Lutheran Volunteer Corps: Living and Serving in Community

Colleen O'Connor, Lutheran Volunteer

Colleen O'Connor, Lutheran Volunteer

An interview with Colleen O’Connor, an exiting Lutheran Volunteer in St. Paul, MN.

I wanted to get a perspective from a current service participant who is preparing to move on in life, as the term of service wraps up. And I wanted to get the perspective on a non-AmeriCorps program, since there are so many!

Tell me about your program – Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC). How is it different from AmeriCorps or Peace Corps? Why did you choose it?

What makes LVC different from many AmeriCorps programs is that LVC is meant to be a holistic, whole-life program. LVC isn’t just about our job; it encompasses the rest of our lives, as well. I live with other volunteers in an intentional community, participate in retreats and social events, and am asked to explore social justice, community, spirituality, and simplicity. In some ways LVC is definitely more restrictive because I can’t always do whatever I want with my out-of-work life.

I am asked to spend weekly time with my housemates, attend trainings and retreats, and not have an outside job or class for credit. But this is also why I chose LVC, because I wanted to live in community and really get everything possible out of this experience.

There are other similar programs (such as Jesuit Volunteer Corps and Mennonite Volunteer Service), but LVC is one of only two such programs in the Twin Cities, and I knew I wanted to be here. The other (the St. Continue reading