Lutheran Young Adult Corps participants prepare a meal to share during their service. (Photo by Annie Hauser)
Over 40,000 hours of service volunteered in Jesus’ name.
Thirty-six young people who lived out their baptismal faith and grew in experience and leadership skills.
Six cities where community was built and the Gospel was shared.
Twenty-two congregations and Recognized Service Organizations that supported and cared for participants while allowing them space to grow and lead.
It is difficult to capture all that God has done through the volunteers of Lutheran Young Adult Corps. As the program approaches some significant changes, it is important to take a moment to be grateful for all the ways volunteers have made our program possible.
Each of our participants volunteered full time with congregations and organizations. We asked a lot of these volunteers: to move to another city, learn a new service role, engage in a new community. Yet, for three years they willingly and gladly rose to the challenge.
Our participants approached their volunteer service with generous hearts and eyes open to what God was doing. Each was given a unique role, fitted to their skill set. They served odd hours and did things they never expected to do. From getting office supplies to sharing Jesus with preschoolers, these young adults stepped out in faith, and God worked powerfully through them.
Nine of our alumni are working to become or have become church workers in the LCMS. Others have gone on to serve within their congregations as lay leaders and to serve short term internationally. All are pursing vocational work that will continue to give them opportunities to serve and share the Gospel.
Lutheran Young Adult Corps participants never served alone. Church workers, city coordinators and lay leaders had been serving in these congregations and organizations long before our participants arrived. They very generously shared these ministries with participants for a short time. We are thankful that God continues to work powerfully through them long after participants have finished their terms.
The web of support for the program and our participants went further than we ever imagined it would. Congregational volunteers, district leadership, church workers from surrounding congregations and staff from the LCMS International Center took on important support roles. Some provided training while others provided a listening ear in difficult times. They coached young people into leadership. They ensured resources were available and helped care for their homes. They debriefed failure and celebrated success. They pointed participants back to Christ as the reason for all our service.
As we look back, it is easy to focus on the many accomplishments of our participants or the incredible work of our partners and supporters. But no one served for themselves or by themselves. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, they served in thanksgiving for what God has done for us through Jesus.
We serve others in response to God’s deep, abiding love for us. As we celebrate the many and various volunteers who make Lutheran Young Adult Corps what it is, we know it is truly God who is at work in us in these many and various ways. We are thankful for the service opportunities in our program, but we are ultimately grateful for a God who makes all these things possible.
In response to a variety of feedback, Lutheran Young Adult Corps will no longer be placing full-time volunteers. Instead, we hope to pivot the program towards empowering young servant leaders in a different way. We are currently developing new ways for teens and young adults to serve and grow into leaders for our church.
We know God will continue to provide for our future programs just as He did our past programs. We are deeply grateful for the service of our alumni, our partners and all those who support us. It’s amazing to see how God has impacted and worked through young adults to build community, strengthen faith and serve others in Jesus’ name.