Confluence Year

Columbus, OH

Confluence is hosted by St. John’s Episcopal Church in Columbus, Ohio in partnership with the Diocese of Southern Ohio and the Episcopal Service Corps. Confluence is a volunteer corps program for recent college graduates or young adults who commit to a year of spiritual formation, vocational discernment, social justice and intentional community. Starting in late August, interns work 35 hours per week in direct-care or administrative positions at some of Columbus’ most innovative and caring social service agencies. The interns live in intentional community, sharing the Hospitality House in the Franklinton neighborhood. They will receive support and educational enrichment through Confluence staff, neighborhood partners, and the congregational community of this historic church in Franklinton.

Franklinton is a fascinating place. As the first settlement of Columbus, the area has a rich, complex history colored with culture shifts, floods, neglect and revival. Franklinton has a strong Appalachian influence from previous migrations, creating a fascinating dynamic of Urban Appalachian culture in the neighborhood.

Despite its rich history, and proximity to a thriving downtown in Ohio’s largest city, catastrophic floods, urban disinvestment, and neglect have resulted in many challenges in Franklinton, being cited as one of the largest “white slums” in America according to US News and World Report. A recent study conducted by the Franklin County Family Comes First Council (2007) ranked Franklinton (zip code 43222) the most “at-risk neighborhood” in Franklin County.

St. John’s has had a long history of service in the neighborhood, specifically among the homeless community through Street Church, a weekly eucharistic service held in an abandoned parking lot.  Recent years have seen St. John’s partner with Jezreel, an intentional community to start two impactful neighborhood non profits to address the health and transportation issues prevalent in this impoverished neighborhood. Franklinton Gardens, which provides local soup kitchens and pantries with over three tons of organic food grown in abandoned Franklinton lots, and Franklinton Cycleworks, which provides a community bicycle shop with free work stations, mechanic training, and bicycle rehab and sales for the neighborhood.

Confluence Volunteers will spend five hours a week serving with either the Gardens or Cycleworks, along with participating in the life of St. John’s through worship, service, and sharing meals with neighbors both at His Place and Street Church.

Confluence  is a year of intentional living in incarnational community that is inspired by the writings of Paul and the hymn of the early church found in Philippians 2

     who, though he was in the form of God,
    did not regard equality with God
    as something to be exploited,
     but emptied himself,
    taking the form of a slave,
    being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
     he humbled himself

Take the time to watch our videos to the right about Confluence, Street Church, The Franklinton Gardens, and Franklinton Cycleworks, then visit ConfluenceYear.Org to learn more about the neighborhood, St. John’s, and the dynamic opportunities to serve .