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Guide to Applying for an ESC Service Year

Every year, young adults from 21 to 32 are invited to apply to serve as a member of Episcopal Service Corps (ESC) for the upcoming service year. Understanding that applying can feel a bit overwhelming, this article is intended to help potential applicants understand the process.

Open House

Discerning a service year?

Join ESC for an online Open House, February 18, 7 pm Eastern/6 pm Central/5 pm Mountain/4 pm Pacific where you can meet program directors, other Corps members, and ask current Corps members questions about what it’s like to serve through ESC.

Register using the form below:

Johnson Service Corps: Celebrating 20 Years

Johnson Service Corps (JSC) started over 20 years ago as a ministry at Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. JSC’s namesake, Margaret Johnson, a longtime Chapel of the Cross parishioner, was passionate about young adults and spiritual formation. After she passed away, Johnson left funds to the church. Following a lengthy discernment to find the best use for money, in 1999, the Johnson Intern Program, JSC’s predecessor, was formed.

Why Serve through ESC

by Christopher Goodlof

Giving of yourself for the benefit of others is quite possibly the most rewarding thing a person can do with their time on Earth. No one benefits from a wholly isolated, insular life devoid of giving back. Whether a person is religious or not, helping others can be one of the most positive life choices that one can make.

Life Together’s 2019-2020 cohort of fellows.

Through ESC fellowships, young adults are brought together for one year of service to a particular community.

One such program is Life Together, a fellowship coordinated by Kelsey Rice Bogdan, also an alum of the program. Life Together sponsors two yearlong fellowships in the Greater Boston Area with the clear mission of helping the community through faith and intentional living.

“There’s an opportunity to serve,” said Bogdan, “to give of yourself, and that’s part of the transformation is to be serving in communities where you might not go on your own.

But why should young adults serve with the ESC?

“Every day you have opportunities to challenge yourself and be transformed,” said Bogdan, “to learn and to grow in a place where you will be loved and cared for and held, but

Program Director Happy Hour

Current and former ESC program directors are invited to gather for an Epiphany celebration and reunion.

Register using this link:

Open House for Prospective Corps Members

Meet ESC program directors and other prospective Corps members from across the country, hear from current Corps members about their Service Year experiences, and ask questions about the Corps and the application process.

When: December 1, 8 PM Eastern/7 pm Central/6 pm Mountain/5 pm Pacific

Where are you called to serve?

Register to receive a Zoom link:

Alumni Meetup

Join ESC friends in a virtual gathering to celebrate the season, ESC, and all things community!

When: Wednesday, December 2 at 8 pm Eastern/7 pm Central/6 pm Mountain/5 pm Pacific

Register here for a Zoom link:

Are you Called to Serve?

As our nation continues to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic, the service provided by Episcopal Service Corps volunteers is more important than ever.

ESC is now recruiting for the 2021-2022 Service Year. In this video, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry invites young adults 21-32 to discern if they are called to serve.

Click here to take the ESC discernment quizClick here for the ESC 2021-2022 application

Application Opens November 1

The Episcopal Service Corps application for the 2021-2022 Service Year will open on November 1.

In the meantime, if you or someone you know is discerning a call to service, take our discernment quiz. Also watch for a series of Open Houses and other events starting later this fall.

Of course, if you have any questions or want additional information contact us,

Inspired by Pauli Murray

Last year at this time, ESC program directors were in Durham for our annual meeting. We visited the Pauli Murray Center to learn more about Murray’s life and ministry.

Program directors and staff were deeply moved by this icon’s legacy and were inspired to dedicate at least a portion of 2020-2021 ESC formation activities to learning more about Pauli Murray and the ways that Murray’s story inspires us to leadership and activism.

Throughout the course of this year we will be sharing more about this deep dive into justice, nonviolence, and equity and inviting you to join us in study, reading, and prayer inspired by this Episcopal saint.

Click here to learn more about Pauli Murray.

Introducing Wyoming Service Corps

Episcopal Service Corps is proud to welcome two programs to the network this year – Wyoming Service Corps (WSC) in Cody, Wyoming, and Plainsong Farm, Rockford, Michigan.

This month, we are highlighting Wyoming Service Corps.A program of Christ Episcopal Church, Cody, and a Fresh Expression of the Diocese of Wyoming, WSC will offer Corps members a contemplative environment in which to discern their greater place in the world as well as opportunities to explore the extraordinary natural and social world around them.

Through WSC, Corps members will serve 32-35 hours a week at a variety of community organizations in the area. Dedicated service sites include:

Heart Mountain Interpretive Center, a museum and educational center that honors the legacy of the Japanese-Americans who were interned at this site during WWII.Bargain Box Thrift stores, which are owned by Christ Episcopal Church and generate income for local nonprofits.Park County School District #6, the public school district for Cody where a volunteer may have the opportunity of working with special needs students.

Corps members will live at Thomas the Apostle Center on the southern edge of Cody Wyoming.

Quarantation 2020

What is Quarantation, you ask?

It’s quarantine+orientation, our program directors’ innovative response to COVID-19 protocols and best practices that incorporates the necessary 1-2 weeks of quarantine while also covering typical orientation tasks.Responding to local conditions, a number of ESC’s 14 network programs quarantined in their house while others went off-site to a nearby camp or conference center where Corps members could remain physically distant during a quarantine period and gather safely outside, as appropriate.

Now, in the face of what seemed like astronomical odds, every ESC program has now successfully deployed a full Corps of volunteers for the 2020-2021 #ServiceYear.

We are so proud of all the work our program directors and their staff/volunteers put into creating a safe environment for incoming Corps. And we are especially proud of the Corps members who volunteered for a Service Year during this time when our communities need them most.You can have a look at some of the faces and places of Quarantation 2020 below.

And believe it or not, we have already started recruiting for the 2021-2022 program year.

What values are driving your work?

Written by Caitlin Parsley, Corps member serving through Circle of the Beloved

“I humbly partner with organizations that disrupt cycles of racism, poverty, and violence to bring healing empowerment to the Northside community. My mission for not just this season, but many to come, is to be a contemplative activist for the Gospel.”

Me with Sister Karen, Visitation Monestary

I shared these words during my commitment service just three short months ago on February 2nd. As an intern with the Visitation monastery, I have the incredible opportunity to schedule my time around three guiding values: community, spirituality, and service.

Circle of the Beloved welcomed me warmly and wrapped me up in their community from day one. If it wasn’t for Circle, I would have been floundering about to find community as the only Visitation intern this year. Whether it is sharing meals or participating in Sunday compline, we are working together to foster authentic community at Liberty House.

In addition to community, spiritual rhythms and growth have taken a front seat in my weekly schedule. I attend mass and mid-day prayer with the Sisters, read and discuss books to better understand Salesian spirituality, and simply listen to the wisdom

Video greeting from Bishop Curry

Presiding Bishop greetings & gratitude

The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, sends his greetings and gratitude for Corps members serving during the current outbreak of COVID-19.