Confluence Year Episcopal Service Corps Program Opens Application Confident That Service Can Unite!

2 Dec

The Episcopal Service Corps (ESC), a community, justice, and faith oriented network of young adult service programs, is encouraging young people from across the country to apply for its 2017-18 Year of Service. Confluence is the Columbus branch of the Episcopal Service Corps and provides young adults the unique opportunity to spend a year in service while living in Franklinton,working for social justice, building leadership and professional skills, deepening spiritual awareness, and developing intentional community in a time of deep division. Applications are now open for the 2017-18 year.

Confluence is entering it’s fifth year, and offers young adults time and space to grow personally, professionally, and spiritually while committing to service in the neighborhood through Saint John’s Episcopal Franklinton, and non-profits addressing issues of homelessness, unemployment, addiction, education, community organizing, immigration and refugee services, and much more. Serving with Confluence is a unique opportunity for young adults to give of themselves, enjoy new places and experiences, and live out their faith in a manner that echoes Paul’s call in Galatians, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge…rather, serve one another humbly in love.”

Confluence members serve from August 2017 – June 2018. They receive a monthly stipend, housing, and participate in regular faith formation with their house members.

Confluence is open and affirming, and anyone of any faith may apply, as this program is shaped primarily by the open and inclusive Christian faith as expressed by the Episcopal Church. The application and more information on Confluence and its member programs can be found at www.ConfluenceYear.Org . The first deadline for applications is on Monday, January 16, 2017, with first offers being extended on Friday January 27. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.

Supporting Our Friends

27 Nov

We wrap up Thanksgiving weekend with an opportunity to show our gratitude and support for the great work the Mount Carmel Foundation supports through Steven Simpkins placement with the Mt. Carmel Healthy Living Center during his Episcopal Service Corps year with Confluence Year.

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“MCHLC is always looking for and willing to accept volunteers. The Healthy Living Center has programs and meetings any given day so extra hands and smiling faces are always welcome. The MCHLC valuesrelationships first and foremost so the first time or two that you offer your time would involve shadowing whatever events are on that day during the time that works best for you. One of the coolest things about spending time at MCHLC is there will almost inevitably be free food for you to eat. So really you cannot go wrong with volunteering at MCHLC. You can help an amazing place live out its mission and likely get a meal too! Really nothing could go wrong if MCHLC ends up not being a good fit for you.

If volunteering during the day is difficult to fit in your schedule I encourage you to check out the Community Friendship program. Community Friendship is where people who have struggled with homelessness gather together with Mount Carmel staff and volunteers to share a common meal and learn from one another. It is an incredibly loving space that everyone would benefit from participating in at least once. The Community Friendship program meets once every month on Tuesday in the early evening.

MCHLC also always accepts monetary donations. Follow the link below and choose Healthy Living Center under designations to contribute. These donations allow MCHLC to provide new, better, and more programming for the greater community. Visit this site to make a donation to the Healthy Living Center- https://donor.mountcarmelfoundation.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=298

If there are any questions about how to get involved please contact me at steven.simpkins@mchs.com”

Shine a Little Light

25 Nov

Today we celebrate our partnership with the Mt. Carmel Healthy Living Center by having Confluence Year Episcopal Service Corps member Steven Simpkins shine a spotlight on one of his colleagues. Today, we spend a moment appreciating the great work Ami Peacock does through Mount Carmel Health on the westside of Columbus. Thanks Ami!

“It is only natural during this week of partner appreciation that the fearless leader of MCHLC receives a day in the spotlight. Ami Peacock is more than fearless as the manager of the Healthy Living Center. Ami is a confident leader full of love and compassion for MCHLC staff and the Franklinton community. That love should not be mistaken for complacency, Ami is driven and encourages the best work possible from staff. Another quality that makes Ami such an admirable leader is her ability to be humble and ask for help when she is not sure what to do or how to do something.

