The Little Rock YAV site focuses on living sustainably on the earth, living compassionately with neighbors, and living faithfully in community and congregation. Compassionate and sustainable living calls us to examine cultural values and appreciate global interconnectedness. Working with community nonprofits broadens comfort zones and helps identify the root causes of homelessness, food insecurity and poverty. In the process, it also helps to identify areas of personal strength and growth. Faith is then practiced, stretched and better understood within the YAV household and the larger community.
Little Rock YAVs live on the 1200-acre Ferncliff campus, work two days onsite and two days in the community, and connect to a large, thriving congregation at Second Presbyterian. Ferncliff, which has a variety of “green” practices and programs, is home to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance’s national Disaster Assistance Center. All YAVs in Little Rock will have the possibility of deployment with PDA to disaster sites. YAVs will be challenged to make sustainability and eco-theology their personal practice through supportive experimentation in lifestyle, diet and habits.
There are several areas for service for Little Rock YAVs:
work on Ferncliff’s farm, garden and composting areas, as well as related educational programming and sustainability projects; animals onsite include chickens, ducks, goats, sheep, bees, miniature donkeys and pigs;
work on projects for PDA and help manage the 10,000-square-foot Disaster Assistance Center where local volunteers process 50,000 lbs. of disaster kits annually; receive mentoring in the area of disaster assistance and helping communities recover from disasters.
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 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
Celebrate SDOP Sunday – April 7
April 7 is an opportunity to celebrate the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People’s (SDOP) work engaging communities in addressing poverty and oppression and give to the One Great Hour of Sharing.
Download your SDOP Sunday resource for hymns, liturgical suggestions and stories of God, the Church and communities in action.
One Great Hour of Sharing is the single, largest way that Presbyterians come together every year to work for a better world. Join with Presbyterian’s worldwide to provide relief from natural and human-caused disasters, food for the hungry, and support for the poor and oppressed. If we all do a little, it adds up to a lot!