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A Year of Service

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Limited space still available for YAV 15/16:

Next #YAVAchat: May 15
(8pm EST; 15th of every month)
Storify of April's Chat

Young Adult Volunteers commit to serving a minimum of one year in the U.S. or Internationally at one of our sites. YAVs have the opportunity to volunteer alongside local partners, engaging in work and conversation around issues that address poverty, reconciliation, and what it means to share the hope of Christ through service. This blog is a chance to stay updated on what is happening in the life of the YAV program, whether that is with our current volunteers, our abundance of alum, the YAV office, or our YAV partners. The conversations and tough issues that we spend countless hours talking about as YAV’s don’t end when the year does; welcome to the conversation! If you have more questions, feel free to email.


YAV Blogs

Recruitment Report Form


YAV Stories Published Online:

     Along the Border: PCUSA News Service

     Emma Randles (Austin): Grassroots Leadership

     Becca Messman (Guatemala): Outlook

     Colleen Earp (NOLA): Unbound

     Lives Set on New ‘Routes’: Unbound

     Dan Bohnker (Little Rock): PDA 

     Abby Miller (Peru): YAV Blog

     Joy and Han in Korea: PCUSA News Service

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January 12, 2016

Community or Netflix?

When first arriving in a new country such as Belfast, Northern Ireland I had no idea how to spend my free time. I knew where my house was, I knew how to get to each of my work sites, and I knew how to get to the other YAV house across town. I also knew how to get to city centre where I could spend all of my money, but I wanted to save it and find new and interesting things to do. My first couple months were exciting and different but when I wasn’t at work I was at a loss of where I should go. I didn’t want to bug people and have them go out of their way to entertain me so I would go to work and then come home and watch Netflix. 



Netflix is a great invention for nights when you can’t sleep or to use when you have some down time. For me it became a part of my daily routine. My minister, Jonny, joked that I should write a blog post about how many different series I watched over the course of my year. After hearing this I thought I should probably find some new ways to spend my time. It almost became embarrassing when people would ask me what I was doing after church or work, I would say in an embarrassed voice, “Uh, watch some Netflix I think?” Realizing that this was not the way I should be starting my year I came up with a mantra for myself, say yes to everything. I had never lived by these words before but little did I know it was going to make the difference between a year of service and a lifetime of change.




By saying yes to everything I found myself going on adventures I never thought was possible. Most days I was invited to do simple chores and errands around town with people from my church. I would usually go to the post office or the grocery store with people. This then led to me going home for a wee cuppa (tea and a biscuit) afterwards which led to me starting new hobbies and creating relationships with people I might never have had the chance to meet. I learned how to knit, I learned how to bake certain Northern Irish delicacies, and I deepened relationships. My not so busy work week turned into a not so busy Netflix week. I joined more groups in my church and learned that being a part of a group is easier to do when your time allows it. Saying yes opened my mind, my heart, and my schedule to the people I saw every week. It became routine to knit for hours on end on Tuesday afternoons with my dear seventy-two year old friend Leonora instead of watching Gossip Girl. It would be a lie to say I gave up Netflix completely during the rest of my year, but the sense of community I gained by giving it up a little was amazing. I have never felt more in tune with a community as I did last year. The tasks may have seemed boring, and the people inviting me to come along with them to do errands often apologized to me for it being boring chores. I told them not to apologize because the time I spent with them was time I wasn’t alone in my house watching Netflix. The time with them was the difference between my year of service and my lifetime of change.


14/15 Northern Ireland YAV Alum, Allison Stewart 

December 1, 2015

Early Decision Deadline is Today!

To apply, go to 

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May 29, 2015

YAVocate Training



“YAVocate Training”

Young Adult Volunteer

Ghost Ranch, New Mexico


The Young Adult Volunteer office is excited to invite up to 15 currently serving YAVs (2014/2015) to partner in a recruitment training session in September immediately following Transition Retreat (Transition Dates are 9/24-9/27, so YAVocate would go through 9/29). This opportunity would involve a commitment of full participation in both the training and being a regional recruiter for the YAV program in their home areas. The incentive for being a YAVocate is the opportunity to share ...

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May 28, 2015

Tiny Cups of Grace


By: Luke Rembold, YAV-Tucson 10-11

“Look closely. The beautiful may be small.” -Immanuel Kant

The other day I joined my pastor and one of my youth at the home of a congregant to share communion and conversation. It was a beautiful morning, the kind of day that instantly puts everyone in a good mood, and the four of us lapsed into easy conversation on college, golf, and birthdays. We were sharing precious, sacred space.

When it came time for communion, our pastor gave the words of institution and passed the bread. Because of where we were sitting, it wasn’t ...

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May 12, 2015


Calling all YAVA,

Year after year, we find that the best recruiters of future YAVs are former YAVs. You bring your experiences, your stories, your trials, your highs, your lows. You bring a worldview that only a YAVA can bring.

And that is why we are asking you to take a prospective YAV out for a coffee, a tea, or a Venti Iced Skinny Hazelnut Macchiato with Sugar-Free Syrup, Extra Shot, Light Ice, and No Whip (or, you know, a normal drink). And talk to them about your experience as a YAV.

We really want this conversation to happen, but ...

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