(a post-internship reflection by Natalie Gut)
These past months at the Guild has been full of amazing opportunities and wonderful people. It has been so exciting to experience and support the first five weeks of summer programming and meet so many new people.
For me, the beauty of the Guild is the connection and community that forms each week. While many participants have been coming to the Guild for years, some participants, like myself, are brand new. The community that forms between old-timers and newcomers (and everyone in between) is truly a wonder to experience. My time at the Guild has been characterized by open, authentic, and engaging community-wide conversations facilitated through art and through our daily gathering practice at both matins and vespers. My favorite part of the Guild is getting to interact with and get to know so many incredible people from different walks of life. It has been so wonderful to listen to each person’s story, to see their creative processes throughout the week, and be celebrate those processes and their projects during our closing Saturday matins.
Part of what is so wonderful about the Guild, for me, is how every aspect of our work and life here is part of an ongoing creative process. Much like life, this organization is growing and changing. The Guild community is itself living and breathing. There is a lot of work that goes into maintaining this living community, but that work is made easier by the people who fill the dining room with their stories, fill the studio spaces with their creativity, and fill each room with their spirit and energy. They are what sustains this place, and I am so grateful to not only witness this shared community process, but to take an active part in shaping it.
I am beyond proud of the work that I have and continue to put into the Guild, and never for one second do I feel that it goes unappreciated. Our Guild is a place that celebrates even the smallest of victories and accomplishments, a place where everyone is celebrated for showing up and existing, and for bringing life and spirit to every corner.
Natalie served 10 weeks during the Summer of 2022 as an intern through Valparaiso University’s Calling and Purpose in Society (CAPS) program.