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Ami is a supervisor who cares about people and where they are before talking about planning. Even when time is at a premium she takes a few precious moments to ask how someone is doing and expects genuine responses. That question seems to take on a sacred quality because of its genuine tone. In a world full of fast-paced consumption small questions are frequently taken for granted. Not so with Ami. Ami listens.

There is likely an endless list of things I could learn from Ami. If I could somehow magically or prayerfully obtain any one quality it would be living fully into my work. Ami takes a well-rounded healthy life seriously. She leads by example by carving out time for replenishing work or small breaks. Ami is self-aware of when stress begins creeping in and lets her staff know when she is feeling overwhelmed. Ami loves every single program at MCHLC. Hearing her talk about MCHLC is inspiring. If I leave MCHLC capable of feeling so strongly about my calling in life I will be indebted to Ami and MCHLC for everything they have taught and passed down to me. Regardless I will be forever grateful for Ami and the staff because they teach me something about myself everyday.”

Transformed by Service

24 Nov

“I am learning from my newfound friends in room 126 of MCHLC that questions are good and curiosity is even better. Some parts of me already knew this but something about the folks in the room or the room itself drives me to recognize my own curiosity and allow it to flourish in the public sphere.”

This Thanksgiving, take a moment to read more about Steven Simpkins own transformation as he works at Mt. Carmel Healthy Living Center during his year of service through the Confluence Year Episcopal Service Corps program.

“To borrow a line from the latest and greatest hip-hop musical sensation Hamilton, while I am at MCHLC: I want to be in the room where it happens. For me that room is room 126 better known as the space of the cooking demo and any other larger program. The room itself is not particularly awe-inspiring, though the decorations for the Community Friends Thanksgiving celebration in the attached photo certainly add some pizazz and warmth. The learning and profound curiosity I have seen from program participants is what brings air into my lungs. Thanks to the hundreds of people that I have encountered in this room I have learned and relearned the radically simple power of curiosity. Room 126 is where I learn the most about myself and others and seems to be where everything of import to my personal development happens.

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The first program I experienced with MCHLC was a cooking class. The second was a large 80 person cooking demo. That second day was a little overwhelming but was also incredibly insightful. Every single participant was present in the learning moment. Even after the food is served the crowd listens closely to the provided advice for living and eating healthier. Creative, genuine, thoughtful questions are asked with total abandon and people linger following the demonstration to connect with new friends from their common experience.

As an introvert I frequently struggle with asking questions or asking for help. I tend to fear the question has an obvious answer so I hold it inside and think it through if I can. I am learning from my newfound friends in room 126 of MCHLC that questions are good and curiosity is even better. Some parts of me already knew this but something about the folks in the room or the room itself drives me to recognize my own curiosity and allow it to flourish in the public sphere. Room 126 is where I find consistent opportunities for growth in relationships with others, God, and myself. It truly is the room where it happens and I undoubtedly want to be there.”

A Day in the Life – Mt. Carmel Healthy Living Center

22 Nov

A Day in the Life with Confluence Year Episcopal Service Corps member Steven Simpkins at his placement with our fantastic neighborhood partner, Mt Carmel Healthy Living Center, made possible through funding from the Mount Carmel Foundation .

“There is a cliche saying that variety is the spice of life. If that adage is indeed true then MCHLC certainly ensures I do not have a bland work life during Confluence Year. There are three general areas MCHLC floats me toward. Each broad set of responsibilities is valuable and rewarding in its own right. Yes, even the data entry I do has recognizable benefit.

The data I electronically record tracks how many individuals come into the MCHLC library/resource center and for what purpose. This data when broken down will be able to easily communicate to others the impact the resource center has on the community and the care provided by MCHLC. The reports that are generated will allow MCHLC to maximize community benefit.

