A fine example of how my expectations were a little off was when I walked into my meeting with my boss, Drew, not Pastor Rob like I had thought, to talk about my position as “Assistant Program Coordinator of House or Teens/Peace Pals, Divine Redeemer Presbyterian Church”. While I had heard many other YAVs talk about how they weren’t quite sure about their placements, I was always sure of mine! “I’m working at Divine Redeemer Presbyterian Church, helping with youth and young adult ministries and also doing some music ministry in worship.” Turns out, that is only partially true. Out of the 32 hours of my work week, I will only be spending 4 working directly for the church.
At the church, really my only role will be as a part of the music for Sunday mornings. But my favorite part of the church job description is “participate in Los Holy Boys group” which is essentially their men’s choir. Breaking down walls, let’s go! But aside from practice times and working on some power points, I won’t have much to do at the church. Instead, I will spend 14 hours at House of Teens and the other 14 at Peace Pals. Of course, I was pretty hyped about House of Teens because I had heard a little about it. In my understanding, it kind of functions like the church youth ministry and is an after school program for students grades 6-12. It’s a place for homework and fun time together and it even has some retreats that I will also go on. But Peace Pals was a different story.
I’m getting the vibe it’s similar to the House of Teens idea, but it’s an after school program for grades K-5. Aka kids. Aka the group I try to avoid almost as much as I try to avoid adults. Aka the age group that I think understands my humor the least and just looks at me scared when I try to be awkward. Last time I did this kind of after school care stuff it was for a nun at a Catholic private school when I was a freshman in college, and it was not my fav. And remember how well it worked for me to be a math tutor for kids when I was in high school? Oh right, it didn’t because I was too busy having fun to actually make them do homework. But you know what, even as I was sitting in that meeting thinking, what the heck have I signed up for, another thought came over me. This is a good thing.
It’s good to have experience working a job that is not my dream passion and life goal because for a lot of people, they work the jobs they do just to get by. And I was thinking a lot about what a church ministry-free YAV year must look like, to consider facing the big issues and systems that are in this world. And though church work has always come so easily to me, I know that a challenge like this will be good for me and make the hard work of this year even more effective. So honestly, I still don’t really know what these jobs will be like! And for the first time in my life, I’m unsure of what my life will look like, outside of the knowledge that this year will be very hard. Unsure. A little scared. But still at peace in a way that is moving. Can’t wait to see what God does with this one.