Intentional community buds in Hyattsville

Tallman (left) and her roommate Ginny Lefler on move-in day
Tallman (left) and her roommate Ginny Lefler on move-in day

by Maddie Tallman

A “young adult intentional community,” as the synod is calling it, officially opened its doors in Hyattsville, Maryland last month. Three residents (who are looking for a fourth*) have moved into a house off of Queens Chapel Road and will adopt weekly Bible studies, individual prayer, Bible reading and regular activities with the immediate community, all based on the concept of discipleship in today’s setting.

“This is a different model for folks to share the gospel with the community,” says the Rev. Ray Ranker, campus pastor at the University of Maryland in College Park. The residence model breaks the tradition, he says, that faith is usually cultivated in a church building.

Pr. Ranker and I are both Youth Adult in Global Mission (YAGM) alumni and are working to develop and shape the community. As one of the three residents, I’m the on-site point person. Pr. Ranker proposed the idea in the synod in 2014. The Rev. Phil Hirsch, Director of Evangelical Mission, helped garner support including from the synod’s New and Renewing Missions Table which helps build new ministries and revive existing ones. The YAGM Alumni Team, which is made up of YAGM alumni from across the country, assisted the community financially to help get it off the ground.

The community held its first event in October – a potluck dinner for YAGM in the area.

The hope is to grow momentum among young adults in the synod (and YAGM alumni returning from service) and create more communities each year. “This is an opportunity for young adults to live out their faith in a unique way,” Pr. Ranker says, “rooted in a mutually accountable community.”

* At this point, the community is asking for a minimum one year commitment to living in the house. Although two of three current roommates are YAGM alumni, this is not a requirement. Contact Tallman at the synod office (mtallman@metrodcelca.org) for details and with inquiries.

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