New faith-based residential program seeking young Christians with a heart to live out their faith
Baptist Care SA is offering the opportunity for young Christians with a heart for people who are doing it tough, to grow in, and live out, their faith through a new urban learning program.
Baptist Care SA’s Inner City site is a community hub, offering a safe, non-judgmental environment where people experiencing hardship can come to access a range of support services and activities. Urban Learning Community (ULC) is a new faith-based program for people aged 18-30 who are open to working with people who access these services.
Housed in shared accommodation nearby, ULC participants experience and learn what it means to live in close community in a missional context. They are supported by a mentor, actively involved in church, and volunteer regularly at the Inner City. Participants bring their gifts and strengths into the WestCare community; creating positive, non-judgmental relationships with people at the Centre.
A strength of the program has been its recognition that, although authentic and supportive relationships are essential for long term change, many of the people who access the Centre experience social exclusion.
It’s a realisation that struck ULC participant, Joel McDonough, quite early.
“In many ways it’s been an incredible learning experience. I became aware that we can subconsciously divide the community into the homeless and the homed – and it’s easy to lump all homeless people into one generic identity.
I’ve had the opportunity now to move outside my normal social circles and get to know people on a personal level, and you realise there’s not much difference between a homeless and a homed person. I’ve spoken to someone experiencing homelessness who studied maths and physics just like me – and to another who loves guitar and the same music I do. It’s really broken down unconscious stereotypes and made it clear – we’re all part of the same community.
It’s been a great opportunity to grow in my Christian journey. It’s not a solo journey – there are people around me that share the same views, and I enjoy being part of a supportive Christian community.”
If you would like to learn more about Urban Learning Community, contact Manager: Community Development, Craig McGlone on 0409 620 494.