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Deep Gratitude

Deep Gratitude

  I am thankful for you. I am filled with deep gratitude for your commitment to God’s work in the city. I am thankful that you believe in the ministry of Mission Year and sustain our work. I am thankful that you are part of this diverse movement of people dedicated to loving God and loving people. You have blessed many through your generosity. Your earthly investments are making eternal impacts. You are empowering the next generation of leaders to […]

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Sitting on the Stoop

Sitting on the Stoop

  When I was younger I would watch all kinds of movies where I saw people sitting outside on the front porch in a yard chair, on the steps, and even in a rocking chair by the window… just sitting. I always wondered, what are they looking at? Are they watching cars pass by? Waiting on the pizza man? A package delivery? Are they thinking? Are they bored? It never made much sense to me until a few weeks ago. […]

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Why I Work For Mission Year

Why I Work For Mission Year

  For much of my life, I had a deep longing to be part of an authentic community that was serious about living out their faith and transforming the world. I was looking for a place where I could pursue Jesus and justice with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Joining Mission Year back in 2004 was an answer to a lifelong prayer. I discovered passionate people who looked for ways to embody the love, reconciliation, and justice they […]

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Still I Will Worship

Still I Will Worship

Yesterday, a song by Shane and Shane randomly popped into my head. Out of no where. But also, at just the right time. Some of the lyrics go like this: Though You slay me Yet I will praise You Though You take from me I will bless Your name Though You ruin me Still I will worship Sing a song to the One who’s all I need Heavy stuff. And in the middle of one recording of the song, John […]

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7 Books on Community and Faith

7 Books on Community and Faith

Want to deepen your knowledge of community and faith but not quite sure where to start? These are a few of our favorite book resources:   1. Community and Growth by Jean Vanier 2. Everyday Missions by Leroy Barber 3. The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris 4. Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Enuma Okoro 5. Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community by Dietrich Bonhoeffer 6. The Power of Serving Others: You Can Start Where You […]

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In the Insignificant

In the Insignificant

Change of one sort or another is the essence of life, so there will always be the loneliness and insecurity that come with change. When we refuse to accept that loneliness and insecurity are part of life, when we refuse to accept that they are the price of change, we close the door on many possibilities for ourselves; our lives become lessened…. Life evolves; change is constant. – Jean Vanier    The last two months have been marked by deep […]

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So, Does Racism Even Exist?

So, Does Racism Even Exist?

I never in a million years thought that I would a person to openly talk about race or racism. Never. Race for me has always either never been a huge issue or just something as a joke that was played off between my friends and myself. But oh hey, then Mission Year happened. The great thing about Mission Year curriculum discussions is that they almost always challenge a preconceived notion that a team member may have or have had before […]

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How to Let Go

How to Let Go

As a 40-something mother of four, I am thankful to a God who once planted into my soul that one of my greatest blessings would be to release our children into His service. I didn’t know the how, the when, the where, or the why…I only knew from very nearly the start of the parenting journey that releasing my children to His care and provision would always be one of my greatest acts of obedience. When you’re knee-deep in diapers, […]

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Learning Grace

Learning Grace

Coming into Mission Year I thought I had grace all figured out; grace was undeserved and freely given…just like the “GRACE period” that all of my loans gave me for the first six months post-graduation. During the last couple of weeks I have learned a new meaning of grace, and surprisingly I had no idea what it actually meant until I lived in an apartment with six other women. The picture above is a “grace wall” that my housemates and […]

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Standing With Ferguson

Standing With Ferguson

  The Catholic peace activist Kathy Kelly summed it up well: “Where you stand determines what you see.” The city of Ferguson, in St. Louis, MO, looks different walking the streets with youth in the community than it does when watching from a distance on television. History looks different too, depending on where you stand. The hard truth is that Christians have not always stood on the right side of history. It’s easy to criticize past generations for their failure […]

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Solitude and Growth

Solitude and Growth

It’s crazy to think that I have been in Houston for over a month! Time is flying by, and the past few weeks have been filled with joys, struggles, and much grace. I have been seeing many things with new eyes, and hearing things with new ears. In the midst of the struggles and the homesickness, I have also seen much provision and I have learned a lot about how weak and desperate I am. I am learning that I […]

