Apply now to be a part of Jonathan Daniels House in 2016-2017.

Why choose JDH?   

If you are selected to be one of our Residents for 2016-2017:

You will serve at one of our non-profit partners, such as FarmFresh Rhode Island, United Way, St Mary's Home for Children, McAuley Village, or the Community Care Agency. We are particularly seeking applicants with an education or social science background for some of our placements.   Some of the projects our current Residents are working with:

  • a jobs training program for juvenile offenders who learn culinary and customer service skills while turning locally-grown produce into yummy sauces and preserves
  • case-management with victims of sex trafficking
  • administering a major fundraising campaign which will raise over $300,000 to distribute to dozens of local nonprofits
  • facilitating public dialogues about how New England was complicit in the slave trade and how we can begin to face the damage this did
  • helping coordinate discussions between public safety leaders and religious leaders to address issues of police violence

You will engage with issues of racial justice, spiritual growth, and what you’re being called to do next with your life, all in a supportive community of peers.  Be ready to have your assumptions challenged, your soul enriched, and your vision transformed.

You will get comfy in our house in East Providence, with easy access to affordable shopping, dining, and a beautiful bike path.

You will live in a city which is constantly ranked on “Best of” lists for food, arts, culture, and a vibrant young adult community.

You can check out our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds for more info about our daily life.

If you (or someone you know) are 22-30 years old, have a college degree, and are intrigued by the idea of spending 10 months working for justice, living simply, and growing spiritually in a program rooted in a progressive Christian perspective, then why don't you . . .

Apply now!   The application process is administered through the nationwide Episcopal Service Corps.  Select "Jonathan Daniels House" as one of your preferred sites.

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Version 2

Bryan's doing great work this year at his placement site, Farm Fresh RI, and in reflecting on the themes of the program, and we love having him as a Jonathan Daniels House Resident. Bryan’s thoughts and questions in this piece are his own and he does not speak for the Diocese of Rhode Island or Farm FreshRI.   Here are some of his reflections on his experiences thus far.

Thoughts on. . .

Coming from Iowa to Rhode Island

My name is Bryan from Iowa, it’s got a nice ring to it. NOT Idaho or Ohio, or Idaohioa for that matter either. We have oceans of corn, soybeans and pork ... not potatoes! There are actually more pigs than people in Iowa.

Time for some fun math to teach y’all how ridiculously compact your state is. Lil’ Rhode Island is 1,212  sq. miles with about 1 million people. Middle-of-nowhere Iowa is 56,272 sq. miles: about 50 times larger than Rhode Island, but Iowa contains only three times the number of people. So LIl’ Rhode Island contains one-third of the population of Iowa, in only 2% of the space. That’s some dense area of opportunity.

I graduated in May of 2015 from Luther College, a small liberal arts school situated in the picturesque bluffs of Northeast Iowa. I received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology--particularly focused on sustainable agriculture and methods of intensive food production. There is a widely accepted statistic that ⅓ of food produced in America’s food production system is wasted entirely, ending up in a landfill. My hope for the future is to work on tying off these waste streams, and turning them into affordable, value-added products focusing on food justice for families in low socio-economic brackets. This, however, is a big project, and food systems are absurdly complex. So I am starting small, and just trying to soak up as much real experience as possible. A college education teaches you a lot about a lot of things, but very little about valuable day to day things.

 Diversity and Division:

I came to Rhode Island with hopes of experiencing greater diversity than what’s present in Iowa, and oh boy, did that hope become a reality. One-third of the people in 1/50th of the space. It has been a challenge understanding my own place in such a divided world, where racial inequality has been ingrained in society from the start, where the very city’s infrastructure elucidates the presence of discrimination.

Rhode Island is a place with a complicated and complex history, where I have been challenged, grappling with racial tensions: whether or not white people are safe in the ‘projects’, making friends with people of varying races and being the “whitest” guy they’ve ever met. I am slowly internalizing the fact that racism is a system of oppression needing to be changed, not a set of individual actions which can simply be avoided. Sure it’s great to not publicly insult people of different races anymore, but what does that do to help provide family structure for kids whose fathers are incarcerated? What does that do to make healthy food available to low income neighborhoods where a grocery store is miles away?

How does one go about changing a system that is the problem, especially when simply changing one’s actions is far from enough? and moreover, when my white privileged voice does not want to be heard? When my own privilege discounts my opinion because it equates with a lack of understanding? When my faith is rooted so deeply in science, a field often discounted in religious settings? Where is my place in this divided world? Just because I am white, does NOT mean I fit in—there are other parts of my story and identity which I feel put me on the “outside”--but am I allowed to be an “other,” too?

Working at Farm Fresh RI: Food and Justice and Community:

I am currently working at Farm Fresh Rhode Island, a local food distribution company that connects local farmers to local eaters. Here I have been blessed with a ton of diverse experiences: speaking Spanish at the Armory Park farmers market, and collaborating with Brown University students to improve their farmers market and helping others become more involved in the local food system. Once a week I have been assisting on a truck with food deliveries around Providence, seeing the back alleys of downtown, and meeting the chefs who are caring and able to buy fresh local food. I got to plan, choose the farm source, order and pack $1,000 of food into 70 veggie boxes with the Stop N’ Shop PeaPod program. I have visited orchards, some farms, and a local apiary (bee farm). I was invited to join a meeting with the leaders of the Newport Restaurant Group.

