“I think the most important way my faith has been strengthened is just in seeing the examples of my housemates. It’s been extremely beneficial for me to participate in the wide variety of devos everyone puts together. Going to church with some of my housemates also helped strengthened my faith because it made me appreciate my Catholic faith and beliefs.”
Christian Appalachian Project is interdenominational, meaning that we do not ask volunteers to check their faith tradition and beliefs at the door. CAP Volunteers are Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, Lutheran, Evangelical, Methodist, nondenominational, discerning, and more. We do not require volunteers to be Christian, but all volunteers are invited to make a commitment to spiritual growth and personal reflection. Most CAP Volunteers feel called to full-time service because of their faith, and are seeking a community in which they can grow in faith while serving others.
Personal spiritual growth can be an integral part of the CAP Volunteer experience, and is just as vital as a volunteer’s commitment to service and community. CAP challenges volunteers to view their time at CAP as an opportunity to deepen their personal relationship with God and to grow with their housemates as a faith community.
To foster a spiritual environment, volunteers gather for devotion after dinner four nights a week. Volunteers take turns preparing devotion, which can be a reading from Scripture or a devotional book, a group activity, a song, or a discussion of how you saw God in your participants that day. Many volunteers find that independent small groups and Bible studies within one or several volunteer communities enhances their volunteer experience, though these extra activities are not required. Volunteers are also encouraged to find a church home in the community they serve.
CAP sponsors two volunteer retreats during the spring and fall at either Camp Andrew Jackson or Camp Shawnee. For the weekend retreat, volunteers can socialize with other volunteers and CAP staff, meet new people, and enjoy a time of fellowship and relaxation in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. The retreats also give volunteers an opportunity to reflect on their spiritual journey in a more intentional way through speakers and private reflection time.
“My secret is very simple. I pray.”–Mother Teresa