What is Spark?
Spark is our weekend of service component of ENGAGE. Each year we provide a variety of Spark experiences to middle and high school teens, college students, and young adult professionals to create spaces for awareness and partnership with marginalized communities. Spark experiences are usually within 150 miles of our Peninsula/South Bay home base, and we return with a greater sense of connection to God’s beloved community — and, we hope, wider eyes for persons on the margins in the communities of our everyday lives.
Middle and high school teens are invited to our fall Spark experience in Sacramento, October 23-25. We will leave at 3:30 p.m. from the FCCPA parking lot on Friday, returning about 5:00 p.m. on Sunday evening. We will be working on a series of community development and home repair projects in Rancho Cordova through a special, intensive 10-week community program.
As always, we partner with Sierra Service Project’s outstanding Weekend of Service program, which provides our youth with a safe, outstanding opportunity to participate in dynamic, cross-cultural service experiences in partnership with other Northern California area churches and community groups. Additionally, we are partnering with other area churches to create a special community emphasis this fall!
Transportation, Accommodations, and Logistics
We drive in minivans from Palo Alto to Sacramento, staying at the Rancho Cordova United Methodist Church in a large social hall room. Youth will want to bring sleeping pads, air mattresses, or other comfortable furnishings on the floor. Showers will be made available on Saturday (possibly Sunday).
Youth will be divided between sides of the room, with adult leaders staying down the middle dividing line; for those youth who, for purposes of their gender identity or expression, prefer different accommodation than along traditional gender binaries, should consult with their parent/guardian and Pastor Daniel. Trip leaders from all churches are housed throughout the facility.
Meals and Snacks
All meals and snacks are provided for the group. Please note that it is the policy of Sierra Service Project that snacks are held by SSP site staff and returned at the end of the trip. We will have plenty of food, so leave your snacks behind if you can!
A Word About Technology
It is the policy of Sierra Service Project to hold technological gadgets and return them to youth at the end of the trip. Therefore it is strongly discouraged for youth to bring any technological gadget. Film cameras or dedicated digital cameras (not including cameras on cell phones!) are welcome and encouraged. Trip leaders will have their cell phones for cases of emergency; all leaders will be able to be contacted through Pastor Daniel’s Google Voice telephone number: (650) 937-9010. Texting is preferred.
Don’t Get Dress Coded
Recognizing that cultural norms and values regarding dress differ widely, and that we are guests of our hosts in a different culture, we seek to promote dress appearance that is respectful, modest, and demonstrates cultural competency in partnership. Adult leaders will be the final arbiters of this policy.
All participants will wear shirts when in public spaces. If approved by adult leaders in consultation with local partners, participants who physically present as male (by birth or medical reassignment) may swim without a shirt. Male participants will wear a shirt while sleeping unless separate spaces are made available for male and female participants. Shirts will cover the shoulders and necklines will extend no lower than the natural neckline of the body (e.g., no v-necks or scoop tops).
All participants will wear shorts or pants that, at all times, extend past the point of fingertips as arms naturally rest at the sides while standing. This includes all points of the shorts or pants, regardless of type (running, athletic, cargo, etc). All participants will wear shorts or pants while sleeping.
While engaging in service work, regardless of the type, all participants will wear closed-toed shoes with socks. Except in times of recreation, when approved and announced by adult leaders in consultation with local partners, footwear will be worn at all times.
Forms and DownloadsThese forms will be activated in September.
- Site information
- SSP Preparation Packet
- Packing List
- Participant Evaluation (active from the end of the trip for 30 days)
- Parent Evaluation (active from the end of the trip for 30 days)