Program or Partner
Second Presbyterian Church
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
The Little Rock YAV site focuses on living sustainably on the earth, living compassionately with neighbors – including those who have experienced disaster — and living faithfully in community and congregation. These themes interact as sustainable living calls us to examine cultural values and appreciate global interconnectedness. Engagement with local outreach ministries in regular community service broadens comfort zones and helps identify root causes of suffering as well as areas of personal strength and growth. Faith is then practiced, stretched and better understood in both the intimacy of the YAV household and the larger gathering of the local congregation. YAVs live and work on the 1200-acre Ferncliff camp, and connect to a large thriving congregation at Second Presbyterian and its varied outreach ministries in the city. Ferncliff is home to PDA’s national Disaster Assistance Center and has a variety of “green,” hands-on practices/programs. YAVs will be challenged to make sustainability and eco-theology their personal practice through supportive experimentation in lifestyle, diet and habits. YAVs will also have the opportunity to research, develop and grow new programs and activities for the camp and conference center within the themes of “green” and sustainable stewardship, and are expected to share their growth and development with the larger faith community of Second Presbyterian Church in the form of education or worship.
The Rev. Marie Mainard O’Connell
How do I apply?
Intentional Community Living
Little Rock YAVs live in an Intentional Christian Community with one another. The intentional community is responsible for developing a community covenant that will guide relationships and support the community throughout the year. Volunteers will spend time each week with their house community in fellowship, worship and Bible study, and in book discussions, food challenges, service projects or issue education.
YAVs will go on local retreats which provide time for spiritual renewal. Support and encouragement will be found through other volunteers, site coordinator, spiritual director, congregation members, individual mentors, and the community of Little Rock that truly appreciates the sacrifice and love of volunteers.
A vital aspect of community living at YAV Little Rock is interaction with Second Presbyterian Church. The involvement in the life of Second Presbyterian will include attending Sunday worship; participating in Sunday School classes, small groups, fellowship events, and outreach opportunities in the larger Little Rock community. The YAVs will also serve as a catalyst for connecting the congregation to the ministry of Creation Care.
Young Adult Volunteers (YAV) is a service and leadership development program through the World Mission division of the PC(USA). Young adults serve for one year in the U.S. or internationally, in areas such as fair trade or environmental issues, and have the opportunity to experience Christianity in a new culture. YAVs are between ages 19 and 30. Check out the YAV program blog here.
Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center (3 positions)
Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center is the 1200 acre Presbyterian Camp and Conference Center for Arkansas located just outside Little Rock. Ferncliff was one of the first Green Leaf camps. It is home to Solar School for Solar Under the Sun, the outreach program of Synod of the Sun. Ferncliff is a leader in sustainable practices and mission. Three positions are available at Ferncliff Camp and at least one position at Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.
- The Eco-Center Steward works with Ferncliff’s staff in managing and promoting Ferncliff’s Eco Center (5600 sq. ft., straw bale-walled, solar powered bldg. with 24 beds and meeting space). The YAV will learn how the building works, assist with maintaining and upgrading it, and facilitate hands-on learning experiences for groups.
- The two Farm/Garden Stewards work alongside Ferncliff staff to manage for Ferncliff’s large garden/farm area and its related educational programming. The farm/garden includes 20 raised beds, a row crop area, chickens, goats, rabbits, worms, blueberry bushes and a greenhouse. Produce from the garden is used in the dining hall and campers/visitors to Ferncliff regularly engage in learning about sustainability by volunteering in the garden.
- The PDA YAV will work with Ferncliff staff to manage the 10,000 sq ft Disaster Assistance Center using volunteers to receive and prepare 50,000 lbs of disaster kits for reshipment. They will work with National Response Team members to learn how PDA works and attend various local and national meetings. They may work on social media and other projects for PDA. YAV’s will deploy to disaster sites if possible.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) (2 positions)
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance serves US communities and congregations that have been impacted by disaster. The national organization focuses on long-term recovery, providing emotional and spiritual care to care givers, and assisting communities as they set up sites to host mission teams. YAVs who work with PDA will receive mentoring in the area of disaster assistance and helping communities recover from the trauma of natural and human-caused disasters. The YAVs will work on social media outreach and other projects for PDA and help manage the 10,000 sq. ft. Disaster Assistance Center where local volunteers process 50,000 lbs. of disaster kits annually. YAV’s will have the possibility of deployment to disaster sites.
YAVs live with each other in a furnished house located on the campus of Ferncliff Camp, seeking to develop personal and communal sustainable practices.
Education: some college desirable