Program: NEWARK ACTS
Location: Newark, NJ
Directors: Rev. Deacon Erik Soldwedel (Program Director), Ms. Kaileen Alston (Youth Ministries Director)
Web Site: www.dioceseofnewark.org
Beginning in the fall of 2010, The Diocese of Newark welcomed our first eight interns and three years later we have welcomed 25 young adults to be part of our program and diocese. NEWARK ACTS is a service-learning program for young adults that will emphasize social justice, community service, spiritual formation and communal living.
Each year, up to 12 interns will live in community at two separate urban sites located in Newark/Essex County and Union City/Hudson County. Young adults, who have been out of high school for at least four years, will come to the Diocese of Newark for eleven months to work in direct-care positions for local agencies and organizations with a social justice mission.
The NEWARK ACTS Intern’s have many opportunities to experience life in the greater New York Metropolitan area and all the benefits it offers. Each house is conveniently located to public transportation which will lead you to theater, museums, major sporting venues, beaches, the Atlantic Ocean, mountains and forests with great streams and hiking trails.
NEWARK ACTS interns will live together in an intentional community house, create a covenant and rule of life to guide their common life, and share opportunities for common meals, discussion, discernment and devotion. Throughout the year, interns receive ongoing support and formation facilitated by NEWARK ACTS staff, Board of Directors, spiritual directors and mentors.
NEWARK ACTS is part of the Episcopal Service Corps (ESC), a network of young adult programs within the Episcopal Church that work for social change and personal transformation through service to others. Interns who complete the eleven month commitment to service will receive a minimum cash award of $1,000 to use in anyway they choose including education loans and relocation costs.
NEWARK ACTS is a member of the Catholic Volunteer Network which affords us the opportunity to apply for AmeriCorps recognition which provides educational grants and student loan deferment for members who accumulate more than 1700 work hours for direct-care organizations. Health care benefits are made available through Catholic Volunteer Network.
NEWARK ACTS seeks to nurture young adults to become community leaders with a heart for ministry, an understanding of the complexities of urban life, and a deep spirituality that integrates their desire to serve with a passion for justice and peace
- SOCIAL JUSTICE
- COMMUNITY SERVICE
- COMMUNAL LIVING
- SPIRITUAL FORMATION
The mission of the Diocese of Newark is to “equip congregations, empower people, and engage the world with the hope and justice of Jesus”. We affirm that the people of this diocese are both creators and catalysts of transformation by which every person and community can realize its God-given gifts. Through their active engagement in mission outside their congregation’s doors, our people work in the wider community as agents of God’s justice, peace and compassion. NEWARK ACTS interns will similarly be engaged in mission, living out God’s covenantal call to “strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being”.
NEWARK ACTS will identify and provide interns with opportunities to engage the world as active agents for social change. Prospective mission fields will include school settings, foster care programs, health and wellness agencies, hunger and homeless ministries, environmental justice, affordable housing, and immigration. We will make every effort to match our interns with worksites that match their interests, gifts and passions. Interns, in turn, may be provided with opportunities to participate in the creating, planning and carrying out of outreach projects coordinated by the Diocese, its congregations, and affiliated organizations.
NEWARK ACTS provides a community of intentional simplicity.
We believe that deeply-considered engagement in diverse relationships is the basis for life-changing growth. In the community house, interns create a common home through a process of learning about others and themselves by sharing common meals, discussion, devotion, and experiences. A variety of supportive and formational activities are offered which are intended to deepen the community’s understanding and to celebrate the gifts and blessings of that shared experience.
The spiritual resources and opportunities offered by NEWARK ACTS are designed to encourage and support the spiritual formation and vocational discernment of the interns. Chaplains/spiritual directors and mentors will meet regularly with the interns to guide them through the process of examining their experiences and discerning what God may be saying to them. Retreats led by facilitators and spiritual guides will be held four times a year to provide interns with quiet time to reflect upon how their work, communal life, and daily experience inform their spiritual lives.
Acts 2:46 : “Day by day, as they spent much time together…, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts”
Newark ACTS 2010-11 Interns