What: The PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteer Program, A Year of Service for a Lifetime of Change, and see below
Who: For young adults ages 19-30; People from all Christian backgrounds are welcome to apply.
Why: To build community, work with leaders creating change, to discern God’s call in your life
When: YAV year runs August 2021-August 2022
Deadline: June 1, 2021
YAV changes lives: watch video below.
The PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program is an ecumenical, faith-based year of servicefor young people (ages 19–30) in sites across the United States and around the world. YAVs accompany local agencies working to address root causes of poverty and toward reconciliation. Alongside this work, volunteers explore the meaning of their Christian faith and accountability to their neighbors in the community with peers and mentors.
Since 1994, the YAV program has been sending young adults to form partnerships and build communal bonds across the globe in 45 sites spanning 19 countries. The DC site has hosted 21 YAVs since its creation in 2014.
YAVs in DC serve in direct social services, advocacy, and faith-based settings to fulfill our mission: “Following the heart of God, we engage and resist structures that uphold inequity.”
Finals are upon us. How are you feeling? Please know that we are thinking of you as you continue throughout this week. We each prepared a brief reflection to help calm some worries and inspire motivation.
Samantha:I know as exams are coming up, all of us are stressing and nervous about the incoming grades. I am keeping in mind, however, the light at the end of the tunnel which is the warm and wonderful summer! With that in mind, I wish you all a successful exam season and an amazing summer break after it! To help with studying, here is a study music playlist that has reminders in the captions of all the love and support you have from God:
Rachel: Remember that you are loved beyond measure and no grade can add or take away from that. Amid all the assignments, there can be a lot of stress, so I wanted to share a prayer that will hopefully remind you that you are not alone.
A Prayer for the Student God sees you. God sees you when the need to produce becomes too much to bear and your day becomes determined by to-do lists. God sees you when the cursor on an empty page seems to mock you as you wrack your brain for what to say. God sees you when the day turns to night, and you are racing against the clock to turn in an assignment. God sees you when it is a beautiful spring day, but you are caught indoors studying. God sees you when you meet exam time by cracking a book, writing a paper, or preparing a presentation – sometimes all three at once. God sees you in your moments of motivation and in times of procrastination – sometimes Instagram is just too compelling or what is another episode of the Office? God sees you when anxious thoughts sink in, and the end seems out of sight. God not only sees you, but God sits with you, feeling the aches and pains of stress, hungering for a midnight snack, celebrating when you have met the page count or finished a hard math problem. You are not alone. Summer will come. The tasks will fall away. Now is not the end, and by the grace of God, you will make it through. Amen.
Chaplain Holly:Keeping Perspective during Finals This is not always easy! Every day and during finals we pray, “O God help me to see as you see; to see the world through your eyes.” I often in my sermon messages talk about asking God to help us get a bird’s eye view of our lives. Remember to take time, even a few minutes to do the things that will help you to remember “the big picture”:
1. Finals will be over soon! Summer is almost here!
2. Through Prayer, welcome God into your study, paper writing and exam time.
3. Take some deep relaxing breaths when you are stressed. BREATHE.
4. Take a quick walk outside, to connect with nature. Looking at the big beautiful sky can remind all of us of the vast world beyond UMD.
5. Reach out to a friend, or one of us to connect, or for prayer support.
6. Find a study buddy, so you aren’t studying alone.
7. Take a moment to pray for others in need close by or around the world.
8. Listen to an uplifting song (I am sharing one of mine “You’ll Never Walk Alone” see below)
9. Read a few inspiring scripture passages that speak to your heart and can calm your mind. (See a few below).
10. And perhaps most important – As Rachel’s prayer reminds us, pause and remember you are NOT alone. God is with you. Jesus is with you. And we are also here for you. Our prayers and best wishes are with you as you finish this semester with final exams and papers. No small accomplishment, considering all that has happened this past year! Congratulate yourself that you are in the final leg of the semester journey. And by God’s grace and help ALL WILL BE WELL.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46
“The Lord is My Shepherd. . .he makes me to lie down in green pastures (like UMD McKeldin Mall!). . . he leads me beside the still waters (like our McKeldin fountain, or Chapel Garden fountain), he restores my soul. . .thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23
God is everywhere – and at UMD, and with you at home during finals!
We hope that you are doing well! The end of the semester is approaching, which can bring lots of work, so we pray that you are navigating it smoothly. Please reach out if we can help in any way! We want to be a resource of support for you during this busy season.
To ease any stress, we are going to have an open time for prayer and conversation this Sunday at 6pm. Feel free to join and let us know how you are doing. It will be our last Sunday gathering of the school year.
How has your week been? The end of the semester is approaching. Do you have a lot of work to accomplish, or has it been fairly manageable? We are praying that you are able to focus, but are also able to take time for yourself in the midst of it.
Recently in conversation, we have discussed a pattern of anxiety during exam time. We can put a lot of pressure on ourselves to succeed, which can feel very burdensome. This Sunday we plan to talk about the idea of trusting in God during these moments. How does your faith/trust in God play into finals? Does it play into finals? What kind of thoughts or mantras do you hold onto before exams?
This Sunday will be an open conversation, including some uplifting readings and songs. Feel free to share your thoughts or simply listen as we explore this topic together.
Classes are ending soon and exams are approaching so now is a good time to take inventory of what your mind and body need.
Wednesday for L3(Listen, Learn, Lead) we will be focusing again on energizing our bodies and calming our minds. We hope that this will help us all keep the momentum for our studies while also shaking off our anxieties!
Take the hour, or drop in for a little while, to pause during your busy schedule.
How has your week been? It is a busy time for many of us, so we would love to hear all about how you are doing and how we can be in prayer with you.
This Sunday we are going to devote our hour of worship to a relaxed time of prayer and connection. You are more than welcome to offer up your own prayer or simply join us with your own joys and concerns. It will be a time to pause the busyness of life and listen to the Holy Spirit as it is at work in our lives.
How has your week been? In recent programs, we have discussed how April often brings a mix of emotions with the changing weather, stress of school, and busy schedules. We pray that you have been able to take care of yourselves in the midst of everything. Let us know how we can be of support.
In light of everything, we thought it would be fun to host a game night this Sunday during our regular worship hour.
Join us at 6 pm, and we will provide instructions for how to access the games and then, enjoy together! We hope that you can make it!
As the semester progresses, we are all feeling more and more exhausted. If you feel the same, join us for L3 (Listen, Learn, Lead) tomorrow at 12p.m. where we shall be doing some meditation exercises.
Hopefully, these exercises can help reset all of us as we take on the rest of the day, and week. These exercises will be helping us engage all of our senses and look forward to a time after the busy semester. Please join us for a time of relaxation and rejuvenation!