When you say “yes” to the call to serve, get ready to enter an exciting adventure! It is what happens when you stand open and ready for a new life-transforming experience.
Over the years, men and women of the corps have told me of how IVC had placed them into service sites or positions they would NEVER have imagined choosing for themselves. But in saying yes, they’ve met people they never would have encountered in their regular circles and made lasting friendships with people in neighborhoods they rarely traversed. They find they are at home in places many others would avoid.
With each story shared, I see the joy, the thrill and delight of how their experiences fill their lives with more meaning and renewed purpose.
What an antithesis to today’s politically divisive climate.
And yet we hold to hope. Through their service work, women and men of IVC build bridges, not walls. They bring the wisdom of their age, lives and faith to forge connections and build healthier, more whole communities.
In this month’s Connections, we celebrate the bridge we traverse with another Jesuit service organization — the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.
It was 40 years ago this year when I had immersed myself in service with a fledgling JVC. At the time, it was a new organization, offering college graduates an opportunity to integrate spirituality and social justice through service and life in community. For me, it was a chance to give back and to serve my country during a time of racial and economic unrest and divisions. Our nation was deeply wounded.
Today such opportunity for giving continues for thousands of young people who live a life of service through organizations such as JVC, Peace Corps, Americorps, Teach for America, among others.
IVC was inspired in part by former JVC men and women who wanted a similar experience of giving — but just at a later time in their lives.
The stories in today’s issue celebrate these young people and highlight the wonderful connections we as JVC and IVC make in many of the communities where we serve together.
Adventures of love in action knows no age limits. Enjoy meeting some special people – read on!
And thank YOU for making this all possible.
Lenten blessings and grace,