St. Andrew’s has a fairly new program called Grace-On-The-Hill, “a partnership between St. Andrew’s Church and the Diocese of Virginia that invites young adults to live in community while engaging deeply in the social, relational, economic and ecological regeneration of the Oregon Hill neighborhood and the wider community of Richmond, VA.”
The first couple of weeks of Grace-on-the-Hill, living in Richmond/Oregon Hill, and my work site have been wonderful. Everything is still new, exciting, and just a tiny bit overwhelming. I’m glad that I’m feeling a little more settled. Each day I’m adjusting more and more to my new surroundings.
The spirituality, service, community, and social justice embedded within the Grace-on-the-Hill program are intriguing. I was especially drawn to this program when I learned more about Oregon Hill/Richmond and the work sites. I am so happy to be here! I am excited to be somewhere new, yet not very far away from where I grew up in Maryland. I really like where I live. I appreciate the small town and close-knit feel of Oregon Hill while still being able to walk, bike, or take a bus to most places. I love being able to walk to church and my work site. There are many exciting places to go in Richmond. On Labor Day, Vincent, a friend of his, and I went to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. I adore the arts, especially visual arts, and truly enjoyed my visit. We stayed mostly in the abstract art section of the museum. The museum offers much to see and I look forward to going back and exploring different parts of the gallery.
My work site at William Byrd Community House is very rewarding. I yearn to work in social justice and health and am eager to work in areas related to these topics. I have a particular interest in food and nutrition. I often read about such topics for pure enjoyment and recreation. I love how the overarching theme of WBCH is building self-sufficiency. I believe this is the ultimate way of helping and serving people. This agency addresses immediate basic needs and then helps people progress and become self-sufficient. One of these most basic needs reflects my particular area of interest in food and food justice. I consider myself a big advocate for local food for a variety of health, environmental, and social/ community related reasons. I’m excited about being a part of the library/ education-community garden-farmlet-farmer’s market area of the agency. WBCH’s programs connect harmoniously. For example, the onsite farmlet contributes to the agency’s food pantry. I look forward to help further connect more programs of WBCH. The area of WBCH in which I work supports access to fresh, healthy, local food to communities that face barriers to such food. One of our goals is to further connect with communities and address these challenges. So far I have been oriented, attended meetings, collected and organized information, and have helped out at the farmer’s market. Did I mention how excited I am to be working here?! I see my whole experience in Richmond, Grace-on-the-Hill, and William Byrd Community House as a true blessing. I am so grateful to be part of such a supportive community and to be working in areas of my most profound interests.