In 2014, the National Benevolent Association, the health and social services general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), created a program designed to help young adults unleash their own potential, while positively impacting their community. The program is called XPLOR and it is a faith-based, 10-month, congregationally-hosted residency program designed for 21-30 year olds looking to explore lives of care and service. Several houses have been set up around the country to provide opportunities for these residents to live simply in community and engage in direct service and justice work.
The Residency program offers residents an extended, residential experience during which deep spiritual reflection, communal living and hands-on service will help them explore God’s call on their lives.
Each resident is placed in Community Engagement Site, a non-profit organization that provides direct services to the community, working 30 hours a week doing hands-on ministry.
This program also “embeds” young adults within a Host Congregation that is already committed to accompanying their neighbors and already has a passion for coming alongside young adults as they consider the deep connections between the life of faith and the work of justice. That’s where FCC, Concord comes in.
For the second year in a row, we have been invited to serve as one of these Host Congregations to one of these residents. While this person will not be on staff, our role is to provide this individual with a church home and welcoming community; to provide her with a place to worship, study and be a part of a faith community. Our role will be to take this person “under our wings” and help her find her strengths.
Starting on September 10, we will be welcoming Claire Cooley into our church community. Claire grew up in Albuquerque, NM, as a member of Monte Vista Christian Church, but moved to Eureka College in Eureka, IL, where she graduated in May, majoring in history and political science. While there, she served as both Student Body President and Vice President and participated in numerous mission trips, including Ecuador, Ghana, Togo, and Romania. She has worked at the Barrett Foundation supporting homeless women and children in their time of need.
She enjoys camping, exploring the outdoors, cooking, and reading.
Because Claire has worked effectively in non-profits that serve homeless women and children, adults with mental disabilities, and the homeless, her XPLOR internship will be with St. Mary's Center, Oakland, in their programs that focus on the needs of homeless seniors.
We hope you will help us welcome Claire and make her feel welcomed and included, just as you would any other new member in our congregation.