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Today in the Mission Yearbook

‘Being in mission’ starts where you are

Boston Young Adult Volunteer experiences the joys and power of community

March 11, 2018

Boston Food Justice YAVs (left to right) Sarah Jeanne Shimer, Stuart Mapes, and Mary Frances Yeilding helped glean apples at the end of the harvest season to be donated to food access organizations in the Greater Boston area. Photo provided

Work is an important part of vocation, but an equally important part of living out my calling is my new home. My current home as a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) is an intentional Christian community in Boston, where my fellow YAVs and I seek to build faithful relationships with one another, with our neighbors and with God. My year of service is teaching me that “being in mission” is a way of living that starts in the place where I eat, rest, reflect and pray with those closest to me.

My discernment toward becoming a YAV did not start with God calling me to leave everything and serve in a faraway place. Instead, I heard God asking to be invited into my life and calling me to be intentional about how I live. Becoming a YAV did take me away from where I grew up, but has also given me the opportunity to organize my life around service and ministry. Just as I look to God for guidance when I am at work volunteering, I look to God for guidance when I am at our YAV house, discerning how to spend time and money while building relationships with members of my community.

Hardly anything we do at the YAV house is more significant than nourishing and sustaining ourselves by eating. The YAV site in Boston is focused on food justice, the movement to promote equity, sustainability and nutrition in how we produce, distribute and consume our food. My fellow YAVs and I all work for organizations that address root causes of hunger, but we also live out food justice by carefully examining our own eating habits. Our community has been especially built around gathering at a table and better understanding our relationship to our food system. In my home as a Boston Food Justice YAV, I hear God calling me to make decisions about food that benefit God’s people and God’s creation.

A key element of intentional community for Boston YAVs is preparing meals together using locally and ethically sourced ingredients. Photo by Mary Frances Yeilding

This year I am finding that my calling is not only about what I do, but also about who I am, what I live for and what matters to me. God asks to be invited into the place closest to my heart, into the relationships and practices that make me who I am. That place, my new home in community with other YAVs, is where I discern how God is calling me to live and to use my gifts. Through consciousness about food justice and Christian reflection with my housemates, I am building an intentional Christian home, learning how to be a compassionate and hospitable member of my community, and answering God at my door.

 Stuart Mapes, Recent Graduate of the College of William and Mary

Today’s Focus:  Stuart Mapes, Young Adult Volunteer in Boston, MA

Let us join in prayer for:

2017–2018 International Young Adult Volunteers

Hannah McKerley, Colombia
Carson Smith, Colombia
Mielan Barnes, Peru
Alyson Miller, Peru
Katie Hastings, Peru
Kristen Trohkimoinen, Peru
Megan Koeneman, Peru
Emma Warman, Philippines
Caitlin Vanderwolf, Philippines
Lauren Robinson, Philippines
Leila Wright, Scotland
Constanza Petersen, Scotland
Katie Henderson, Scotland
Calista Malone, Scotland

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Bridgett Green, PPC
Annette Greer, PMA

Let us pray:

God, thank you for being faithful in difficult moments. Help us to see you in the gathered community and to support those trying to follow you. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, March 11, 2018, the Fourth Sunday in Lent (Year B)

First Reading Numbers 21:4-9
Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22
Second Reading Ephesians 2:1-10
Gospel John 3:14-21