Jonathan Daniels House to open as Episcopal Service Corps member

[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.

Comments

  1. Hallelujah! This is wonderful news.

  2. I’ve went on Pilgrimage in August 2007 to Alabama where Jonathan Daniels was killed … prayed and cried on the steps of the country store where the owner came and shot him – since he was trying first to kill a Black woman – both of whom had just been released from horrendous week + in jail w/ just water and bread served – no air conditioning, of course, back then. This annual march is emotional. The town (Hayneville, AL) is not far from the Gulf of Mexico coastline in Southern Alabama. It is now governed by freely elected Af-Am citizens, many of whom are women.
    If you’ve ever been imprisoned (as I was in SDS during Kent State University turbulence in 1969) and treated badly by your jailers, you realize how even worse this experience was for Jonathan Daniels. He had totally empathized w/ his Af-Am “neighbors” and was willing to sacrifice his own life for their betterment. All the Alabama martrys killed during Civil Rights desegragation are honored during this time. The 2 Episcopal Dioceses of AL sponsor this Pilgrimage each year. Every Episcopalian would grow spiritually if he/she participated in this annual event.
    I’m so proud of the JDH work and accomplishments. This is our own Peace Corps within our church. Thanks Be to God! Blessings & Shalom to All Who Sign Up & Become Partners!

  3. The Rev. Carlton T. Russell says:

    This is wonderful news, indeed. Jon, my friend from our youthful days in Keene, NH, once stayed overnight with my wife and me on his way from ETS in Cambridge to this work in South Providence. It is hard to imagine a more fitting and vital tribute to Jon’s sacrificial ministry. Gratitude and blessings to all involved in realizing this vision.

  4. The Rt Rev Arthur B Williams Jr says:

    Kudos to the planning group which has labored over several months to bring this about. The Episcopal Service Corps with young adults working among the poor and marginalized in South Providence is just the way to honor Jonathan’s life and ministry.

    During my first year of ordination in Rhode Island I served as chaplain to the staff of Church House which included Jonathan whose heart was moved to serve poor and minority people as he involved himself in this hands on ministry. I pray God’s blessing on all that is accomplished in the coming years through the Diocese’s Jonathan Daniels House.

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