Capital interns learn to mix faith and policy

Religious organizations sponsor training programs
Maggie Machledt says she experiences God in her internship at Joseph’s House, a community-based hospice for formerly homeless people. The recent Hope College graduate mops floors, does clerical work, cleans bedpans—and on a recent scorching afternoon took some residents out to the National Zoo.

“It just feels really holy being with them at that time, and just seeing where God meets them,” said Machledt of the dying residents.

She and her five housemates at the Bon House, named after anti-Nazi Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, have yearlong Washington internships through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps.

LVC is one of dozens of religious organizations that seasonally turn the capital into a training camp for scores of college students and recent graduates, some of whom visit Capitol Hill to advocate for policies reflecting religious values. The internship programs cross religious and denominational lines.

 

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