Southern Ohio ESC

Columbus & Cincinnati

Southern Ohio ESC has two sites in the great state of Ohio: one in the capital, Columbus and another in Cincinnati. Both programs exist to serve, interact with and transform the neighborhoods and cities in which they exist. Ohio is a very diverse state, boasting great cities as well as beautiful rural areas and it’s residents are even more diverse than the landscape. Large populations of immigrants, minorities and people from Appalachia live all over the state and help to enrich the culture, neighborhoods, and traditions found all over Columbus and Cincinnati.

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Brendan’s Crossing is situated in the up-and-coming city of Cincinnati; the city is full of gorgeous green spaces but also has a busy and bustling city center that is full of art, great food and lots of entertainment.  And while much of the city is beautiful, modern and fun there are still parts of the city that are disadvantaged, forgotten and ignored.  There are neighborhoods that are “food deserts” where a local grocery or deli does not exist. The homeless population is tremendous and many residents rely on food pantries, churches and government assistance to get aid. Additionally, being a city situated directly on the Mason-Dixon Line, issues relating to racism, police brutality and the school-to-prison pipeline are prevalent.

The community of Brendan’s Crossing invites you to enter into a Christ-centered community that is focused on serving and helping in the neighborhoods that need it most. It’s a community that values vocational discernment, spiritual formation and shared meals as the heart of all they do. Located just blocks from the campus of the University of Cincinnati, the community house has a large urban garden in the backyard that supplies much of the food that is enjoyed at the shared meals.

Brendan’s Crossing members will work full time (32 hrs) at their placement sites and are expected to spend a total of 1 hour per week in the garden. Additional weekly rituals of shared meals, spiritual formation and worship and prayer are a part of life in this community as well.

Ultimately, Brendan’s Crossing is a program deeply rooted in the desire to see young adults seek after God’s call on their lives with all their might, and for them to learn about God and themselves by serving those around them. To learn more about this program, please visit www.brendanscrossing.org .

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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. .Starting in late August, interns work 35 hours per week in direct-care, advocacy 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 capital and 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.  St. John’s partners with two 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 11 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.

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 .