Blackburn House is a one-year residential internship program for 3-4 young adults looking to deepen their purpose, spirituality and love for Christ, service ethic, and sense of community in rural Todd, NC.
Intentional Community. Holistic Service. Christian Spirituality.
What is an intentional community?
Intentional communities are planned residential communities designed from the start to have a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision and often follow an alternative lifestyle.
What does the program entail?
Blackburn House is a year-long program where a cohort of 4-5 new residents each year live in and serve together in intentional community based on the model of the early church in Acts 2:43-47. The cohort lives together rent-free in the parsonage of Blackburn’s Chapel UMC. Through prayer, friendship and service the intentional community supports the broader community development work of Blackburn Community Outreach in pursuing social, economic and environmental vitality.
Who would be a good candidate?
This is a great opportunity for students and recent graduates from college, master’s programs and seminary that are interested in a “gap year” for experiential learning or vocational discernment before entering more fully into their careers or further studies. The program is a great fit for anyone interested in taking a year to grow spiritually and hone their understanding of God’s purpose for them in the midst of a supporting cohort of fellow Christians and devoting themselves fully to God’s service in our community. Residents of each cohort are able to develop their ministry leadership and skills, grow in spiritual disciplines, while receiving mentorship and spiritual guidance.
What makes the program unique?
Blackburn House is unique because of its beautiful rural mountain setting, on the edge of the New River, and rich Appalachian heritage, providing ample opportunities for connection to nature and outdoor recreation. The intentional community’s direct relationship to a local congregation is an asset in connecting to Todd and Boone, and rooting the program in a deep and longstanding tradition of faith-in-action. Todd’s eclectic demographics and culture, along with its unincorporated status make for a context that nurtures creativity and resilience. Our program provides the perfect setting for contemplation, connection, learning and service. After four unique cohorts, we are proud of Blackburn House as the flagship and founding program of Blackburn Community Outreach, Inc.
Faithful and authentic participation in six core areas of life is expected of Blackburn House residents: Christian Community, Church Partnership, Community Service, Hospitality, Personal Disciplines, and Simplicity & Sustainability. Areas of service include organic “permaculture” gardening, food preparation and preservation, basic youth tutoring and mentorship, outdoor recreation, event planning and coordinating, community meeting liaisons, community canvassing and mobilization, and more! Residents also volunteer with other Todd and county-level organizations doing similar work. In their second term, residents use BCO’s community engagement strategies to plan and implement “impact projects” of their own design for environmental, economic, and/or social vitality in Todd.
Applicants should demonstrate the following:
Interest/knowledge of Jesus’ radical teachings of love, service, hospitality, and community
Interest and dedication to living faithfully by Jesus’ teachings
Interest/experience living in a rural, mountain community
Interest/experience living in community with 2-3 other young adults
Interest/experience in organic gardening and/or food distribution
Interest/experience working with school-aged (K-12) individuals and/or families
Interest/experience in utilizing listening as a mode of community engagement
Interest/experience in cultivating regular spiritual practices such as prayer and studying sacred texts and other theological writings
Love for potluck meals!
Residents live communally (rent-free) in a parsonage behind a small Methodist chapel. Each resident has their own room, but shares common spaces. Residents receive a monthly stipend as well as weekly, fresh garden produce in the local growing season (May-October).
Contact us for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org!