A Place for Everyone: Trinity Service Corps Receives Development Grant

renovations underway at St. Benedict’s House

In August, Trinity Episcopal Church in Indianapolis will launch Trinity Service Corps, the newest program in the Episcopal Service Corps, a national network of locally organized intentional communities for young adults ages 21-32. In February, the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church awarded Trinity Service Corps a $16,000 Young Adult and Campus Ministries development grant.

The grant, says the Rev. Adam Pierce, associate rector at Trinity and the program director of the new venture, is a “tremendous opportunity for us to say, ‘This is an idea to get excited about.’ This thing is really coming together for us.”

Episcopal Service Corps participants commit to a year of local service as well as a household rule of life, regular spiritual direction, discernment and community practices. Corps members receive housing, health coverage, and small stipends to cover living expenses, transportation and food. The program’s defining characteristic, say leaders and alumni, is the concept of “intentional community,” which Episcopal Service Corps defines as “an attempt to live out Jesus’ commandment to love one’s neighbor as oneself in a literal and purposeful way.”

Episcopal Service Corps’ emphasis on community makes the physical space in which corps members live particularly important, Pierce says. The grant will fund renovations to the kitchen and communal living space of St. Benedict’s House, the house on Trinity’s campus where corps members will live. “The idea of intentional community was huge for us,” Pierce says, “We really want to make sure these spaces foster the idea of community and gathering.”

The renovations won’t just benefit corps members. The house, Pierce says, will be for everyone—a communal gathering space where corps members can engage with the neighborhood. “Trinity, over its 100-year history, has really seen itself in the neighborhood. It wants to be an institution to build relationships with neighbors,” he says. “A lot of folks at Trinity are already doing community building and engagement. People really want to see Indianapolis be a place for everyone.”

Episcopal Service Corps participants typically work with community partners for four days each week and participate in spiritual and community-building programs on Fridays. In Indianapolis, service assignments will include work at Trinity Haven and Indiana Youth Group, two organizations dedicated to making sure that LGBTQ youth and young adults have a home in Indianapolis. Other corps members will work with programs dedicated to food justice, education, and advocacy.

“I’m incredibly grateful that they see the value in this ministry,” Pierce says of the community partners who will host corps members. “They were interested because they appreciated the value-added aspect of Episcopal Service Corps and what the programs offers participants. Leadership in this arena takes a certain level of spiritual depth and stamina.”

Although the first participants won’t arrive in Indianapolis for several more months, Pierce is already eager to meet them. “On one hand, I’m just excited to meet the people who said yes to something new,” he says. “But more than anything, I’m excited to introduce people to this community and to the city of Indianapolis.”

Applications for the 2022-2023 Trinity Service Corps program year are still open. To learn more and apply, visit Trinity Service Corps’ website.

© 2021 Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis