Homecoming

I can’t explain to you why I fell in love with the city of Atlanta. Was it luck? Accident? Or was it the work of the Holy Spirit?

Likewise, I can’t explain the depth of my feeling for the city. It’s more than the museums, theaters, the bright lights and the skyline, the shopping, and the gentrification. It’s the broken parts, too: graffiti, barred windows staring out at overgrown yards, cracked sidewalks, the history of discrimination and segregation, and the legacy of protest that lives on in the street names and in the hearts of the people.

I moved to Atlanta in 2009 and left in 2012. Moving away broke my heart but other loves took priority – education, influence, and success. I finished my bachelor’s degree, then went to seminary.

But as Wendell Berry writes, seven years have gone by and I have been unable to shake off the feeling that I am being led. Ambitions for a Ph.D., a move to Boston, Chicago, or Europe, have been subsumed with love for a city I never wanted to leave.

And so, for the seventh time (!) in the last four years, I am moving, this time to a place that already feels like home.

Details, you ask? Perhaps the above paragraphs have been overly poetic.

In short, I’ve accepted an internship with the DOOR Network/YAV program which “provides young adults opportunities for service, learning, and leadership development in an urban context.”

Service:

The DOOR has placed me at Clifton Sanctuary Ministries, a homeless shelter in the Lake Claire neighborhood. Clifton used to literally be a sanctuary, a former Presbyterian church. Quoting their website, Clifton is an “emergency shelter, a two-year transitional housing program and a rapid-rehousing program.” I think my position will be mostly administrative but the details of the job will have to wait until after I’ve started.

Learning and Leadership Development:

I’ll be living in intentional community with other interns in the Grant Park neighborhood of Atlanta.  The DOOR network encourages continued vocational discernment through community nights, book studies, bible studies, conversations with board members and local leaders. It’s my hope that this part of the internship will prepare me for continued ministry work in Atlanta after my year of service is finished.

How You Can Help:

And I do need help! I believe strongly that it takes a village and so I am reaching out to you, my village, to partner with me for the next year.

First, and most importantly, please pray for me! Transitions are not easy for me, and this one is going to be a doozy. Pray for me as I leave formal education and transition to practical, hands on ministry. Pray that God will give me a spirit of humility and openness to new experiences. Pray for the other interns coming to Atlanta and pray that we will form a strong, supportive community. Pray for my fundraising efforts, which, in the middle of graduation and moving (again!), have gotten off to a slow start.

Second, keep reading! This blog will be the best way for you to keep track of my (mis)adventures in Atlanta and I promise to update regularly and make it interesting.

Finally, this internship will be financially supplemented through many sources, one of which is individual fundraising. I am responsible for raising $3,000 to support my year in Atlanta. If you feel the Spirit urging you to support me in this way, you can do that here. Please designate your donation with my name and city placement: Elizabeth Reid: Atlanta.

I’m very excited to finally be sharing this information with everyone and can’t wait for the official beginning of the internship in August.

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