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Sofia's Story

My name is Sofia Rose Wolman, and I was born and raised in Natick, MA.

One of my earliest memories is riding in a car through some woodsy area, and having a near-fit because someone threw a piece of gum out the window. Imagining the potentially deadly result, I shrieked, “The birds! The squirrels!” A loved one once called this intensity and sensitivity a superpower; another described how God put it in place before I was in my mother’s womb.

Another early memory of responding to tragedy and crisis with social action was when I joined with friends and family to protest the gun lobby after a beloved family member was killed.

Years later, at Earlham College in Indiana, Quaker principles encouraged the God-given sensitivity, and friendships with classmates from around the world opened my perspective. Post-colonial and critical theory gave me frameworks and language to better articulate what I had struggled to find expression for prior – ways hegemonic structures and dominant narratives perpetuate violence and harm against and around the planet. I found joy performing theatre and music every chance I got.

 

I went on to work with the American Friends Service Committee. Projects including the Budget for All and the NATO Counter-Summit led me to participate in the World Conference against A- and H-Bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 2013, and the Japan Peace March in 2014. There I received the legacy of hibakusha (nuclear survivors): No more Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Fukushima! No more nuclear weapons! No more war! Nuclear abolition, I learned, is connected with all struggles for justice, peace, and well-being.

Around the same time, I started to follow Jesus. With women-pastors preaching an anti-imperial gospel, Spirit-led prayer and hospitality, and a sign proclaiming “Many Cultures, One Faith,” First Baptist Church in JP became my first church home.

After studying ministry at Harvard Divinity School, I was coordinating Circle-based programs at FBCJP to cultivate capacities for community self-care when I became part of a team establishing a weekly food distribution to about 250 households in March 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. I saw what a well-coordinated, focused, and ambitious effort can do in the community.

In addition to Inside the Sun, I work with the Oleander Initiative to share the resilience of Hiroshima; lead a prayer group at FBCJP; sing and write with the Peace Singers; serve in governance for the Centre for Faith Art and Justice and the AFSC; and organize with Mass. Peace Action’s Nuclear Disarmament Working Group. Since August 2020 I’ve been mostly in Maine, where I’m creating new gardens to grow more food, herbs, and flowers, and staying close with my family, including my sister’s sweet kids.

How good to practice cooperation and moral engagement Inside the Sun – with new friends and family, and loved ones who go way back! – to be part of bringing dreams to life through this ongoing and visionary collaboration!