Virtual YAV program gives young adults another opportunity to experience mission in action

Deadline for applying for the 2022-23 Virtual YAV year is August 15

by Kathy Melvin | Presbyterian News Service

Ten slots are available in the 2022-23 Virtual Young Adult Volunteer Program.

LOUISVILLE — Applications are now being accepted for the 2022-2023 virtual Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) year.

Virtual YAVs (VYAVs) will have the opportunity to work directly with Presbyterian Mission Agency leaders to learn how to do mission in partnership, engage in vocational discernment, and take part in leadership development training.  The program is open to young adults ages 19-35 and the deadline to apply is August 15. There is no cost for the virtual program. Apply now.

The virtual YAV program was created during the Covid pandemic for the 2020-2021 year. Adapting quickly to the contextual realities was difficult, but according to participants, the virtual format has challenged them and help them grow.

Elizabeth Corsig is completing her virtual YAV year.

Elizabeth Corsig

“My virtual YAV experience at the Office of Public Witness has been transformational, challenging and rewarding,” she said. “I have learned from and worked alongside relentless leaders in the PC(USA) who are deeply committed to the future of the Church as a place of radical acceptance for all. I have seen firsthand what it means to seek justice in our world, advocating for federal policies that directly touch the lives of millions in the United States and around the world. My year as a virtual YAV has given me courage I needed to follow my call to ministry and attend seminary. I am grateful for this experience, and I look forward to building on all that I have learned at the Office of Public Witness wherever God may call me next.”

Virtual YAVs will begin interviewing with PMA ministry areas they are interested in serving with on September 1. There will be a week of training before they begin working directly with ministry areas and they will also spend time together monthly as a group.

There are 10 virtual spots available. Virtual YAVs will also be given the opportunity to work directly with the ministry areas up to 19 hours a week for a stipend.

The YAV program is a Matthew 25 ministry and addresses the three areas of focus passed by the 222nd General Assembly (2016): building congregational vitalitydismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty.

Several PMA staff members are scheduled to meet with the group to help them find out more about the World Mission and Compassion, Peace & Justice ministry areas, as well as Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural MinistriesTheology, Formation & Evangelism and Mission Engagement and Support.

Virtual YAVs will also spend time learning the program’s core tenets including:

Intentional Christian community

YAVs explore what it means to be a Christian community with one another and their neighbors. While some will live in housing together and others spread throughout their country, all YAVs will reflect together on their service and explore their relationship with God, the church and their ministry in a broken world.

Simple living
YAVs are challenged to practice simple living — living an abundant life with less. Living simply pushes YAVs to evaluate their true needs with their lifestyle and beliefs. YAVs challenge one another to live more simply in response to an unsustainable human demand for natural resources.

Cross-cultural mission
YAVs will intentionally explore the diversity of God’s Creation, living and working outside of their comfort zone. YAVs will work to confront the systemic challenges of race, class, gender and power while learning to examine their own lives and actions.

Leadership development through faith in action
YAVs develop their leadership by serving in communities that are actively being marginalized alongside local people of faith responding to poverty, violence and injustice in their communities, sharing the gospel through word and deed.

Vocational discernment
Through theological reflection and spiritual practices, YAVs will participate in the process of vocational discernment — unearthing God’s desires for each person’s life and work.

To learn more about the program, go here.

The Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program is an ecumenical, faith-based service opportunity of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) at sites throughout the U.S. and around the world. YAVs ages 19-30 accompany local agencies to embody the Matthew 25 vision of dismantling structural racism, eradicating systemic poverty and building congregational vitality. Alongside this work, volunteers explore the meaning of their Christian faith and accountability to their neighbors in the community with peers and mentors. The YAV year is August to August. Applications are being accepted now. Learn more and apply.


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