FCC to Serve as a Host Congregation for the XPLOR Program
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.
This year, 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 him 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 him find his strengths.
Starting in September, we will be welcoming Josh de la Trinidad into our church community. Josh is from Southern California and is an active member and often praise-band leader at his home church, East Whittier Christian Church in Whittier, CA. Josh names himself very shy. He has worked for the last two years as team leader in a machine shop. He’s also worked for a year with people with mental and physical disabilities. He is very proficient in Spanish and English, written and spoken, and he loves to cook. His sister, Belen, will also be in the program, living in NBA XPLOR Tucson-Marana.
During the week, Josh will be serving at the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, an non-profit organization that works to achieve an equitable, inclusive and healthy society where all people, including the most vulnerable, disenfranchised and marginalized have equal opportunities and access to the resources and tools needed to achieve a dignified of life. Josh will be working primarily with the undocumented population in their Immigrant Justice program.
This is an exciting opportunity for Josh. He’ll be living with 3 other residents in an apartment in Alameda, who will be working in local agencies around the Bay Area, while being a part of other local Disciple congregations.
We hope you will help us welcome Josh and make him feel welcomed and included, just as you would any other new member in our congregation. Invite him out for coffee or into your home for dinner! We’ll also be looking for folks to help with transportation from BART on Sunday mornings.
In addition, we need a few volunteers to help prepare the apartment for their arrival on August 20. This will include setting up the bedrooms and upstairs bathrooms – making beds, lining shelves, etc. If you would be available to help out for a few hours on that day, please be in touch with Russ (925/234-3303, firstname.lastname@example.org). He’ll greatly appreciate your help!