Meet Teresa Coda, contributor in the July/August 2016 issue, “Treasure.” Her article “The Destination of My Heart” appears on page 22. To get a copy of this issue, call 1.800.972.0433.
My personal board of directors
One of my work projects this past year involved interviewing the directors of approximately twenty faith-based service programs for young adults across the country. Accepting anywhere from four to twenty-four participants ranging in age from twenty to thirty-two, all of the programs incorporated service work, spiritual formation, leadership development, and living in intentional community.
One of the questions that I asked directors in each interview was what kind of supports made their program possible. Along with community partners and local clergy, every program mentioned some sort of advice-giving body: a board of directors, an advisory board or a steering committee. Directors relied on these groups, composed of a wide array of individuals, for help in making major decisions, support on solving problems as they arose, and as conversation partners when strategizing the future of their programs.
Considering the value of a board of directors for an organization led me to consider the value of incorporating the perspectives of others when directing my own life. Who do I look towards for guidance and direction? Who holds a seat on my personal board of directors?
My board is comprised of a diverse group of people, from the most intimate relationships in my life to long-deceased authors whose words I turn to for inspiration, hope and courage. Right now, my board includes my husband Caleb, whose own strong character encourages me to become the best possible version of myself; Albert Camus, a French-Algerian philosopher whose essay “Return to Tipasa” I keep re-reading; Sarah, one of my dearest friends from graduate school who encourages me to be bold and take risks; and my parents, who are still two of the first people I turn to when I need to sort through an issue with which I’m struggling. Like any board, general membership on mine changes over time. There are long-term members, members whom I have placed on the board for specific reasons, and permanent members, like Caleb.
Who is on your personal board of directors?
Teresa Coda is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School. She is currently working as the youth ministry coordinator at a Catholic church and as a part-time hospital chaplain. She lives in Providence, RI, with her husband, Caleb. Read Teresa’s blogs, notesandfootnotes.