You Called? — Interpreting God's Call: A Mentoring Program
Arch Street United Methodist Church (ASUMC) is an historic congregation located one block north of Philadelphia’s City Hall. ASUMC’s vision is to be a welcoming Christian community that inspires openness, understanding and reconciliation both within the congregation and the community at large. ASUMC’s mission is to love God and neighbor by nurturing individuals on their spiritual journeys, encouraging creativity in faithful service, strengthening relationships and promoting justice.

ASUMC is a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-class, LGBTQ welcoming faith community. As a founding member of POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild) an interfaith network of 45 congregations, ASUMC is in constant contact and community with Muslims, Jews, Roman Catholics, other Protestants, Quakers and Ethical Humanists. Through the New Sanctuary Movement and the Nationalities Service Center of Philadelphia, ASUMC further expands its connections with persons from all over the world, representing a wide variety of cultural and religious expressions. ASUMC is a seasoned interfaith and cross-cultural partner and finds great joy in building and sustaining shared ministry and service.

This mentoring initiative is designed to engage young adults from the ages of 18 to 25 in a year-long experience that will assist each mentee to hear and discern how God is calling them into service.

ASUMC will recruit, orient, train, support, engage and supervise six young adults for one year. Drawing on ASUMC’s established programs and relationships with Grace Café, Serenity House, POWER and the New Sanctuary Movement, each mentee will be prepared and positioned to add capacity to ongoing activity within one aspect of ASUMC’s community ministry portfolio. For approximately 10 hours per week with two weeks of vacation during the year, each person will be engaged in activity set out in a clear job description. Bi-weekly one-on-one supervision for one hour; bi-weekly peer group exchanges for one hour, and 6 training sessions for up to two hours each will be factored into the schedule. Program site supervisors will provide hands-on direction and support.

The bi-weekly supervision conducted by the Senior Pastor will center each mentee on discerning the call to ministry, spiritual formation, personal development and interpreting the theological significance of each person’s work in the world. The bi-weekly facilitated peer groups will stimulate conversation and connections between the young adults and deepen their experience in telling their call story and reflecting on its development. The six training sessions will provide training in areas like the following: Community Organizing, Action Research and Power Analysis; Issue Testimony Preparation and Presentation; Developing and Presenting Faith Reflections; Addressing Family and Community Trauma; Self-Care; Self-reflection and Transformation; Understanding the Intersectionality of Race, Class, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Environmental Concerns in Addressing Oppression; Effectively Supporting and Engaging Persons with Behavioral and Mental Health Conditions, Asset Based Community Development and Creating New Forms of Worship and Communities of Faith.

Each mentee will be assigned to one specific program area within ASUMC’s community outreach portfolio or partnerships. Issues include the following: living wage, mass incarceration, education reform, racial justice, immigration reform, and homelessness. Each program area will provide a worksite supervisor to see that each mentee has hands on experience for up to eight hours per week. They will also assist in developing and sustaining an ongoing conversation about the connection of meaningful work and service to the human spirit and Divine Call.

Each mentee will receive a monthly public transit pass as an incentive. Two retreats will be provided. The first retreat will serve as part of the orientation to and preparation for the program and the second retreat will provide for reflection and closure at the end of the program. A group trip to implement a service project together in a rural community is also planned. In addition, the mentees, with guidance from the GMF US-2 will create up to six community building activities that will take place outside of the program hours.

Prayer, Meditation, Singing, Reading Sacred Texts, Spoken Word and other forms of Worship and Spiritual Formation will be infused throughout the program. Connecting all of the above in a seamless set of interactions, conversations and shared experiences will provide an excellent context for discerning and developing each person’s Divine Call and Spiritual Direction.

Tentative Program Dates:
Orientation: September 17-18 or September 24-25, 2016
Mid-term retreat: January 28-29 or February 4-5, 2017
End-term retreat: April 29-30 or May 6-7, 2017
Program ends: June 25, 2017


Application Deadline: June 30, 2016. For more information, contact Reverend Robin M. Hynicka at (215) 498 3718 or robin@archstreetumc.org.

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Write a brief essay (100 words or less) describing why you want to participate in this program. Please share how seeking justice and building community inform your faith.
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Please provide the names of two persons – one personal and the other professional – who know you well and can speak to your character and suitability to participate in this program.
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