The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)’s Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) programme, an ecumenical, faith-based year of service for young people across the United States and worldwide, is going virtual for the first time on 5 October 2020.
YAVs aged between 19 to 30 will work on social and racial justice issues, looking through the lens of Presbyterian Mission’s Matthew 25 invitation to dismantle structural racism, eradicate systemic poverty and build congregational vitality.
The YAVs will work alongside local agencies to address these issues, with the guidance of staff in the Presbyterian Mission Agency, the Office of the General Assembly and other church leaders across the denomination and ecumenical partners. This also presents an opportunity for programme participants to delve into their personal faith and accountability to their neighbours in the community with peers and mentors.
“Participating in a YAV year is supposed to provide young adults with two primary things: an opportunity to directly address root causes of poverty, and a chance to explore the meaning of Christian faith and accountability,” said Diamond Duman, a virtual YAV from Key West, Florida. “The goal has not changed; the method has become different. I am engaging in the virtual YAV program with aims to still enact change in my community, combat poverty and grow in my faith during trying times. I know the information I gain and the skills I learn will make me a stronger activist when I am called to be a leader of progress.”
Going virtual allows the YAV programme to partner in a broader ministry context than usually possible, and what virtual YAVs do this year could potentially lay the groundwork for a new mission model that remains a vital part of the future YAV program, said YAV associate for recruitment Destini Hodges.
“We have partners at the national, mid council and congregational level to assist us in interpreting our new Core Values, while lifting up what it means to be a connectional church doing mission in partnership,” Hodges added.
Acknowledging that face-to-face encounters are irreplaceable, programme coordinator Rev Everdith Landrau, said that what virtual service does offer a space for theological reflection, engagement and discipleship.
“We believe this virtual program will invigorate our 2021–22 recruitment season, while giving the 2020–21 class unique options created just for them,” said Rev Landrau.
The application deadline for the Virtual programme is 29 September 2020.
For programme details, please visit https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/yav/