Every year, we welcome our incoming volunteers with a Commissioning Service and then send them off at the end with a Closing Service to bless them in their next steps. For the outgoing ’20-’21 BSVM volunteers, we held a Zoom service that allowed people from multiple states to join the farewell. Below, read brief excerpts from each of the volunteers’ closing reflections that were shared, as they responded to different prompts that asked for a small glimpse into the transformation that occurred in each of their lives over the year of service.
Destiny: “I often wondered if I was still worth showing compassion. In God’s eyes, of course, the answer was yes, but I had to believe that and act accordingly. I learned how freeing it can be to practice self-compassion because doing so allows me to cultivate creativity, boldness, and authenticity.”
Mikayla: “I am grateful for the challenges that this year brought because in the end, those challenges allowed me to realize how much of the meaning in our lives comes through the community we build together.”
Sara: “Each moment I spent with students sharing in laughter and learning I was beginning to see as the ultimate goal of service, not the perfect test scores or precise lesson plans. I have been able to see service as not being black and white, or good or bad, but a mixture–grey hues of good and bad days, and I have learned to recognize the graces present in all of it.”
Kelly: “It is through Kirby Lane Park that I have come to think about a few things that God would hope for us: to spend time delighting in nature and to invite others into community. I close my time as a BSVM volunteer in gratitude with the lessons of hope I have received this year.”
Brion: “Whether it was serving the 5th graders over Zoom at Sisters Academy, or delivering food and being in nature at the Urban Farm, my previous conception of service changed completely. I encountered individuals who I began to build relationships with who surprised me, because previously, I would have imagined I had little in common with them.”