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Living as Mission: ShilohNYC

March 29, 2021

Shiloh

Students of ShilohNYC.

Long Time Host Partner Shares About Their Ministry in NYC and Connection with Lipscomb Missions

We are thrilled to welcome one of our longest standing host partners to our podcast, Not a Trip, and our blog! We began serving with Shiloh NYC in 2002 and are thankful for this opportunity to highlight the ways that they are pursuing the Mission of God in New York City and Bridgeport, Connecticut. In this episode, Emily and Andrea talk with Director Ryan French and Assistant Director and Program Coordinator Angela Elem about their history and experiences with Shiloh.

Coincidentally, both Ryan and Angela’s stories with Shiloh begin in the summer of 2001. Ryan, a former Lipscomb student, had several friends and close family members serve as counselors for Shiloh’s summer camp. After spending his undergraduate college break working as a counselor at Shiloh in 2001, Ryan helped launch a spring break campaign to bring Lipscomb students to work at Public School 30 in the South Bronx. 
 
Angela, who was living in Bridgeport, Connecticut at the time, was connected to Shiloh through a mentoring program in her community. After two of her brothers were sponsored to attend Camp Shiloh, she found herself joining as well, during the same summer that Ryan first attended. While Ryan and Angela did not meet in 2001, their paths soon crossed and they’ve now spent the last 20 years working side by side. 
 
This ministry, this community that began in 1951 and is still thriving today, has become a home to both Angela and Ryan. “I keep coming back to Shiloh because it made a family outside my own,” explained Angela as she reflected on the deep roots she’s formed. 
 
Similarly, Ryan found a belonging within the walls of this organization: “It’s no longer about how I can help. It’s about living… Shiloh is my church family. The family that despite odds, struggles, and pains we’ve walked through (especially over the past year), if I really needed somebody or if they needed me, we’d be there. In ministry, when you reach a spot like that, it’s not like doing ministry anymore. It’s just living.”
 
As the conversation moved on from remembering the beautiful journey that led them to the positions they hold today, Andrea Zahler (Missions Associate Director of Spiritual Formation) asked how Shiloh has navigated the balance of continuing the work they’ve been doing for almost 70 years while also reimagining how they can meet the needs of the the communities they serve. 
 
In response, Angela shared about the transition that has occurred within Shiloh; as they’ve progressed, their staff and summer counselor positions have slowly been filled by members of their own community. “That’s something that has been reimagined for Shiloh, having our own community turn back around and support themselves… Now we’ve got kids coming for my job!” Shiloh’s ministry is an incredible example of what missions can be when we focus on empowering those we serve and helping communities see the intrinsic value within. 
 
To hear the rest of this conversation, visit our podcast page!

 


Not a Trip