Grace-on-the-Hill invites young adults to live in community while engaging deeply in the social, relational, economic and ecological regeneration of the Oregon Hill neighborhood and the wider community of Richmond, VA. GotH residents live together in intentional Christian community following a Rule of Life grounded in common prayer and meals, simplicity, and service in an urban environment. They work approximately 32 hours a week on staff in a local non-profit organization, school, or church ministry, with time each week dedicated to spiritual reflection, vocational discernment and leadership formation, as individuals, as a group, and in conversation with mentors. In addition, corps members will meet periodically with Bishop Susan Goff.
A significant emphasis of Grace-on-the-Hill is the development of a “theology of place,” the embodiment of God’s love through a deep commitment and connection to all aspects of God’s creation in a particular place and time. For this reason, corps members are encouraged to engage deeply in the Oregon Hill community, establishing relationships with residents, getting to know the local ecology, and participating in projects and other activities that support the neighborhood’s ability to flourish. Oregon Hill is an historic, working-class urban neighborhood in downtown Richmond that is adjacent to the James River and Virginia Commonwealth University.
Another important aspect of the service placement is the relationship with a broader community of faith. Corps members worship regularly at St. Andrew’s and participate fully in its common life and ministries. St. Andrew’s Church, established in 1875, is a smallish and thriving congregation that is eclectic and creative, fun, and a little edgy. The community enjoys being together while seeking (and struggling) to live in meaningful and life-changing ways.
Grace-on-the-Hill is built on the legacy of Miss Grace Arents, a visionary social reformer and progressive philanthropist who worked tirelessly to improve the daily life of individuals regardless of race, gender, or class. She developed a church complex that included St. Andrews Episcopal Church, St. Andrew’s School, the Grace Arents Free Library, a teachers’ house, and a medical clinic. Arents also established a night school for working children, built public baths, the city’s first public playgrounds, and the earliest examples of subsidized housing in Virginia. She funded numerous social programs and supported the formation of the Instructive Visiting Nurse Association. Her legacy continues in the activities of St. Andrew’s Church, St. Andrew’s School, and the William Byrd Community House in Oregon Hill.
Grace-on-the-Hill is a partnership between St. Andrew’s Church and the Diocese of Virginia.
ST. ANDREW’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
St. Andrew’s is an Episcopal Church located in the Oregon Hill neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia. Like our neighborhood, we are eclectic and creative, fun and a little edgy. We enjoy being together as we seek (and struggle) to live in meaningful and life-changing ways. Each of us here has experienced God’s abundant love through this community in a variety of ways and we like sharing this experience with others, whether they’re in our community once, or visit for a short time, or make this their church home.
THE DIOCESE OF VIRGINIA
With its headquarters in downtown Richmond, the Diocese is an organization that provides both oversight and extensive resources to the nearly 200 churches within its scope. Tracing its roots back to Jamestown, it is one of the oldest member dioceses of the Episcopal Church.
ANNA JULIA COOPER EPISCOPAL SCHOOL
An independent, tuition-free, faith-based middle school for students of limited resources primarily from Richmond’s East End neighborhood. Through a program focused on academic, social, and spiritual development, AJCES helps students set their sights on college and responsible citizenship.
ST. ANDREW’S SCHOOL
A K-5 elementary school in Oregon Hill with a long-standing mission to educate students of limited financial resources. One of the oldest among a small number of tuition-free schools in the country, St. Andrew’s serves about 96 students through a balanced academic, social, and spiritual experience, shaped by the Episcopal tradition and inspired by Christian faith. The school’s founder was visionary philanthropist Grace Arents.
For more information please visit our website or reach out to Maggie Kennedy at 800-643-8451 x1043.