The Basics for a Voluntary Social Year with us

Our Core Values for Community Living

1. Taking the risk to trust?
Our community life is built upon a foundation of trust. During this year together, we want to learn and live out what it practically means to place

  • trust in ourselves,
  • trust in other people
  • and trust in God.

2. Living in reconciliation

Here at the Reichenberg Fellowship, we believe that a life of reconciliation means rooting our lives in a conscious “yes” to God, to ourselves and to those around us. This creates an environment in which we can address conflicts, bear tension and seek solutions.?We are convinced that where reconciliation is practiced, people experience its life-giving strength.

3. Practicing commitment

Community living cannot succeed without commitment.

This involves sacrificing time for each other and with each other. For example:

  • By spending regular time together on special evenings with your team of flat mates, in seminars, or on retreats.
  • By spending regular time with God, in celebrating Holy Communion, in one-on-one sharing and in times of prayer.

4. Taking on responsibility

The Jewish philosopher of religion Martin Buber coined the phrase: “You shall not withhold yourself!” This means being willing to take on responsibility in life instead of avoiding it.

For us, this means:

  • Every person counts! My voice should be heard!
  • Who I am and what I know, think and feel is needed.
  • I choose not to withdraw, but to get involved.
  • I abstain from entering relationships very quickly and frivolously and especially from forming relationships which exclude others.
  • I am willing to take responsibility for my own emotions.

Rooted in the fertile soil of these four foundational values, we desire to embark on the adventure of community life – trusting one another, living in reconciliation and exercising mutual commitment and responsibility with those closest to us.

What do we expect from you?

In order for a year of community living to bear fruit, we expect that:

  • You are willing to open yourself up to intensive community fellowship.
  • You are physically resilient and you enjoy working. This also includes volunteer work.
  • You see this year as a conscious investment for God and for your personal life and are prepared to give it top priority.
  • You are prepared to take responsibility for yourself and, within the context of our corporate mission, for the community, too.
  • You are willing to invest your talents and energy in your work responsibilities, in addressing the personal questions you will face and in building relationships, while at the same time refraining from building up an intimate partnership.

Our Framework for a Voluntary Social Year:

Participation in our seminars:
We provide a total of 25 days of seminars, including 3 five-day seminars (an introductory, interim and a final seminar). Each year we also try to make an intercultural encounter possible (either at our location or in a foreign country). In addition, we offer day seminars with topics for specific target groups (for example, Interpersonal Communication and Arguing Constructively, Foundations for Friendship and Partnership, Power Check Seminar ( Discovering One’s Vocation) and preparatory seminars for intercultural encounters.)

You will live in a flat-sharing community for either men or women:
Our participants usually share double rooms in flat-sharing communities of 4-6 persons.

You will be mentored during your voluntary year:
Within the framework of our mentorship concept you will be provided with an experienced mentor who will be available for regular meetings with you. In addition, you will also be instructed by expert staff at your workplace.

You will receive a monthly allowance and will be covered by insurance:
Each participant receives a monthly allowance of 160 €. Room and board are free. The Reichenberg Fellowship (OJC) covers the social, health, pension, nursing care and unemployment insurances for its participants.

Of course you will have vacation days, too:
During your voluntary year, you will have a 5-day work week and 26 days of vacation. (The majority of vacation days are predetermined due to the schedules of the various work locations.) Daily work hours, as well as the weekly work schedule, are organized differently at each of our placement locations. Participants have a 40 hour work week, plus additional volunteer service.

You will receive certification:
A voluntary social year at the OJC complies with the standards proscribed by German law for such programs. At the end of the year you will receive a certificate of participation. This certificate serves as an attestation for public authorities and other offices (such as the German ZVS, the central allocation agency for degree program placement). Your voluntary year is recognized by the ZVS as part of your waiting time!