always said to me that she wants to be that safe space for her students and should one of them need spiritual counsel, she sends them to Pastor Vicky for that. There is so much wisdom in that process. It reminds me that everything we do can be a ministry.
For Karen, the Reserves and her Yoga mat are her mission field. What is yours? What is something that brings you joy that can be shared with the world? What gift can you use to glorify God?