Advancing National Service

Watch: How Faith Communities Advance National Service

December 18, 2014
Watch: How Faith Communities Advance National Service
Lutheran Volunteer Corps joins NationSwell for a video Q&A. YouTube
In a video Q&A, Lutheran Volunteer Corps talks with NationSwell about the connection between spirituality and service.

The Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC) is one of a range of voluntary service programs steeped in spirituality. In 1980, only nine volunteers were a part of this model of “a year of service, a lifetime of commitment.” Today, LVC volunteers are matched with 120 nonprofits in 13 cities across the United States.

As part of a series of Google Hangouts On Air featuring service opportunities, NationSwell hosted a live video Q&A with national program director Hierald Osorto, recruitment and outreach manager Elizabeth Flomo and LVC volunteer Drew Bongiovanni.

“I see service as the greatest way for people to build community and relationships, overcome divides, and see change,” Bongiovanni says of what drew her to join LVC and led to her placement at the Washington Interfaith Network in Washington, D.C.

In the video Q&A, she talks about how central spirituality is to her service and some of the questions she has wrestled with during her service year.

“We’re not saying that we just tolerate people, but we’re willing to really engage in the tensions that come with differences,” Osorto says of what LVC means by its emphasis on an inclusive community.

Flomo talks about the holistic program involved in an LVC year of service — from serving in your placement city to participating in programming led by LVC staff.

“Engaging faith communities in the national service movement is critical to achieving the Franklin Project’s goal of making a service year a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans,” says Yasmeen Shaheen-McConnell, Program Manager for the Franklin Project, and an AmeriCorps alumna who served with the Arab American Resource Corps. “Service is a key aspect of most faith traditions, and faith-based corps have led the way in providing service opportunities for many Americans.”

LVC volunteers are placed at organizations as diverse as Bread for the city in Washington, D.C.; Hospice House in Omaha, Neb.; Citizens for a Healthy Bay in Tacoma, Wash. and Volunteer Legal Services Homeless Advocacy Project in Berkeley, Calif. While the corps is a Christian ministry, it is open to people of all faiths and has become the most religiously diverse faith based volunteer program in the U.S.

Watch the video then click the Take Action button to learn how you can join NationSwell and The Franklin Project to spread the word on service year opportunities.