Wow, my YAV year in New York City flew by! It seems like only yesterday that I was moving in to the YAV apartment. And now it’s just been a week or so since I was the YAV Transition Retreat in Colorado.
I really enjoyed my last few months as a NYC YAV. In June, I had an amazing trip to Lynchurg, PA and spoke about my experiences in Korea and New York at First Presbyterian Church of Lynchburg. The trip was a wonderful break from the hustle and bustle of the city. A special note of thanks to Gary and Beth Williams, who hosted me throughout the weekend. We went hiking and saw some amazing views, ate delicious ice cream, and enjoyed each other’s company. I am very grateful for your generosity. A note of thanks also to Rev. Peter Thompson and Rev. Chad McCain, who welcomed me into their congregation and gave me the chance to share my YAV story.
A theme of my YAV year has been meeting and connecting with people. People interested in Korea, the UN, and the Church. People interested in the perspective of young adults. In the current, tense political climate, where people feel judged to be on one side or the other based on even simple comments, it can be easy to lose the will to raise one’s voice, to put one’s story out in the open. Amidst all of this, I was asked to do one thing whenever I shared my story: “speak from the heart.” Even though some people may disagree with the history of the US’s involvement in Korea that I shared in various speeches and minute for missions, or with my belief of the necessity of the UN and the Church’s presence there, they would be both challenged and respected if I spoke from my heart, with honesty. I felt very privileged and blessed to be able to speak from my heart. If we all are given the chance to speak with from the heart with honest intent, we can have more productive and engaging conversations. We don’t have to agree, but we can listen to each other’s story and engage in meaningful discussion.
I’m thankful for the opportunities to share my story, which included helping to create the resource I mentioned months ago, about the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)’s efforts relevant to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. You can view the full Study and Devotional Guide here. This resource tells a snapshot of the Church’s story around the world. Though the resource is finished, the Church’s story will continue.
I’m also excited to announce that my story with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) will continue as well. I accepted a short-term contract with PC(USA)’s Office of Faith-Based Investing and Corporate Engagement, as a Research, Policy and Information Specialist. So far, I really enjoy the work researching companies’ environmental and human rights efforts and disclosures for the office.
This blog will remain a place for me to share reflections. My YAV service has ended, but my YAV experiences will continue to inform and enrich my life for years to come, so there will undoubtedly be more blogging. Thank you to all of those who have supported my journey so far, especially my parents and the Rev. Wes Jameson, who first told me about the YAV program. May our stories continue to grow and be lead by the Spirit.