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Site Director Highlight: Rev. Mark Dingler, Bentonville

Be The Neighbor Site Directors work with local nonprofits and subject matter experts to plan a trip that teaches participants about the different topics impacting the communities they serve, and many communities around the United States. They work hard to develop our trips and we couldn't fulfill our mission to live lives of love, service, and justice without them. We find them all inspiring and want to share with you, so that you can be inspired too!

Mark Dingler will be our Site Director in Bentonville, AR this summer! This is a new site where we will focus on learning about economic justice.

How long have you worked with Be The Neighbor?

This is my fifth summer. I worked as an intern with Connect Ministries (which merged with Reach Beyond Mission to become Be The Neighbor) in 2019, 2020, and 2021 and then with Be The Neighbor in 2023 and now 2024! I also serve on Be The Neighbor's Board of Directors.

What's your favorite part about being a Site Director?

I love getting to hear from youth across the country talk about their experiences and what they discover during their week with us! I especially love seeing them engage in our activities and discussions, as they make plans for how they will continue to do service and justice work when they return home!

Tell us more about the justice topic that groups will focus on at your site. How does that issue impact your community?

In Bentonville, we focus on Economic Justice! Living in Northwest Arkansas, we are surrounded by the headquarters of several large corporations. Because of that, this area has grown exponentially and cost of living has increased. We live in huge wealth disparities - from really rich Executives to people living under the poverty line.But, these inequalities are not being addressed and many do not even notice there is a problem here. Our church works to make sure we are caring for all of our neighbors - especially those that are usually not treated with the same welcome and affirmation as our wealthy neighbors. If our society listened to and lived out the economic justice of the Bible, our world would look much more like the Kin-dom of God.

What does your life look like when you're not being a Site Director for Be The Neighbor?

I am the Associate Minister of Youth and Justice at First Christian Church WaterWay in Bentonville, Arkansas! I began in this role last August, and have loved getting to lead our youth group (who are going on our 2nd mission trip through Be The Neighbor this summer!), as well as continue to work for BTN, work with our feeding ministries, and more to continue to do work to usher in the Kin-dom of God here on our earth.I graduated with my M.Div. from Yale Divinity School in May of 2023, and was ordained by the Southwest region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in June of 2023. Before grad school, I graduated with my Bachelor of Music Education from TCU in May of 2020 (go frogs!!). Outside of work, I love getting to explore the nature trails in NWA, watching or listening to musicals, and spending time with my dog Vincent!


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