FLASH BLOG: What Service Means To Me?

FLASH BLOG: Sometimes it’s easy to overthink blog posts and wanting to edit, edit, edit till it’s perfect. Alison is giving us the challenge of writing on a topic she gives us for ten minutes and then clicking publish. So that’s what this will be, very unedited and raw. Prepare for spelling errors and grammar mistakes, and incomplete thoughts.

PROMPT: According to the Presbyterian Church, as YAV’s, we are in mission service, what does that mean to you?

During orientation as we talked about serving during our YAV year, we had a day where we unpacked the word mission and that definition, what it has meant in the past and started thinking through what it means to us. That was one of the last days after a pretty heavy week of orientation, so I don’t really remember exactly what we talked about. I know we talked about mission briefly, but I am pretty far from knowing what I think “mission” service means. During that day we did talk about the fact that something about the word mission may make us feel icky or like it doesn’t really describe what we are doing.

For me I think it’s easier to think about the word service, and say I’m doing a service year. I’m using my gifts and strengths, and growing in my weaknesses as I serve others. One thing during orientation that continued to stick with me was a story our YAV coordinator Richard told us one of the first days. When he served one in his YAV year, I believe a bishop from his host country told him a very humbling and powerful message. As I paraphrase, Richard was told something along the lines that the people you have come to help, do not need you, they have been working and serving one another for many years before you and they will continue their work many years after you are gone. You are wanted, you have been invited, but you are not NEEDED. Richard reminded us this throughout our week of orientation. That has been something I have continued to hold in my thoughts during this year of service. For me service means being invited and welcomed into community to accept the many blessings, that are in the community that is allowing me to grow my different gifts of service.

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