Why I Believe in the Motor City Mission Corps

[Photo Credit: Spencer Irvine, July 19,2003]

Last week on social media, I was pleased to announce a major project that has been underway for more than a year. A wonderful team of people from the Presbytery of Detroit has designed a new opportunity for young adults to move Detroit, where they will experience a year of mission and service, intentional community, spiritual direction, and vocational discernment. This new program is called the Motor City Mission Corps.

I’d like to tell you more details about the Motor City Mission Corps and share why I believe so strongly in this program.

What is the Motor City Mission Corps?

The Motor City Mission Corps is a new service endeavor initiated and supported by the Presbytery of Detroit which invites young adults (ages 19-30) to live in the city and serve a year in mission. Through an intentional community model, young adult participants will live together, explore spiritual formation and vocational discernment, and work alongside four excellent site placement partners that are reducing blight and poverty in Detroit:

1) Cass Community Social Services,

2) Motor City Blight Busters,

3) Presbyterian Villages of Michigan, and

4) Westminster Presbyterian Church of Detroit

Our program will forge even greater connections between these four organizations and will provide formative experiences for young adults, shaping their faith and service for many years to come.

We Need Help to Launch This Program

For a year, we have worked on this project as partners, and we are ready to put our plans into action. But in order to launch the Motor City Mission Corps, we need to secure start-up costs: This funding will provide housing, utilities, food, insurance, and a monthly stipend for young adults and will allow us to hire a Site Coordinator, the staff leader who will recruit and mentor young adults in our program.

To do this, we have started a GoFundMe Campaign to launch the Motor City Mission Corps into action. Please visit the link, and if you are able to do so, I encourage you to give. Even small gifts go a long way when a number of people give collectively.

Your financial giving will lay a strong foundation that will ensure the vitality and sustainability of the Motor City Mission Corps into a long and healthy future.

Why I Believe in the Motor City Mission Corps

Without question, the Motor City Mission Corps is on the short list of projects I am proudest to have helped create. Our team is strong, and we believe in our vision.

This is why I believe in that vision:

1) I believe in Detroit. There are many economic and infrastructure challenges in Detroit, but there are also resources of ingenuity, strength, and longevity. Our program will practice Asset Based Community Development. We believe that Detroit’s residents will be the best teachers and mentors for young adults, and we honor the gifts and perspectives they will bring to solve problems in their own communities.

2) I believe in young adults. I have had a lot of experience working with young adults over the years, and I celebrate the energy, questions, and vitality they bring to organizations and opportunities for service. We will recruit young adults who are eager to learn and grow; they will do this through relationships with site placement staff members, local residents, and their cohort of young adult peers.

3) I believe in community ownership. We believe strongly in this program we have dreamed together, but it is not ours alone. In fact, it is not fully realized. It needs the vision and support of the wider community.

Though we need funding to make all of this happen, I am not merely talking about finances. We need individuals, families, congregations, and community organizations to add their perspectives, ideas, and encouragement to this great dream that is emerging among us.

This is why I believe in the Motor City Mission Corps. I hope you will add your encouragement and support to this dream too.

Renee Roederer

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