Build up the body of Christ. Support the Pentecost Offering.

year of service

Minute for Mission: Young Adult Volunteer Commissioning Sunday

On the last day of Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) orientation, we are sent off to be commissioned at churches in the Hudson River Valley near Stony Point Center. Several churches in the area agree to host small groups of YAVs for worship where we are commissioned for our year of service, followed by a meal and conversations. We as YAVs come as we are, bringing our whole selves, exhausted from the past week of orientation, to a table of strangers, to share our intentions for our year of service and what we have already begun learning during the first week.

Minute for Mission: Celebrating Young Adult Volunteers

“It was a very painful but meaningful time to think again about what it means to live as a Christian and as an American in this world.” This was a comment from Dia, one of the Young Adult Volunteers (YAVs) from 2016–17, after we visited No Gun Ri, the site of a massacre of Korean civilians committed by U.S. soldiers at the beginning of the Korean War. Believing the civilians to be communists, the U.S. military killed 250–300 people, mostly women and children, from July 26 to 29 in 1950, attacking them as they sought shelter under a railroad bridge. Visiting this site is always painful for me. As a site coordinator who is also a Korean, learning about my own history that is related to the U.S. along with YAVs is a powerful and meaningful experience. Stories like these are often ignored or well-hidden, even though there are people who are still suffering from the wounds of these incidents to this day. Learning stories like this may lead to discomfort as we come to face a distorted tragedy. Nevertheless, I believe that we must uncover and retell the stories like this. History can teach us not to repeat gruesome mistakes and it can also teach us how we can live our lives more responsibly in our present day.

Young Adult Volunteer program celebrates first quarter of a century

I still remember the first words from the first church leader I met as I first arrived in Manila: “You are welcome here, but you are not needed here.” Those words, spo0ken with wisdom and love almost two decades ago, would shape the course of my time as a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) in the Philippines. I didn’t know it then, but that same sentiment shaped the YAV program at its inception. And it continues to guide our vision for the program as volunteers serve around the world and witness the holy ways the Spirit is leading them.

Young Adult Volunteers in Miami encounter a city with promise and challenge

Beyond the white sand beaches, palm trees and luxury oceanfront properties lies another Miami—in the lives of marginalized people who have arrived in this city full of promise and culture. Three Young Adult Volunteers (YAVs) from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are focusing their energies on residents of this other Miami, spending a year of service and learning in the community.