BY CARRIE MADREN
Two years ago, as a student at Wesley Theological Seminary, the Rev. David Shank hatched a plan to build a brand-new faith community for unchurched young adults. It began as a project for his class on the emerging church movement, and the seed germinated.
"My brother (the Rev. Jason Shank of New Market and Christ Ballenger Creek UMC) and I worked on this project together, and we thought, ‘this could actually work,'" said David Shank, who graduated from the seminary in January.
"We saw a connection between what we do within the walls of a church and what we do outside, and got really on fire for this. We started presenting the project to anyone who would listen, and it started gaining momentum." Approval came from the bishop's office and other conference leaders and the InterConnection Faith Community was born.
"The name stems from the idea that we are all connected as one with God and with each other," Shank said. The new community in the Baltimore Metro area will offer young adult professional singles and couples ages 21 to 35 a place to connect with each other, within and with God, he said.
"One thing that I always noticed when I've been out in the community is that everyone has a desire to be in community in some way," Shank said. "We go to college, graduate, then all of a sudden those support systems are gone. Some of us have families but we don't have that base that we relied on before. That's why this new faith community will focus on small groups and forming community, even before worship is added in six to 12 months." The InterConnection Faith Community will plan social activities, service projects and spiritual events with the idea of being committed to one another.
For the service component, InterConnection will partner with different organizations in Anne Arundel County that help people in need, as well as groups within The United Methodist Church.
Currently, the Hanover-based InterConnection is in "pre-launch" mode, getting ready to kick off in the fall, said Shank, whose appointment to the ministry began July 1. Summer has brought Web development, identifying launch team members and making initial connections in the community.
Proximity to Arundel Mills mall has provided access to many local young adults.