While working I tend to spend most of my time in the resource center. While there, I sit at the front desk and make sure visitors to Mount Carmel feel welcome. I answer any questions visitors have and provide directions when necessary. This work is critical for the space because so many visitors are seeking comfort and reassurance they are headed in the right direction. I have witnessed genuine caring and love in all the in staff-visitor interactions in the MCHLC library. Working in the library attracts people into the space for their own needs/wants/desire while allowing MCHLC to advertise the large variety of programs, classes, and resources offered.day-2-photo

I help with programs held by MCHLC in whatever way possible. Frequently MCHLC programming is all hands on deck. Especially in the hour or so before an event starts. The team works together to bring the best event possible to attendees. One thing MCHLC hopes to see me foster in the community is a relationship with Franklinton Cycle Works. Ideas for collaboration already being generated and intersectionality of missions is being noticed. Keep an eye out in the future for programs and initiatives that place an emphasis on healthy living, bicycling, food access, transportation access and more!”

Mt. Carmel Healthy Living Center Partner Appreciation Week.

21 Nov

We enter this week of Thanksgiving with great appreciation for our neighborhood partner Mount Carmel Healthy Living Center (MCHLC)! Confluence Year Episcopal Service Corps member Steven Simpkins is placed with Mount Carmel Health and all week you’ll get to learn about the great work the MCHLC is doing on the westside of Columbus, and his experience serving there.

“Imagine a hospital, health-care setting aimed at proactively keeping folks out of the hospital’s beds and emergency rooms by focusing on empowering patients to develop healthy lifestyle habits and encouraging holistic wellness. The goal of the Mount Carmel West Healthy Living Center (MCHLC) is essentially that. The MCHLC is located in Franklinton and designs programs for the community. MCHLC focuses on recognizing the social determinants of health for community members so the care provided addresses the most immediate needs.

MCHLC delivers care to Franklinton residents through facilitating programs and acting as a resource and referral center. MCHLC has wellness initiatives aimed at body, mind, and soul. Two highlights of the MCHLC are a monthly cooking demo and Moms2B. Attendees of the monthly cooking demo, of which there are consistently at least seventy, watch a meal be professionally prepared, hear from a dietician about the nutrition of the meal, learn about a specific health issue, eat a meal, and then are sent home with ingredients to recreate the meal at home. This program gives attendees the knowledge to make healthy eating decisions, which is critical because obesity is a significant barrier to wellness in Franklinton. Moms2B is both childbirth education and a support system following birth. Moms2B is held every week and intends to reduce the infant mortality rate.

MCHLC also provides free of cost classes in: zumba, tai chi, weight management, mindfulness and other stress reduction techniques, and a myriad of other topics. MCHLC does all of this with love, care and compassion that welcomes all walks of life. I truly think MCHLC believes we are all Children of God, and as such we all have a right to live healthy lifestyles capable of both preventing and managing chronic conditions. If you are interested in learning more about the Healthy Living Center please visit the following website: http://www.mountcarmelhealth.com/hlc

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Support Our Partner!

18 Nov

Learn how you can support the mission of the The Homeless Families Foundation and partner with our Confluence Year Episcopal Service Corpsmember Caroline Nagy in making a difference in the lives of children on the westside.

“With the holidays coming up there are many ways to give back, donate and or volunteer at HFF. For many of our families the holidays can be tough, but for people who would like to help it is possible to make the families have a much more enjoyable holiday.

By going to the website http://homelessfamiliesfoundation.org/ there are many things to contribute towards, one of them being the “Holiday Store” in which it allows the parents of the child along with a staff member and or volunteer to select free gifts for their children which ranges from newborn to age 18, the goal is to brighten over 190 children within the community so please if you are willing to give back please check out the website!

By donating more than just gifts HFF is always looking for supplies to give to those families starting in their permanent housing, and there is always a need for items especially if there are young children many of these things can be looked at on amazon which can be found on the website as well.

The final way to help out around HFF is to volunteer, we love our volunteers and are always grateful for those who come in and take time out of their day to help out at the center. We have over 30 volunteers that come in every week to read with the children in the after school program, but if you check out the website there are many other ways to volunteer besides reading to the children at the Dowd Center. To see what kinds of volunteer opportunities are available please check out website, we would love to have volunteers especially around the holidays!”

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