Interview with Myriam, an emerging adult in Denver, Colorado
Nestled in a tree-lined neighborhood in Denver lies First CRC of Denver. First CRC is one of many churches in North America that is pioneering new programs to involve emerging adults in their congregation. What is First’s solution? A program called “Enfold” that repurposes their unused parsonage into a discipleship house for the next generation of congregants and leaders.
According to First CRC’s website, “The Enfold program is a year-long residency program for recent college graduates and emerging adults who seek to serve God in their careers and to find their place in his family, the church.”
Each year, three to five residents are selected to live together rent-free in church-provided housing. Enfold’s vision and mission for its residents is threefold: that they “…engage the community as Christ’s representatives… discover their place in God’s family through participation in the church… and be discipled by the pastors through vocational mentoring.”
Myriam, a nurse and recent graduate of Dordt University, was eager to talk about her journey to Enfold and Colorado.
“During the spring of my senior year, I went on a service trip to Colorado. I mentioned to the person we were volunteering with that I was looking at jobs in the Denver area, and she told me about the Enfold program that First CRC was starting,” she said. “I wanted to work in the US for a year or so while I worked on transferring my nursing license home to Canada.”
“When I first heard about the opportunity, I thought it would be a great way to make connections in Denver. It was nice not to have to choose a church to attend. I was able to get involved with the church faster than I would have otherwise.”
As she settled into her new life, Myriam has had to figure out what it means to be an adult seeking out a relationship with the Lord separately from required chapel or religion classes at school.
“It was suddenly on me to make sure I was growing my faith and staying close to God,” she said. “I have been meeting with someone from the church who is also a nurse. She has helped me understand how I can express my faith at work.”
As opportunities similar to Enfold begin to emerge, other churches may take inspiration from programs that intentionally build relationships and community around their emerging adults.
One thing that Myriam thinks churches could do better to engage her generation is inviting them into leadership.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever been asked to lead a program. I know there is a need, and most young adults would be more than willing to help, but they aren’t inclined to do so if they aren’t asked.”
Myriam’s thoughts and experiences are a compelling call to action for present church leaders. There is a younger generation standing by, ready to lead, if only someone would ask.
Myriam is an ICU nurse originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading, skiing, and spending time with friends.