CITYSojourn ONE YEAR is an eleventh-month internship for young adults, ages 21-26, who are interested in exploring the intersection of faith, community, and social justice. 

Live in southeast Canton while learning from those you live alongside. Service in the various ministries that are offered through the Lighthouse and our community partners. Gather weekly to engage and discuss the issues surrounding poverty, race, and peace & justice. Be mentored by urban leaders.  

We exist to provide young adults with opportunities for spiritual formation and personal development through year-long internships; by serving, learning, and living in an inner-city neighborhood.

We desire to see people, regardless of calling and career path, embrace the complexities of culture, poverty, race, and community development; to be empowered as Kingdom citizens offering healing and hope in a broken world.

Communal Living
Spiritual Formation
Leadership Development
Experiential Activism

Canton, founded in 1805, is a city that has seen its fair share of ups and downs. From being the largest producer of agricultural equipment in the world in the mid-1800’s and developing into a thriving industrialized city of more than 110,000, to the devastating blows of the Great Depression in the 20’s and the loss of the steel industry in the 1940’s. Canton became a city desperately trying to reinvent itself, often making decisions that left the city’s most vulnerable and under-represented neighborhoods decimated.

Redlining, and discriminatory housing, employment and banking practices set the stage for Federal Highway development programs and Urban Renewal to displace and tear apart thousands of African American families in southeast Canton, leaving them at the mercy of federal housing programs which served to only further fracture the family unit. Today, 50 years later, 70% of the population in the southeast still lives in public housing… The children the Lighthouse serves today are, for the most part, growing up in generational poverty; their hopes and dreams for the future often limited. The Lighthouse intentionally speaks into this reality.

The primary goal of Lighthouse Ministries is to be a strong community presence, meeting the social-emotional, cognitive, physical, and spiritual needs of at-risk children and families who live in Southeast Canton. Since its outset in 1996, the Lighthouse has focused on identifying community needs and launching programs that enhance the well-being of neighborhood families.

Lighthouse Ministries has devised a three-pronged approach to aiding and empowering neighborhood children and teens: After-School Programming, Youth Ministry Clubs, and Summer Programming

First Mennonite Church is an urban congregation located in southeast Canton that seeks to be a community where people from diverse walks of life can live, worship, and serve together. We are rooted in the way of Jesus, committed to peace and reconciliation, and partnering with Christ in the renewal of all things.

A person who:

  • Is a follower of Jesus;
  • Age 21-26;
  • Sees addressing issues of social injustice as part of living out their faith;
  • Is willing to engage in urban life and live alongside a small group of people (i.e. shared meals, house chores, processing the experience together);
  • Desires to grow spiritually by learning to love God and lover their neighbors
  • Is willing to engage and explore their giftings and how they can be used for the common good as active Kingdom citizens.

We are looking for passionate and committed people like you with a heart for Jesus and justice.

We invite you to join us in a discernment process to see if CITYSojourn ONE YEAR is the right fit for you.

  1. Fill out the online application.
  2. Provide two references.
  3. Go through a discernment interview with CITYSojourn. Interviews are scheduled as applications are submitted.
  4. We will then give you a decision within two weeks of the interview.
  5. Give you time to pray and think before making a final commitment.

CITYSojourn runs Sept 7, 2018 through through July 31, 2019.

April 15: Early bird deadline
June 1: Final deadline

Have questions? Please contact us! 330-915-3013

Financial support for your participation in CITYSojourn ONE YEAR will come primarily in two ways.

You will need to raise $4,800. One idea is for you find twenty people to support you at $20 per month for twelve months (Aug 2018-July 2019). You may also find that your church congregation is willing to place you on their budget or help you raise support in a broader way. 

Additionally our community partners make monthly contributions to help defray the costs of the program.

First Mennonite Church and Lighthouse Ministries also provide many other supports to ensure the viability of the program. When combined these resources enable the CITYSojourn ONE YEAR program to cover your living and program expenses for the year:

  • Rent;
  • Housing utilities;
  • Food expenses;
  • Transportation costs;
  • Monthly stipend for personal spending;
  • Program facilitation;
  • Guest speakers;
  • Educational materials;
  • Conferences and other leadership development opportunities;
  • Interest payments on your student loans while you are actively participating in the program (Sep 2018-July 2019);