NBA XPLOR Concludes Third Program Year and Prepares for Incoming Residents

Rev. Bonnie Osei-Frimpong   |   June 28, 2017
NBA XPLOR 2016-17 at Laboratory (Aug. 2016)NBA XPLOR 2016-17 at Laboratory (Aug. 2016)

At the end of the 2016-17 program year, NBA XPLOR continues to strengthen the faith lives and missional presence of our partners and stakeholders—Residents, host teams, congregations, and community engagement sites. Our XPLOR alumni are impacting their wider communities and congregations as they serve in professional health and social service settings, home congregations and NBA XPLOR sponsoring congregations, and across the church.

In 2016-17, NBA XPLOR host sites included Golden Gate, CA; North Hollywood, CA; Tucson-Marana, AZ; Dallas, TX; St. Louis, MO; and Hiram-Mantua, OH.

Looking Back

Of the 17 Residents completing NBA XPLOR 2016-17:

  • 1 will participate in a second year of XPLOR
  • 12 are pursuing higher education: 3 are enrolling in Disciple-related seminaries; 4 are (re-)enrolling in community college or college; 5 are enrolling in graduate programs in education, peace studies, art therapy, and communications
  • 3 have been offered ongoing, paid work with their community engagement sites or host congregations
  • Others pursuing international ecumenical work, training for the police force, and non-profit entrepreneurial work

After being part of the launch of NBA XPLOR and serving as a host congregation and site for the past three years, First Christian Church of North Hollywood is saying farewell for now. The congregation and NBA XPLOR Residents and staff celebrated this collaboration at a special worship service and reception on June 18 and look forward to ongoing relationships and continued opportunities for partnership moving forward.

“We were privileged to host NBA XPLOR Residents for the first three years of the program,” said Rev. Robert M. Bock, Senior Pastor, First Christian Church of North Hollywood. “It has been an honor to work with such talented young people and to watch the career choices they have made following their 10 months in the program. They have become part of our church family, and we will follow their lives with great pride, always grateful that we were able to share a small part of their journey with them.”

“I am amazed and grateful that everyone at First Christian Church of North Hollywood has been on this journey with NBA, and more importantly, with the XPLOR Residents,” said Mark D. Anderson, NBA President and CEO. “Their openness, graciousness, and hospitality came so naturally, and in turn these gifts will be imprinted on the hearts of the young adults they welcomed into your community.”

See our bulletin insert with words of gratitude for FCC North Hollywood and “Where Are They Now?” updates from the past three years of North Hollywood NBA XPLOR Residents!

Looking Ahead

In 2017-18, five host teams (19 congregations, 1 region, and 1 NBA historic partner) will welcome 21 Residents to these continuing host sites: Golden Gate, CA; Tucson-Marana, AZ; Dallas, TX; St. Louis, MO; and Hiram-Mantua, OH. The incoming cohort of NBA XPLOR Residents is inheriting and enriching a growing tradition of ethical and vocational formation for dynamic leadership in the church and world through this service year.

A preview of the 2017-18 NBA XPLOR Resident cohort:

  • 66 percent female / 33 percent male; 43 percent Residents of color
  • 76 percent Disciples-identified, most of whom are actively serving in congregational, regional and general ministry contexts, including Volunteers in Mission, Disciples Peace Fellowship, Obra Hispana, and more.
  • 12 newly graduating college seniors, 6 of whom are matriculating from Disciples-affiliated institutions
  • 5 Residents entering from service industry work such as fast food, manual labor, and customer service
  • 1 U.S. Navy Veteran

Stay tuned for more details about the 2017-18 NBA XPLOR Residents and host teams as we kick off the program year at XPLOR Laboratory, August 20-25 in St. Louis!

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NBA XPLOR is a 10-month service residency opportunity for young adults ages 21-30, with the purpose of empowering young adults to discern and develop a “heart for care” as they live together in simple community, engage in direct service and justice work, engage in leadership development, and discern their vocational calls to honor the various communities they are called to serve. Learn more at nbacares.org/xplor.

VIDEO: NBA XPLOR 2016-17: Disciples Congregations Making a Difference
VIDEO: NBA XPLOR 2016-17: Learning to Lead