“Community is a journey in and of itself, and that may be one of the greatest and most challenging calls of our lives.” -Kaitlin Curtice
Learning to live in community is one of the more challenging things we ask our corps members to do every year. Of course, there are a lot of reasons why the experience always proves to be so difficult. People enter into the year with their own set of assumptions, expectations, and goals for how they are hoping to grow during the year. Among the many challenges is coming to the realization that when you are in community your actions and choices don’t just affect you, but have an effect on everyone else. Perhaps this has never been more evident than in the last several weeks as everyone has had to become more intentional about cleaning surfaces and practicing physical distancing as a way of caring for themselves, yes, but also caring for one another.
We are collectively learning new ways of living in community and reminded daily that caring for ourselves well is also how we care for those around us well. JSC is fortunate to be partnered with organizations that understand this and have been proactive in caring for our corps members. All of our placement sites were among the first in our area to institute work-from-home protocols and help our corps members make that transition. For some that transition has been relatively smooth because of the nature of their work. The last several weeks have been more challenging for our other corps members who do more direct service work and are accustomed to meeting face-to-face with clients. They’re having to learn how to adapt their work to a virtual setting and ensuring that the people they are serving have access to the internet and proper equipment.
We have been communicating regularly with other Episcopal Service Corps programs to make sure we’re doing everything we can to minimize the risk of exposure and keep all of our corps members safe and healthy. Most of our Friday faith formations have been easily transferred over to video calls and we’re working to creatively reimagine some of our other programming as well. If you want a little glimpse into what this experience has been like for our corps members, click here to read Austin Mueller’s blog post.
We are also still accepting applications for our 20th cohort that we currently anticipate joining us in August. Please connect us to any young adults you may know who are looking for a year of service, vocational discernment, and spiritual formation. The Episcopal Service Corps provides a valuable tool to help interested young adults in their discernment process. The application can be found by clicking here.
Thank you to everyone who has contacted us in the last several weeks asking for ways to best care for our community, sending us words of encouragement, or letting us know they’re praying for our corps members. Your continued support is what makes JSC so attractive for incredible young adults looking to serve the community. We’re all in this together and we couldn’t do it without you.