After months of prayer and preparation, it doesn’t feel real that today is the day I’m heading to Stony Point, NY, for orientation with the other 80+ YAVs. Now seemed as good a time as any to write a quick post to check in before kicking off the year.
Since I last posted, I’ve found out what my placement is for the year! I feel incredibly lucky to have been placed with NEXT Church and New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. They are very different sites, but I feel like they are the places I’m meant to be for this year. At NYAPC I’ll primary work with social outreach through their Community Club tutoring program and the Radcliffe Room Ministry. With NEXT I’ll be able to go through community organizing training and also see what it’s like to run a non-profit like NEXT. I’ll do a lot of behind the scenes administrative stuff such as fundraising, connecting with people to let them know about the things that NEXT does, etc. I think that these sites will be really interesting and that I’ll learn so much.
This summer I’ve spent as much time as I can with the people I won’t get to see as much as I’d like over the next year. In preparation for the year, what I’ve realized is that the only thing I’m truly anxious about is feeling disconnected from “my” people. I’ve been on a bit of a Bob Dylan kick and a particular line from Forever Young has stood out to me over the past couple of weeks: “May you have a strong foundation/when the winds of changes shift.” The winds of changes have shifted, but this summer has reminded me of how strong my foundation is.
I’ve spent at least a week of almost every summer of my life in Montreat, NC, and almost always with the same group of people. They’re my family and my foundation, and being away from them for so long will be hard, but they’re excited for me and I know that they’re always a text or phone call away. The reunion will be that much sweeter!
In all honesty, that really is my biggest fear/anxiety. I’m so excited to see what this year will bring. I know that it won’t always be easy, but I cannot wait for the new experiences and relationships waiting for me.
Now that the time has come to really begin the year, I’m very aware of ways that I will need support this year.
- Pray for me and for the people with whom I will live and serve this year. It will be a year of growth, change, and adventure and your prayers would be so appreciated.
- Follow my experience by reading or following my blog! I will be updating periodically with stories of my time in DC and would be excited to read your reactions in the comments section!
- Send me a card! I love receiving notes in the mail. They help me remember how blessed I am to be connected to so many wonderful people. If you want to send a card or a note, contact me and I’ll send you my address.
- Contribute to my fundraising efforts! Each YAV is asked to fundraise at least $3000 to help finance their year of service, but going above and beyond is fabulous and helps the program immensely. You can donate online at http://www.presbyterianmission.org/donate/e051477/ by entering the amount that you’d like to donate and then adding “Sarah Dianne Jones” to the comment box that will appear when you’re asked for your billing address, or by sending a check made out to the PCUSA to Presbyterian Church (USA) Remittance Processing, PO Box 643700 Pittsburgh, PA 15264. On the memo line, include my name and the number E051477.
I’m so grateful for the amazing support I’ve already been given. I can’t wait to have more to share!