New beginnings

It’s hard for me to believe that I graduated from Maryville College over a month ago! I’ve spent the majority of my summer traveling with various groups of youth from Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church where I’m serving as their summer intern. It’s been wonderful so far and I’ve been grateful for the new friendships that have begun and experiences I’ve had, and also for the many chances there have been to tell people about what I’ll be doing this fall. 

In August I will be moving to Washington, D.C., to spend a year with the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program. I’m not sure yet what my exact job will be, but there are several possibilities including working with the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness, NEXT Church, and Church of the Pilgrims. I’m excited by the possibility of working with any of the placements and look forward to having a better sense of what I’ll be doing. 

I know that this year will be life changing. YAVs are asked to live outside of their comfort zone and to focus on the needs of others. My faith will change and grow in ways that I cannot yet imagine, but I am confident that the lasting impact will be a good one. I know however that this is not something that I can do on my own. 

Though I haven’t yet begun my year of service, there are already ways that I know I’ll need support. One of these is prayer. Please pray for me! Another is by checking in once the year has begun. I love how connected I’ve always been with friends and family (chosen and blood!). The idea of being this far away from the people I love so much is hard, but a quick text to say hello or to check in would be so appreciated. 

The final way is really important. The YAV program asks those who will be serving to each raise $3000 to help offset the cost of the program. I would greatly appreciate any help in reaching this goal! There are several ways to donate. One is by sending a check to: Presbyterian Church (USA) Remittance Processing, P.O. Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700. If you choose to send a check, please write this in the memo line: Sarah Dianne Jones, Washington DC, E051477. This will ensure that it goes to the correct place. You can also donate online by following this link: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/donate/e051477/. If you donate online, make sure to write my name in the ‘comments/instruction section’ so that they know who the gift is for. My goal is to have all of the funds raised by September 1st!
I am so excited about this year! I’ll be updating this blog throughout the year about my experiences, hopes, fears, challenges and joys, and I hope that you will follow along and walk this journey with me!

Sarah Dianne