When bringing your group, if you like, you can pick a focus or two for your time here.
While at JPUSA, your group will be serving at CCO. In order to prepare your group, you can use this curriculum: EPIC (Ending Poverty in Community). “The lessons will introduce participants to the epidemic of poverty in the United States and to the steps they can take to work with the poor in eliminating the root causes of poverty today. The curriculum comprises six lessons with classroom-ready handouts, warm-up exercises and reflection activities that reinforce student learning and inspire a faith response.”
If you have a small group with particular skills and would like to donate your time, we will waive your fee in exchange for your skilled labor. Contact us if you have plumbing, construction or other skills that you would like to use here at JPUSA.
The idea of intentional community might be new to some in your group. JPUSA is part of the Nurturing Communities Project, “bringing together more experienced and newer communities for learning and inspiration.” A list of 20 different intentional communities (including JPUSA) can be found here. L’Arche is an organization that we have gotten a lot of inspiration from; they have 147 communities in 35 different countries.
Art & Music
Our community has always had an emphasis on art and music. From the beginning days of Rez Band to today, we have nurtured young musicians and artists in their craft. It is not unusual to come across people making music spontaneously and the lobby of our house is filled with original artwork and photography. If your group is especially musical or artistic, we can do a songwriting workshop, fiber art projects, paint a mural, or make cigar-box guitars (some additional fees may apply).
Living in community means that we have to learn to communicate well with each other. We can help your group become more of a community by doing some team building exercises around the following topics: goal-setting, conflict resolution, critical thinking, communication, and accountability. These games can be a great way to prepare for this type of trip. A few good things to watch are Brene Brown’s Ted Talk (language & content warning – preview it for your group), Russell Brand on Democracy Now, or try this with your group.
The morning devotions, activities and reflections will be centered around your area of focus.