Join Us: Five Program Values of the RSHM Volunteer Program

Commitment to the Five Values

1. Simple Living
The RSHM Volunteer Program is asking volunteers to seek to live the richness of life more simply focused on people and their needs rather than material things. Volunteers are invited to strive to remain open to a variety of opinions and points of view as they present themselves in encounters with team members of partnering communities. 

2. Spirituality
Volunteers have the opportunity to enhance their spirituality through reflection and action throughout their service experience. Through retreats, community reflection, ie. spirituality nights, and other gatherings, volunteers can challenge themselves to put their faith into action. Volunteers are encouraged to gather with the RSHM and share in greater community reflection. 

3. Social Justice
It’s important to understand the distinction between charity and justice and how the one year service program can promote and seek justice versus providing charity. 
Charity Justice
1. In response to accidental event 1. In response to human act
2. Person-to-Person 2. Structural
3. Spontaneous Reaction 3. Requires Reflection
4. Non-controversial 4. Controversial
5. Relieves Symptoms 5. Addresses causes

Volunteers have the opportunity to better understand the realities of poverty in our community and world through developing relationships with those they serve. Through increased knowledge and understanding
of systemic challenges, volunteers will be a voice for positive change in our world.

4. Building Community
Volunteers live in an intentional community where they provide support to one another, share their experiences of service and commit to building open and honest relationships. Volunteers work together to set community goals and challenge one another to live a life of simplicity in solidarity with those they serve. 

5. Zeal
Bringing passion, love and life to all those we encounter. Zeal is an energy and enthusiasm in all things. Zeal is a flame of love that allows us to work respectfully with each other to end injustice. Zeal allows us liberation and freedom to go and meet the needs of others commitment/steadfastness. 

Other important values to consider: 

During your placement process and orientation you may experience vagueness in the actual description of your work.  There can be unforeseen changes in the job descriptions.  Therefore, a healthy sense of flexibility is essential, and one that you will undoubtedly be invited to learn over your year. 
In our work and in our lives as, we perceive reciprocity or a mutual exchange.  We are not bringing something to “these people” which they do not already have.  Rather, we walk together as companions, and through our association we are both encouraged to personal and spiritual enrichment. We are working in solidarity.  We are invited to participate, not to bring changes or advice.  Rather than owning our job we realize that we plant seeds, which in the larger scheme may bear fruit, long after our presence has faded.  With this acknowledgment, we might attend to the more immediately felt change -- that is, the change within myself.
Personal Prayer
When making important decisions, being immersed in the commotion of our work, new relationships and cultural adjustments, finding a quiet prayerful time will enhance our attentiveness to the movements of the spirit and the subtle promptings, which are the desires of God and our true self. Spirituality is the inner reality from which animates the lived outer expression of living simply, witnessing faith, doing justice, and building community.  Without prayer: living simply becomes legalism; community becomes housemates randomly living together; witnessing faith becomes privatized ritual; and doing justice takes the form of an individualistic crusade. 
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