As some of you in the Episcopalian community know, I have joined the Episcopal Service Corps (ESC) as a member of the Episcopal Urban Intern Program (EUIP) in Los Angeles. ESC is a national organization affiliated with the Episcopal Church, and EUIP is one of many programs throughout the country. Members of EUIP are placed with a service site, and they live in “intentional community” with 4-5 other people in a house. It was quite a journey to decide to join this program, but I am so thrilled that this is where I am in my life.
Currently, I am serving as an Employment Specialist at Chrysalis. I encourage you to learn more about Chrysalis at changelives.org, because they do very meaningful, important work. I help individuals find work who have significant barriers to finding employment. While they are not a religious organization, they are truly doing the work of the Lord!
I have had the most amazing, rewarding, and meaningful experiences of my life, and I’ve only been here a few weeks. But before you think everything is perfect, I will admit that living in an intentional community is hard. I had never heard of intentional community before, but basically it means that 4-5 strangers are living in a house together and having to discern what that looks like for each of us. We each have very different personalities so it can be very difficult navigating how we cohabitate as a community. There have already been some challenges, but I love my community members dearly.
If you are considering joining ESC or EUIP, I would encourage you to pray and think about it. Feel free to reach out to me (through Jessica Babcock of Christ Church). If you’re not sure where you are in life, that’s actually a perfect place to be for this program. I wasn’t quite sure where I stood in my career, with God, and I had been questioning whether I was heading in the right direction at all. Serving with ESC and EUIP is a great way to discover yourself and what God wants for you. It’s also an amazing (and affordable) way to discover a new part of the country. Be bold, be brave, and do something different. It could change your life.