QuadW Missional Internship provides life transforming lessons
by Rev. Marian Royston
There are many lessons that we hope to instill in the hearts and minds of young Christians before they fully enter society on their own—the power of prayer, the beauty of service and the grace that is found in community. Almost all of us who have internalized these lessons know that they are learned best by experience. Life is a great teacher for us all, but often we need help interpreting and reflecting upon our experiences. This is the simple brilliance of the QuadW Missional Internship (QuadW). It is an internship that allows young adults to experience and make sense of community, service, and Christian spirituality throughout the summer.
QuadW gives young adults the opportunity to live in community with one another throughout the summer. This living entails sharing space, chores, and meals. Negotiating the ups and downs of daily life is formative enough in itself. Yet, there is more. Interns also serve a community together. There are several different kinds of worksites. For example, some may work with children, others may serve people experiencing poverty and homelessness, and others may work with adults with disabilities. Finally, interns also participate in activities that facilitate reflection and growth. Through worship, scripture reading, group accountability, and mentoring, interns can better understand God’s work in the community, the world, and their own lives.
I served as a QuadW intern several years ago and I count it as one of the most transformative experiences of my young adulthood. It truly set me on a path that blends spirituality and service in a life-giving way. Too often, we as Christians are tempted to overvalue either service of spiritual disciplines in our lives with God. This is a false separation. Both are necessary as followers of Christ, and they support one another. I met God in people I encountered daily, but I would not have been able to properly recognize God in them without the individual spiritual work.
QuadW is not easy. I was required to stretch to the end of myself during my time as an intern. Living with others comes with frustrations that required me to confront my negative qualities, while also having grace for the negative qualities of others. Serving in a community full of beautiful people who seemed to be forgotten and disregarded by the rest of society allowed me to experience anger and sorrow. Watching the people of the community flourish, care for one another, and persevere through this allowed me to experience hope and grace as I never had before.
For those reasons, I believe in the impact of missional experiences in the life of young Christians. QuadW is an effective model for molding enthusiasm and idealism into something useable. It provides space and opportunity for spiritual, emotional, and intellectual maturity—three forms of maturity that cannot be taken for granted in our world.
I am currently serving full-time in vocational ministry. I am also in my final year of seminary and actively pursuing ordination in the United Methodist Church. QuadW has certainly been an important part of my journey to being here. This year, I will serve as the site director for the Huntsville, AL site. I am excited to walk alongside a new group of young adults who are seeking a deeper relationship with God.
Are you looking for a summer transforming internship or do you know young adults between the ages 19-23? Huntsville, Alabama, or Birmingham, Alabama, is waiting for you. We still have spots for both sites set to begin June 1-July 27, 2022.
Apply today at www.quadwmi.org
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