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SOAR (Season of Action and Reflection)Bookmark This
First Congregational UCC Church
1000 South Cooper Street
DescriptionSOAR (Season of Action and Reflection) -
First Congregational is a vibrant, open, justice-seeking faith community located in the heart of Memphis. For over 150 years, we've been at the cutting edge of progress, pushing boundaries and lifting up the margins. Located in the eclectic and diverse Cooper-Young neighborhood, we are a Just Peace, Open and Affirming community working in significant partnership with the neighborhood and social service/arts agencies throughout the city.
Inside our 83,000 square foot space, we house, sponsor and support a number of innovative projects, for example: the Pilgrim House Hostel, Revolutions Bicycle Co-op; Stranger Art Studio, the Cooper Young Community Farmers Market, the Justice Grocery, Blessed Bees, The Cycle Lodge, Red Robin's Academy for Children, Voices of the South, Playback Memphis, the Global Goods Fair Trade store, and others.
As a participant in SOAR, you would dedicate half your time to operating the Hostel, living as a member of the SOAR intentional community. The other half of your time would be spent on one or more programs of your choice. We'll match your gifts and interests with one of our many programs and efforts, and/or create space for you to develop or expand a project in your own way. You could develop and assist in installing some amazing liturgical art in the sanctuary. You could learn to repair bicycles or coordinate a "Bike Rodeo" with children. You could help us glean food for the grocery store, or prepare meals for folks who are hungry. You could develop a summer drama or writing program with children or help us maintain our community gardens. You might want to work alongside our vegan cooks to learn how to develop your own business using healthy, organic food. You may have gifts with computers or web design. There are many, many options to participate in an ongoing program or to develop a new one.
In addition to the opportunity to put your gifts into action, we'll spend intentional time reflecting on our work together, its meaning and impact on us as individuals and the community at large. Alongside a variety of trained mentors and guides, we'll process together, go on retreats, and get to know each other and ourselves in deeper and more intimate ways.
You can select the amount of time (the "season") you'd like to spend. It can be for a summer, a semester, or a year. You would receive free housing and board through the Hostel, a $50 weekly stipend and basic health insurance coverage. We will also assist you in petitioning for student loan deferral, if needed.
ResponsibilitiesYou would be expected to help staff the Pilgrim House Hostel, which welcomes thousands of travelers and students each year, by answering the phone, taking reservations, assisting with bike rentals, key distribution, and intentional hospitality. This would be a 15 hour weekly commitment.
For the remaining 25 hours of your week, you select a particular program or project in which to work (as described above).