Students live together and serve at Micah House
October 15, 2012
In a new initiative, six Augustana College students are living together in Micah House, where they will engage in service and hospitality to their nearby Keystone and Floreciente neighborhoods while deepening their own vocational understanding.
Micah House, developed through a partnership between St. John’s Lutheran Church and Augustana College, is designed to be a house of hospitality, servant-hood, communion and prayer. When Micah House, located on 7th Avenue in Rock Island, was bought by St. John’s Lutheran Church, the Rev. Stacie Fidlar and Augustana College Volunteer and Off Campus Coordinator Laura Mahn began collaborating to create a unique and worthwhile experience for Augustana students. Fidlar is a 1991 Augustana graduate.
“We hope that through their experiences at Micah House, the students will learn about themselves and about their place in the greater society,” said Mahn. “We hope they see how their individual gifts can have an impact.”
The students who were chosen to live in Micah House are sincerely interested in deepening their faith and engaging in the community. The students’ majors include biology, pre-medicine, Spanish, religion, classics and psychology. The service projects chosen by the students are as diverse as their majors.
Two of the Augustana students are leading a Bible study that includes a free meal once a week for sixth, seventh and eighth graders, and one student is working with a third-grade teacher in the area to help students with literacy problems. Another Augustana student is helping with St. John’s Lutheran Church’s Wide Open Weekdays (WOW), an after-school program that provides games, homework help and a meal for children. The remaining two of the six Micah House students are working with children and their parents to create illness narratives for families dealing with chronic illness.
Each year six or seven Augustana seniors will be chosen to live in Micah House and take on a long-term service project to help the local neighborhoods. Micah House is open to students of various faith expressions, not just Lutheran, who are open to religious dialogue and feel called to serve their community in a deliberate way.
The students are required to attend a half-day retreat each term and are encouraged to enroll in Prayer, Transformation and Community, a course at Augustana that explores the forms of Christian life through history, with a look at how prayer and community have energized the search for justice and social action.
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