June 2, 2017
The Companioning Program was created by BPFNA Young Adults in 2012. That year we went to them asking about ways we might connect with them regularly. They came up with an idea we didn’t expect – and idea based on the fact that texting, social networking and old fashion phone chats are very much a part of their daily rituals. With their strong encouragement, we created a "companioning program" in which each interested young adult is paired with an older adult. Each pair has committed to regular phone communication (at least monthly) throughout the year. Through this program, young adults are invited into a personal relationship with adults who are at a different place in their own lives. These older companions have already experienced much of what the younger adults are going through and, thus, they have the benefit of "looking back" and sharing their stories. The older adults serve as reliable listeners, supporters and non-judgmental friends. Together, the young adults and their companions explore issues of being disciples of Jesus in the exciting and challenging times in which we live. As they make decisions and choices about the direction of their lives, careers, and relationships, these young adults do so with the help and support of an older person of faith committed to being in regular contact with them in a way that is generationally-appropriate.
“The companioning program has been invaluable in helping me to discern how my ministry will take shape in these next few years with regards to issues of justice and peace.”
“I have enjoyed the conversations with my younger colleague. She helps me to remember where I was when I started out in ministry when the urge to flee is so strong. What we all need are people who believe in us, ask the right questions and drive us deeper to build a long-term commitment to ministry. I have found myself renewed by holding up the mirror and reflecting on this ministry we share.”
"The BPFNA Companioning Program has truly changed my life; my companion is a colleague, mentor, friend, and co-conspirator. For me, this intentional relationship is unique in its equality, co-accountability, and rich meaning-making opportunities."
"My budding relationship with my experienced peacemaker companion is already providing me with rich conversation and personal support in my own peace and justice work."
“As a senior member of this group, my relationship to my seminarian companion has been invigorating for me, keeping me in touch with what's going on--especially being together for a week at Peace Camp.”
“[It is a joy] working at cultivating a relationship as you are enriching each other’s ministry journey in peace and justice.”
“The Companioning program of the Baptist Peace Fellowship has been for me a refreshing connection to someone I would not have had the opportunity to know and to experience the passion for peacemaking through her experience.”
"The Companioning program introduced me to an advocate and friend, who has opened her home to a friend of mine who needed a place to stay; it is an opportunity to walk through life's joys and pains with good, good folk."