In August 2020, Mission Year took a historic partnership deeper.
The Simple Way has been one of Mission Year’s partners for over twenty years. We are excited to announce that we became a program of The Simple Way in August 2020.
Over the years, lots of people have wanted to visit The Simple Way and learn from their experiences as an intentional community turned community support organization. As a hyper-local organization, they haven’t always had the best way to receive these folks. Welcoming Mission Year as one of the programs of The Simple Way gives them the ideal way to walk with people who want to go deeper!
Mission Year and The Simple Way have fostered a close collaboration over the years. Our values and aspirations have huge overlap with theirs. The Simple Way’s story is provocative and poignant, and moves people to want to act, and Mission Year offers concrete pathways for people to explore the intersection of faith, life, and justice. We’re excited about the ways this will expand our work!
How will Mission Year change?
While the Mission Year organization will end, the work will continue with the one year program continuing under the leadership of the current program director, Ra Mendoza.
Who will lead the work now?
Caz Tod Pearson is the Executive Director of The Simple Way and will continue in that role. She previously worked for Mission Year for 13 years. Ra Mendoza has worked with Mission Year the past 10 years, and will lead the programs of The Simple Way, including the Mission Year traditional one year program, and TSW Open Houses.
Who is The Simple Way?
The Simple Way is an organization that has supported neighbors in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia for the past 22 years. TSW started when a group of friends moved into Kensington, motivated to love and care for people both in their neighborhood and around the world. Now, we’re a mix of folks who grew up in Kensington and others who became neighbors more recently. Our work is rooted in genuine love for each other.
With neighbors, TSW celebrates together, gardens, and works to make the neighborhood beautiful. TSW collaborates locally in practical ways, like working for food security and connecting people with nearby resources, and works to advocate for systemic change.
Why partner with The Simple Way?
The Simple Way and Mission Year have fostered a close collaboration over the years. As Mission Year has seen traditional recruitment channels change, we have had to consider organizational partnerships to support our infrastructure and increase recruitment opportunities. We believe that housing our work under The Simple Way gives us the opportunity to continue the work of Mission Year with a similar vision and purpose.
Mission Year offers concrete pathways for people to explore the intersection of faith, life, and justice, but have not had the same access to people who want to investigate these themes as we once did. The Simple Way has people who want to explore these topics, but few existing mechanisms to do so. Thus, the two organizations will collaborate more deeply and combine forces in Kensington, Philadelphia.
Does this change the Mission Year values?
The Simple Way and Mission Year have collaborated and established a new, shared mission statement, values and practices that combine the common values of both organizations.
Love God. Love People. Follow Jesus.
We are a community that desires to cultivate a neighborhood and a world where all belong and thrive together by encouraging people to come alive in their gifts and purpose, building beloved community across all dividing lines, and advocating for justice.
We value and practice:
Collaboration – rooted in solidarity
Radical Hospitality – intentional community, generosity and presence
Generative Diversity – practicing inclusion that moves towards wholeness
Action Oriented Justice – learning, activism and service
Where will Mission Year be located?
The Simple Way is rooted in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Our Mission Year teams will be located in neighborhoods in and around Philadelphia.
Who will receive donations?
The Simple Way is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, and can receive all donations. As of August 1st, 2020 all money given in the support of the work of Mission Year will be given to The Simple Way.