Church of the Brethren



eBrethren logo-14

Stories of Brethren stewards * April 20, 2016


Donate I Subscribe I Forward
Problems viewing this e-mail? Read it as a web page.

Rachel Ulrich pack a snack
Rachel setting up for the school Pack-a-Snack
program that she coordinates.

Photo by Blake Prim

New experiences, new growth
By Rachel Ulrich, Brethren Volunteer Service volunteer from Unit 311

Because I have lived in six places within the last four and a half years, change and adventure have become regular companions in my life. Between transferring colleges, studying abroad, and living in varying locations over the summer, I have participated in a repeated process of packing bags and venturing into the unknown.

This life of a 21st century American nomad can be thrilling and exhausting, exciting and intimidating, fulfilling and disorienting. This fall, I committed to another life-changing move by joining Brethren Volunteer Service. My transition into BVS began with what my new beginnings normally entail: openness to new experiences, concern about adjusting to a new place, and a love for adventure that beckons me into the unknown.

When I discovered the BVS position at Highland Park Elementary School in Roanoke, Va., I felt confident about serving at this site. This confidence bewildered me because I had no connection to Highland Park Elementary or Central Church of the Brethren, the congregation that created the BVS position at the school. Yet, as I watched a video about Central Church’s work with Highland Park Elementary, I thought straightforwardly, “That’s where I want to be.”

Rachel Ulrich teaching
Rachel volunteers every day
in a first grade class.

Photo by Kazia Williams
When I arrived in Roanoke, Central Church of the Brethren greeted me with a more loving welcome than I could have ever anticipated. I instantly felt at home with this congregation. I knew that the church supported me as a person in their community and as a person serving at Highland Park Elementary.

My first week volunteering as a teacher’s aide and project coordinator at the school proved to be rewarding and challenging. I had worked with children before, but not at a school. Entering daily classroom schedules during mid-October felt like leaping into a complicated jump rope event. I discovered that I needed to ask questions, clarify details, and remain resilient and flexible throughout innumerable surprises and mistakes.

I have now served in my volunteer placement for six months. I cannot imagine having never met the people at Central Church or the school. I also cannot imagine having never discovered what I have learned so far about myself, education, community, and volunteer service. I am reminded of the growth that comes with adventure and the development that comes with change. I am reminded of how there is deep worth in growing new roots in new places. I look forward to discovering what the rest of this adventure reveals.

Rachel Ulrich grew up in Richmond (Ind.) Church of the Brethren. Learn more about the work of Brethren Volunteer Service at www.brethren.org/bvs or support it today at www.brethren.org/give .

NYAC2016 logo


National Young Adult
Conference 2016


“… Above all, clothe yourselves
with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony”
(Colossians 3:14 NRSV).


Creating Harmony
May 27-30
Manchester University

Register at www.brethren.org/yac

 


"Nowadays we talk about the heart as the seat of love.
But in Solomon's day, the heart was the center of one's
entire personhood. To have one's heart turn away
from God concerned one's entire way of being,
not just one's feelings of attraction. To incline
one's heart toward God means to do and be
what God wants us to do and be in our entirety."

—Chris Bowman and Robert Bowman in
1 & 2 Kings: Kings and Their Prophets,
a Bible study published by Brethren Press.
Order a copy today at www.brethrenpress.com.

 

1 & 2 Kings Quote
 


Facebook icon 32  Twitter icon 32  Blogger icon 32  YouTube Logo  Pinterest icon 32  Instagram icon 32


Donor-Relations-6-2015

Watch for our next issue on
May 4
.

Do you have a story about how you and your congregation practice stewardship?
E-mail it to ebrethren@brethren.org !

eBrethren: Stories of Brethren Stewards, is produced every other week by the Church of the Brethren Donor Relations team.

Please add "cobweb@brethren.org" to your address book or safelist to ensure our e-mail reaches your inbox.
eBrethren is published by Church of the Brethren Communications, 1451 Dundee Avenue, Elgin, Illinois 60120. Church of the Brethren is a non-profit religious and educational organization recognized by the Federal and State governments. Donations are tax deductible as allowed by law. (c) 2016 Church of the Brethren.

Save trees: Think before you print!

Click here to log in and update your information.
Click here to unsubscribe from eBrethren.
Click here to change your e-mail address or contact us.