It’s time for another round of meet the Ambassadors – since it’s been awhile since you’ve heard from me, I’m going to introduce you to two for the price of one!
Anna Owens and T.J. Piccolo served with me as Young Adult Volunteers in Belfast, so suffice it to say I’m excited to have them on the team.
Anna began classes at Columbia Theological seminary just days after arriving back in the States from her year of service. I asked why she was interested in becoming an Ambassador:
Since much of the YAV Program’s budget is supported by the Pentecost Offering, I think getting involved with the Special Offerings Leader Support Network is a great way to give back. For another reason, I believe in the mission of the PC(USA) and the Special Offerings Program. Also, as a student at a Presbyterian seminary, it will be a way to complement what I’m learning with practical experience about fundraising.
T.J. left Belfast to spend a second year as a Young Adult Volunteer in Nashville. He is currently living and working in Michigan, hoping for an opportunity to get involved with urban ministry in Detroit. I asked him about his vision for mission, and how it affects the often-tricky question about his approach to fundraising:
Through my missions in the PC(USA), I learned the values of listening, relationship-building, and action. I engaged with several different types of faith, personalities, lifestyles, race, heritages, backgrounds, and communities on a personal level. PC(USA) missions empower and provide tools for communities to speak for themselves.
I [am] enthusiastic and proud to raise funds for the PC(USA) because it is something I believe in. The PC(USA) has enriched and been a constant presence in my relationship with God since I was a child, and has supported me financially on multiple occasions that have given me life-changing experiences. I’m a different person because of this church, and for the better. It would be an honor to fundraise for the denomination that has given me so much, so that they can continue to give to others.
I am so excited to dive in to orientation next weekend with these folks, and the twenty-something others who will be a part of our first Ambassador team. Stay tuned for more information about an Ambassador that may be heading your way soon!
To learn more about the program, visit pcusa.org/SOLSN.