[Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island] An exciting hurdle has been crossed by the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island’s Jonathan Daniels House (JDH) project, which aims to open a service-oriented intentional community for young adults. After three years of planning and preparing, last week JDH received official membership into the Episcopal Service Corps, a national network of more than 25 Episcopal young adult service programs across the United States.
As an Episcopal Service Corps community, Jonathan Daniels House will draw upon a diverse group of young adults from across the country, and plans to welcome four young adults in August of 2014. Participants will live together, work in service agencies embedded in local communities, and engage in vocational and spiritual discernment for a period of 10 months. They receive a modest stipend and are supported by a program director and mentors.
“We recognize that young people’s lives are formed by their experience in young adulthood – and that the service they provide will change them as well as those around them, said Bishop Nicholas Knisely of the Diocese of Rhode Island. “They will bring energy, vision and ideas to us and new hope to the people they serve.”
The next step forward for the JDH task force will be to hire a program director whose major work this spring will be to make arrangements with prospective service agencies, acquire housing, and prepare to welcome the first class of JDH participants. The JDH Task Force believes the support of the Episcopal Service Corps to be crucial as we work through these last tasks.
The community is named after Jonathan Daniels, a martyr of the Civil Rights movement who engaged in ministry in Episcopal churches in South Providence. As a seminarian in the 1960s, Jonathan Daniels traveled south to help register African Americans to vote in Selma, Alabama. On that trip, Daniels was shot and killed while pushing a teenage girl out of harm’s way.
The mission of Jonathan Daniels House is to honor Daniels by continuing the work of service, justice and reconciliation for which he lived and died. In the footsteps of Jonathan Daniels, participants will work with those in the margins for whom justice and access to basic human services is often difficult to achieve.