Life Together provides training and support for radical Christian transformation. Contemplative, communal, and prophetic teachings and practices are woven throughout Life Together’s program.
All fellowships include service at one of our 19 placement sites and for Life Together; learning together through orientation, monthly trainings, retreats, and other opportunities; community experience through intentional living and prayer partners in one of 4 houses across Eastern Massachusetts; and spirituality deepened through chant, lectio divina, Christian meditation and spiritual direction.
We leverage strategic partnerships with high-impact churches, schools, and community agencies to train emerging leaders and to work toward structural change in local communities. In general, fellows will serve where the need is greatest. But their placements are also meant to be places where they can engage in work that speaks to their heart, challenges them to ask big questions, and brings them joy.
Site placements include churches, schools, and non-profit community agencies. Micah and Emmaus fellows serve at site placements in the Greater Boston area, and Esperanza teaching fellows teach at Esperanza Academy in Lawrence.
Non-teaching fellows work 32 hours per week at their site. In the past, fellows have worked on education reform, hunger relief, health-care reform, civic engagement, job training, pastoral ministry, prison reform, and youth development. All fellows are supervised by an organizational staff member and will complete a learning agreement, along with midyear and final evaluations with their site supervisors.
Incoming fellows interview with five sites over the summer and are matched with their site before arrival at the end of August. Site matching is done by Life Together staff based on (1) preferences given by both fellows and host sites and (2) the projected fit between the learning goals of the fellow and the needs of a site.
Life Together's curriculum focuses on nurturing strong leadership grounded in social justice and radical love. Fellows develop skills, practices, knowledge, and postures related to both interior and exterior leadership, and both personal and social transformation. The curriculum is designed so that fellows can put new skills into practice directly in their site placements and intentional communities, and regularly reflect on their experiences.
Our curriculum begins with an intensive two-week orientation, followed by day-long thematic workshops on the third Fridays of each month. Some examples of training themes include: non-violent communication, community organizing, vocational discernment, public narrative movement-building, and anti-oppression. Trainings are facilitated by experienced local community leaders and our partners at the Leadership Development Initiative.
In addition to attending training on Fridays, fellows share responsibility for the ongoing recruitment of future fellows and for fundraising. We believe the arts of recruitment and fundraising are critical skills in ministry and social change work that all of our fellows must learn. This learning happens primarily through a project called "Future Fellow Fundraising." This is a form of team-based fundraising and part of a collaborative campaign to raise $60,000 during the year. Each staff member and fellow is responsible for raising at least $600. The money raised goes to help pay the stipends and health insurance for the next cohort of fellows.
All Life Together fellows live in intentional Christian community for ten months. Fellows create their community’s Rule of Life, or living house covenant, to continually shape a healthy rhythm of fellowship, self-care, and communal worship. Fellows share a community meal together each Monday evening and meet three Friday mornings a month with Prayer Partners. Prayer Partners are volunteers--Life Together alumni, priests, spiritual directors, and friends of the program--who accompany our fellows in deepening their learning and spiritual growth as a community.
Fellows live in one of four intentional community houses located in Boston and Lawrence. Our three Boston houses are accessible by public transportation (the "T"). They include The Hill House at St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Milton, St. Luke’s and St. Margaret’s House in Allston, and The Episcopal Chaplaincy at Boston University in Brookline. The latter also serves as the program headquarters, with offices and training space. Esperanza fellows live together in Lawrence.
During orientation and subsequent trainings, fellows learn contemplative worship composed of sacred chant, Lectio Divina scriptural meditation, centering prayer, and silence. Life Together’s SOFIA worship style was developed in partnership with the Leadership Development Initiative, and was especially influenced by the teachings of Episcopal priest and Christian contemplative, the Rev. Cythnia Bourgeault. Fellows have the opportunity to experiment with contemplative practices in their intentional communities and to lead worship in trainings throughout the year.
Fellows meet individually with a Still Harbor Spiritual Director once a month to intentionally engage with their personal spiritual formation. Twice a year, fellows also gather at Bethany House of Prayer for guided retreats to deepen community and spiritual self-awareness. Through our partnership with Society of St. John the Evangelist, fellows are invited to initiate individual silent retreats at their Cambridge monastery guesthouse and the Emery House retreat center in West Newbury free of charge throughout the year.