The power of Restorative Community is not only the impact it has on participants, but the extent to which it enriches and benefits the congregation. Congregational involvement is critical to the success of the program. Congregants who volunteer as mentors, cooks and program presenters often report a renewal and an enhanced understanding of the larger systemic issues impacting marginalized populations.
They are invited to share in the weekly meals that are one of the cornerstones of the program. "Breaking bread" provides wonderful fellowship and connection. In addition to joining for meals, other volunteer opportunities include:
Congregants are paired with participants based on shared interests and compatibility. Mentors partner with participants as they set and reach personal goals. Empathy, authenticity, respect and acceptance are the hallmarks of a healthy, trusting mentor-mentee relationship. Mentors receive training, a mentor’s workbook, and are supported by program staff and the broader community as they journey with participants through the program.
Cooks and Hosts
Each evening begins with a meal, usually prepared and served by congregants, who share fellowship and a time for reflection before groups for learning and healing begin.
Presenters may teach networking, job-search, and other concrete skills during the program segment of the evening. Presentations can also include a focus on relational skills, mindfulness and yoga.