Dwell Atlanta invites participants to put their faith into practice through living in community, exploring urban issues, developing a contemplative life and serving the city of Atlanta. Volunteers will work in agencies near downtown Atlanta that seek to impact and advocate for positive change in the city.
Have you ever considered doing something radical in your Christian life? Do you desire a faith adventure…one where you will live outside of your comfort zone and be challenged to put into action the words in scripture? Do you want to be bold in your love of Jesus Christ? Then consider a year or more with Dwell Atlanta.
The Dwell Atlanta program invites individuals to live in intentional Christian community, develop a disciplined contemplative life, and serve the city of Atlanta.
Participants in Dwell Atlanta (Dwellers):
- Live together in intentional Christian communities made up of 6-7 people. In recent years our Dwellers have ranged in age from 21-35, but we are open to accepting applications from anyone who is 21 years of age or older.
- Share a common budget for groceries and work together to share meals throughout the week.
- Build deep, long-term relationships with other committed Christians. People who participate in the program come from many different backgrounds and have different interests. The Dwell program allows these diverse people to come together with a common vision, building relationships that might not otherwise have blossomed. Many dwellers have reflected that were it not for their intentional living, they probably would not have met one another and become friends. Dwell Atlanta seeks to provide space to break down walls and build relationships around our common love of Jesus Christ.
- Set aside one night each week when the whole community joins together to have a meal and pray, study, worship, and read scripture together. For many Dwellers this is the most important time of the week. Without this time, living together would be less joyous.
- Spend 35 hours a week serving in a local non-profit agency or ministry.
- Take 2 retreats together during the year with your house. A third retreat is done together with the Nashville YAV’s.
- The Dwell Atlanta houses share the vision of the 12 Marks of New Monasticism which other intentional Christian communities around the United States also practice.
Intentional Community Living
Dwell Atlanta places our “Dwellers” in communities of 6-7 people. In the Atlanta program we have local young adults interested in intentional Christian community live alongside year long volunteers. Christians have practiced their faith in community for thousands of years. John Wesley called this practice “Christian conferencing” where Christians form communities that “watch over each other in love” and support one another in the life of faith. Living in Christian community enables participants to help one another give priority in their lives to the shared mission of Christ and to develop into the disciples Christ calls us to be. It is also nice to know that you have a group of Christians that want to support you, study with you, pray with you and walk with you through this journey. Participating in the dwell program, however, is not without its challenges. Our houses are located in the “abandoned places of Empire” – in parts of Atlanta where the needs of the community are not well hidden. Dwellers are required to share time, grocery money and space with six or seven other people they have never met before. This is certainly not easy and it is often seen as “odd” by society at large. Also, we work hard to be the hands and feet of Christ in our urban neighborhoods and be a blessing to our whole community. Living in Christian community can be wonderful, but your time in the dwell program will certainly not be without strife or challenge. But it is often times through this strife and challenge that the relationships between community members grow deeper.
A part of the Dwell program is developing a disciplined, contemplative life. As Christians we are called to participate in life-forming practices, through which God transforms us and makes us more Christ-like. Such practices are often simple and ordinary: studying the scriptures, daily prayer, serving our neighbors, and sharing our lives with others. But when you engage in these practices consistently they help shape who you are as a follower of Jesus. The Dwell program seeks to help participants make room in their busy lives for these ordinary practices, trusting that doing so will enrich your faith for the rest of your life.
Young Adult Volunteers (YAV) is a service and leadership development program through the World Mission division of the PC(USA). Young adults serve for one year in the U.S. or internationally, in areas such as fair trade or environmental issues, and have the opportunity to experience Christianity in a new culture. YAVs are between ages 19 and 30. Check out the YAV program blog here.
Wesley W. Smith
Potential sites include service in the areas of:
- Working with a day program for people with mental disabilities. The day program provides opportunities to engage in the arts and urban gardening.
- Working with the homeless to provide emergency assistance.
- Working with an emergent house church in the neighborhood of Capitol View. Duties include community organizing and working with a mentoring program at the middle school.
- Working with a service learning program to organize short term mission trips for churches that come to serve in Atlanta.
- Working with a home repair program that seeks to mobilize neighborhoods to identify needs and then matches those needs with resources in the community.
- Working with a Tool Lending Library that assists neighborhoods and non-profits to identify needs in their area and then equips them with the tools to meet those needs.
- Working with a family support center to provide services to children and their families. This position includes interacting with and providing meaningful activities for children in the after-school and summer programs, assisting in planning community events, and developing relationships with neighboring public schools.
Volunteers will serve their work placements approximately 35 hours a week.
Each volunteer will live in community with six to seven other community members.
Education: college desirable
Other: Applicants are strongly encouraged to bring a car with them.