Lastly, I have been supporting, representing, and selling for Harvest Kitchen, my favorite program at Farm Fresh. Harvest Kitchen works with social justice and youth in the criminal justice system to teach them professional culinary skills. They work to source produce that local farmers have in excess, and turn it into a value-added products such as apple chips, stewed tomatoes, garlic dilly beans, peaches, and more.

I love the power food has to bring people together in conversation and commitment; youth at Harvest Kitchen, staff, and volunteers eat together as a community every day in the kitchen, working to overcoming prejudices and find common strings of understanding. Yes, people from different places with different colored skin, can be very different. But at God’s table, a table of acceptance, humility, love and grace, differences become mute and commonalities become clear in the presence of communal nourishment.

 Local? Connect with Bryan:

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Rhode Island so far, and I have so much more i am looking forward to learning. I just wish y’all would slow down and chill out, and let each other go ahead rather than push each other around!

Please come find me every Saturday this winter from 9-1 at the Winter Farmer’s Market at  Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket –we’re the largest Winter Farmers Market in New England! Also, reach out to me via e-mail if you would like Farm Fresh to connect with your church in some way: bryan (at) farmfreshri (dot) org .


Bryan Bjorklund


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JDH orientation lunch
Hosting our first guests for a home-cooked lunch during orientation
Helping with the diocesan booth at WaterFire, thanks to sponsorship by Thrivent Financial
Helping with the diocesan booth at WaterFire, thanks to sponsorship by Thrivent Financial
Praying Evening Prayer
Praying Evening Prayer on the shoreline near Newport during Orientation.
Sampling Rhode Island seafood during Orientation
Sampling Rhode Island seafood during Orientation
JDH family chaarity and alicia orientation
Growing together as a House family

jdh edri waterfire 1
Helping at the diocesan booth at WaterFire

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Charles Lane Cowen is a professional actor and theatre director who was managing a theatre company in Newport RI, when he discerned charles cowen headshota call to priesthood. He began his formal preparation for ordination with a year at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, and is now spending a year as a JDH Resident as a way of continuing that training, before returning to seminary.  His worksite placement is Episcopal Charities, where he is the Assistant to the Director, Peggy Amatore.

He is really enjoying an opportunity to learn more about how to raise funds for outreach, an important priority for all parishes, and getting to know many of the parishes around the diocese.  He has a special interest in the creative ministries of the Church Beyond the Walls and the Church of the Beloved.

He's the only Resident of this year's cohort with previous ties to RI, so he has been helping his housemates get to know people and navigate the state.  He's also been generous in sharing his knowledge of Anglican theology with the non-Episcopalians in the House, and his love of popular media culture with everyone.


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Alicia comes to RI from Enon, Ohio, after graduating from Hope College in Holland, Michigan.  However, like several other of our JDH Residents, she spent her early years in thPhoto for 3sixtye deep South, having grown up in Mississippi.
Alicia's worksite placement is the United Way of Rhode Island (UWRI),  The first part of the year she has been helping as an Ambassador for the United Way's annual giving campaign, helping employees in public agencies around the state learn about the important work UWRI enables and how they can support it with payroll deductions.  She has also been getting to see some of the on-the-ground programs the United Way supports, such as tutoring and literacy classes, and will be doing more of that engagement in the spring.

Alicia's passion for racial justice work comes from several experiences--growing up in racially-segregated Mississippi and then moving to the north; and also being part of an intentional living and learning community in college which focused on faith and justice issues.

The daughter of two church musicians and music professors, Alicia loves to sing, and also loves beaches and water and nautical-themed things, so she is an excellent fit for Rhode Island!


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chaarity williams picChaarity Williams comes to Rhode Island from Memphis, although she spent her early years in Texas. She is a graduate of Memphis University,j where she studied Spanish and Portuguese and psychology.

Chaarity's service site placement is with the new Center for Reconciliation, where she is working on development, communications, and community outreach programs and getting to see the birth and organization of a brand-new non-profit organization from the ground up. One of her many passions is fighting human trafficking, and she is also volunteering with Day One, which helps women who are victims of domestic abuse or trafficking to find a new life.  She is also a Zumba instructor, and loves dancing.

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Version 2Bryan "Bob" Bjorklund comes to us from Iowa.  He is a graduate of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and was very active in the youth and young adult ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa.  He describes himself as a "biology nerd," and brought a fish tank with him to Providence, though he misses the turtles he had to leave behind in Iowa.

His service site placement is FarmFreshRI, where he is helping connect the people of Rhode Island with accessible healthy locally-grown produce.  Some of his work is focused on Harvest Kitchen, a program for high-school youth who have had some encounter with the criminal justice system, teaching them  cooking and business and life skills as they help turn excess produce into marketable sauces and preserves.

When Bob is not getting up at dawn to help pack boxes of vegetables for distribution to FarmFresh customers or visiting farmers to learn more about their work, he can be found on his bike on the East Bay Bike Path, or helping his housemates find creative ways of cooking with the vegetables in their own FarmFresh subscription veggie box.

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