Lasallian Volunteers has been highlighted as a Service Program from FAITH3 that Changes the World.
Princeton, NJ – The Center for Faith and Service and Faith3 have launched Service Programs that Change the World, a new initiative that recognizes exemplary faith-based service organizations that offer year-long service opportunities for young adults. As part of this effort, a website (service.faith3.org) has been launched to help interested individuals discover these organizations, learn about their service opportunities and navigate the application process.
Twenty faith-based service programs (listed below) have been selected for this honor. They include programs that are varied in their program design and affiliations. They share a common commitment to change the world by integrating faith with service. Some are run out of the national offices of denominations, while others are standalone non-profits that have affiliations. Some of these programs are connected to Catholic orders like the Lasallians and the Jesuits, while others are linked to historic peace churches like the Quakers, Brethren and the Mennonites. Each program has its own unique way of operating and distinct ways of connecting faith and service.
Service Programs that Change the World is part of a movement to reclaim the important historic role that faith communities have played in promoting community and justice while offering meaningful opportunities to engage in the world. Each program offers participants the opportunity to work with agencies and organizations on the front line of building community and fighting poverty.
Rev. Wayne Meisel selected the programs based on a decade of work with these kinds of organizations. In his view, organizations on the 2014 list of Service Programs that Change the World have demonstrated a common commitment to invite, welcome, support, train and launch individuals into the world as community leaders. The organizations were selected in large part because of:
- A connection to a denomination, order or religious expression with a mission and vision to prophetically and lovingly engage in the world
- The quality of the local community partners where members are placed and where they are supported to both contribute and grow
- The depth of programming provided for members for spiritual exploration, faith formation and vocational discernment
Meisel, an ordained Presbyterian Minister, has a long and distinguished career in the world of community service, service learning and civic engagement. He was appointed to serve on the President’s Commission on National and Community Service, where he is credited for being one of the architects of the AmeriCorps Program. He also served as a founding board member for Teach for America and is the Founding President of the Bonner Foundation. Currently, he directs the Center for Faith and Service, which develops innovative programming for churches and denominations and seeks renewal of theological education through the reintegration of faith and service.
Service Programs that Change the World is by no means an exhaustive or exclusive list. It represents a collection of institutions that Meisel and his team believe are prepared to welcome idealistic and committed individuals who have demonstrated their engagement in the world or who seek to gain experience in justice work. As readers encounter the website, they are encouraged to identify other faith-based programs that provide opportunities for a year of service and to nominate those groups to be added to the list.
Besides honoring these organizations with well-deserved accolades, the website offers easy access to comprehensive information that includes specific details to broad vision statements. In fact, we’ve provided a link to the application for the programs. In addition to the programs explored, current seminarians who are deeply committed and involved in their communities are profiled on the website, and common myths about theological education are addressed. The website also offers other information and logistical details like requirements, deadlines and costs. It also provides a chance to learn more about the mission and vision of each program.
The 2014 list of Service Programs that Change the World includes: