Mission, Life, Work
Mission: To be formed spiritually, to live deep in neighborhood, to be transformed by service!!
How we achieve our mission: Corps members, young adults ages 21-26, are invited to live in community while being nurtured in concepts of social justice, spirituality, and serving the St. Louis community through one of our not-for-profit partners. This year is intended to be rooted in Christian spiritual formation with a balance between work, personal growth and neighborhood/community relationships.
What our Corps Members Do while in St. Louis:
Live in Intentional Community
Corps Members live together in a community house located in the historic Old North St. Louis neighborhood where they form a common Rule of Life based on the Benedictine spiritual tradition. The Rule, a guide rather than harsh taskmaster, serves as a framework, or trellis, for the community’s personal interactions and prayer life and offers a structure on which the community's life can grow. Practicing the ancient monastic art of creating and upholding a Rule moves the corps members’ relationships with each other away from that of house-mate toward that of spiritual brother/sister.
Work for Justice and the Common Good
Corps members are placed in a local not-for-profit organization working to improve the quality of life for residents of St. Louis, especially the poor, the sick, and the marginalized. Our work placements fit into one of four broad categories, (1) direct service, (2) social justice, (3) ecclesial, and (4) neighborhood enhancement. Members work 32 hours a week at their placement sites under the direction of an onsite supervisor. We have partnered with a variety of placement sites, each of which offers DAH members a rich and rewarding work experience. Our current partners are:
To learn about each partner and the job, click here.
Study, Learn, and Grow Spiritually
The Deaconess Anne House is committed to the formation of engaged Christians whose faith informs all aspects of their personal, communal, and civic lives. Christ engaged his political, social, and economic context with the Good News, and it is our desire to teach corps members how they might engage their context with the Gospel that Christ lived and taught. You don't have to be Episcopalian to be a part of the program. The DAH formational program has three foci:
What is my place in the world? What should I do with my life? These are the types of questions that often haunt us as we search for our life’s purpose and struggle to discern our values, passions, and gifts. In order to engage culture, we believe that one must engage his/her own heart and soul in a process of reflection and discernment within community. At DAH, members participate in structured discussions and group exercises that lead to greater awareness of where one fits within the Body of Christ and the wider context.
Each morning, the community gathers to spend time in prayer. This habit of prayer informs our culture and identity as a house and offers each member an opportunity to plan and shape our liturgy and practice around prayer and song.
The Church’s Role in American Society (Jesus and Empire):
This piece of the curriculum asks members to assess their communities (congregations, neighborhoods, work placements, etc) using a process of theological reflection grounded in understanding the historical context of Jesus and the early church. This assessment pays particular attention to marginalized and dispossessed peoples and the role that Empire (consumerism, capitalism, the political system, the church, etc) has played in their systematic oppression. After the work of assessment is complete, members, drawing from the early church and the Jesus movement, learn how to reform their communities into faithful pockets of everyday resistance to Empire.
Keep the Liturgical Calendar
Corps Members participate in weekly communion service on Monday evenings at 7:15 PM at The Deaconess Anne House. The service is open to the neighborhood and the diocesan community, and corps members are joined by guests (and some “regulars”) on most Monday Evenings.
Throughout the week, Morning Prayer or Devotions from The Book of Common Prayer are said Monday – Thursday at 7:50 AM and 8:30 on Friday. Corps Members participate and lead these devotions. Morning prayer is not open to the public.
The Deaconess Anne House follows the liturgical calendar of The Episcopal Church.