Dear Church Family,
We’re writing to let you know that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not host our usual One Hope Urban Ministry Leadership Development internship this summer. Our desire is to seek the good of our neighbors and prioritize the vulnerable which, in this pandemic season, will likely mean avoiding large gatherings, practicing social distancing, and staying home when possible. This year we had more qualified applicants than ever apply for the internship, and we were so excited to have them join us for an amazing summer of learning and serving in our community and alongside our church. We are sad to let go of these plans, but we are praying God will bring many of them back to join us in the future.
One Hope’s mission is to build resilience and share hope with neighbors from hard places. The work of One Hope is an essential part of how our Springs of Grace family lives out our calling to love our neighbors. More than ever, this work is urgent. Our neighbors who are on the margins are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and their physical, mental, and economic health is even more at risk. Our staff has continued to work for the good of our community during these last couple months, and we are inviting a few of our intern applicants to join us this summer as part of One Hope’s Community Response Team (CRT) which will focus on creatively responding to the needs of our neighbors during this pandemic.
In some ways, this will be similar to the internship we have run in the past, but there are important ways it will be different. The CRT will prioritize interacting with the community in ways that mitigate risk to the community. This will likely include things like daily temperature checks before work, wearing masks when interacting with the community, and hosting outreaches outdoors when we can. We will also have a smaller number of interns and will host those interns in a more limited number of locations than in previous summers to help mitigate the risk of spreading the virus in our community. The CRT will remain flexible and its structure may change throughout the summer if the situation with COVID-19 in our community changes.
The heart of our ministry will remain the same, but the method of ministry will be flexible in light of the pandemic and will be creative in responding to our community’s needs.
The summer internship has always flourished because of the essential partnership with Springs of Grace. We are so grateful for all the ways Springs of Grace has invested in the interns in the past and supported their work of serving our community and growing as leaders. We will need this support more than ever as interns join the CRT. Those who join the CRT will be making personal sacrifices to spend their summer serving our community. We’re asking our Springs of Grace family to partner closely with the CRT through your prayers and support this summer.
We will be holding our annual Summer Ministry offering on May 17th. We would invite you to prayerfully consider whether God might have you give to support the work of the Community Response Team and to make it possible for us to bring interns to join us in serving our community during this pandemic.
We considered not bringing interns this summer in any capacity, but the reality is that kingdom work is essential work. Our goal at One Hope is to be trauma-responsive in our approach, and we are witnessing our community experiencing trauma that will have an even greater impact on neighborhoods and populations that don’t have a safety net. Our neighbors on the margins need us to innovate so we can continue to build resilience in communities that need it most. We hope that forming this Community Response Team and bringing interns to join us in the work will help meet that need.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We will do our best to answer them.
Grateful for you all,
– Nate and Miriam Boone
Dear Church Family,