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Why I Work For Mission Year

Why I Work For Mission Year

  At orientation every year, we have a time set aside when incoming team members can ask staff questions. This year someone asked staff why we each work for Mission Year. My immediate response was that Mission Year is interested in community change and not just in fixing small parts of big problems. For example, as someone who worked with homeless youth for several years, it’s important to me that we not only ask the question, “How do we treat […]

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5 Self Care Activities

5 Self Care Activities

As humans, ministry workers, and activists we’re not often encouraged enough to take a break and reconnect to ourselves. Practicing self care takes a back seat to everything we tell ourselves needs to be done. Here are a few things to try this month.   1. Go on a long walk. Where have you wanted to explore in your neighborhood? In another neighborhood? Leave your music at home, walk, and take in the scenery.   2. Go to the movies by […]

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The Kingdom of Heaven is for Butterflies

The Kingdom of Heaven is for Butterflies

I believe in things unseen. I believe in mystery. I believe in one who never ended and who never began and I know that is hard to understand but there is so much that we don’t see. We only dwell in dimensions one, two and three and if you ask me, there are probably more colors than R.O.Y, B.I.V and G. Scientists say that even butterflies have more rods and cones than me, maybe that’s what Jesus meant by the […]

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Welcome Home

Welcome Home

“The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves, they find their own order…the continuous thread of revelation”  -Eudora Welty   I am finally back in Philadelphia, and it feels amazing to be home. Last night we had our first official community dinner. Since my four teammates are all new to the neighborhood and are still forming relationships, I reached out to people I met last year and invited them over. We […]

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Mission Year 1 Curriculum

Mission Year 1 Curriculum

One of the unique things about Mission Year’s program is that we design a curriculum for each trimester of our year, fostering conversations about what team members might be experiencing and about the history of many of their neighborhoods. During the first trimester of our program, team members in Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia will be reading some or all of the below books. Will you join us?   Welcoming Justice by John Perkins The Way of the Heart by Henri Nouwen Why Are […]

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A Response to a Culture

A Response to a Culture

If only we had died by the LORD’S hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted. We had refrigerators that dispensed crushed ice with filtered water and were full of leftover pizza and had a special shelf in the door dedicated entirely to condiments with three half empty ketchup bottles because it’s hard to remember if we have ketchup when we are at the grocery store deciding if we want regular […]

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Service Site Highlight: Society of St. Vincent de Paul Georgia

Service Site Highlight: Society of St. Vincent de Paul Georgia

  Every year, Mission Year partners with local organizations, supporting the work they do in the neighborhoods where we work. This summer we’ll be highlighting them, their work, and their needs on our blog. Interested in learning more about our service partners? Check them out here.   1. How long has your organization/program been in Atlanta and whom do you predominantly serve?  St. Vincent de Paul has been serving clients in Atlanta for over100 years and our Dill Avenue location has […]

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Creating versus Consuming

Creating versus Consuming

In the beginning God consumed. God said, “Let there be stuff to buy, television to watch.” God spent the evenings on the couch eating junk food. God consumed the earth’s resources with no regard for the consequences for future generations. God worked non-stop to feed an endless need for more. Humankind was made in the image of God to be consumers. Obviously, this is not what Scripture says about God. But if we truly are reflections of God’s image, this […]

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Service Site Highlight: Covenant House Georgia

Service Site Highlight: Covenant House Georgia

Every year, Mission Year partners with local organizations, supporting the work they do in the neighborhoods where we work. This summer we’ll be highlighting them, their work, and their needs on our blog. Interested in learning more about our service partners? Check them out here.   1. How long has Covenant House Georgia been in Atlanta and whom do you predominantly serve? Covenant House Georgia has been in Atlanta since 2000. We serve youth ages 18 to 21 who may have […]

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    • Deep Gratitude

        I am thankful for you. I am filled with deep gratitude for your commitment to God’s work in the city. I am thankful that you [...] Read More

    • Sitting on the Stoop

        When I was younger I would watch all kinds of movies where I saw people sitting outside on the front porch in a yard chair, on [...] Read More

    • Why I Work For Mission Year

        For much of my life, I had a deep longing to be part of an authentic community that was serious about living out their faith and [...] Read More

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