Sunday, December 15, 2013


Even though I have lived in the house since mid-August I unfortunately have not introduced myself yet. My name is Jenna Stacy and I am a member of Unit 303 in BVS. I grew up in Campobello, South Carolina and I am a member of Melvin Hill Church of the Brethren which is actually in Columbus, North Carolina. My house is only about five miles from the state line. So I split my time between North and South Carolina as I was growing up. You could simply say I am from the Carolinas.
To continue with my Brethren upbringing, after high school I chose to go to Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Virginia. Looking back on my time in college I know that attending Bridgewater was a part of God’s will. It was everything I expected college to be and more. I genuinely loved my time I spent there. I graduated from Bridgewater College this past May with a degree in Philosophy and Religion as well as a Peace Studies minor.

My parents and I at my graduation.

As much as I loved the education that I was receiving, my time in college was much more than just school. I was also a pole vaulter on the track team where my teammates became my family and also my best friends.
The seniors on the Bridgewater 2013 Track Team

I also attended Harrisonburg First Church of the Brethren where I was a junior high advisor for three years. I definitely gained a family through the church as well. My summers were also spent in Virginia. I did a summer of MSS with Noel Naff at Mt. Hermon Church of the Brethren in Bassett, Virginia. Then I spent the past three summers at Camp Bethel in Fincastle, Virginia. Each summer I held a different job. My first summer I was a senior counselor, my second summer I was the craft lady, and this past summer I was a high ropes instructor.
Working on the high ropes tower.

Now I am in BVS. My current position is Assistant Workcamp Coordinator. My work has had me traveling to so many places and I loved every minute of it. I went to Maryland for orientation, Haiti on a site visit for a workcamp next summer, and Indiana for Powerhouse. This position has been so exciting through traveling and all of the work that comes with preparing for workcamps. I am eager to continue learning and preparing for my big summer!

-Jenna Stacy

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Community Living

A Few Updates:

 Things are going well here in the Elgin house, the five of us are more or less getting into the rhythm of all living together, while constantly learning what makes each of us tick. All of us have been enjoying the new gym membership we have at the YMCA and are bracing ourselves for the cold winter ahead. The Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren has welcomed us in, and has all of us involved in some way – from teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir, Vital Ministry Journey, eating at Common Meal, working with the youth and more.  And since I’ve been here, we’ve been blessed with dinner invites, gifts of bikes, dishes, food, piano music and even getting our piano tuned! (Perhaps the first time in many many years!)  Each of us has been busy working away in the Elgin offices, in our respected fields. The NYCers are getting ready for registration to open in less than a month, Jenna has been hard at work, writing the Workcamp curriculum, and I've been sending out press releases and making phone calls to see how all the new BVSers are doing.  We all went our separate ways, last week, for Thanksgiving but have now coming back together for a short amount of time before we’re off again for Christmas.

Community Living:

One of my favorite things about this year is the chance to live in another intentional community house.  This will be my third community living in the past four years, and I have to say, I’ve learned so much from each of these experiences. These homes have been filled with much joy, laughter, and housemates who have become great friends. And although I really enjoy living with others, community living isn’t all glitz and glamour; it can and will be challenging, and it takes lots of patience and perseverance to understand and work with differences. So why take the energy to live with others?

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family.
Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”   
Jane Howard

We all may not live in intentional communities, but  we all seek community– rather that’s in your family, your friends, your co-workers,  a sports team, etc. I feel like as I get older – finding these communities that fulfill me are getting harder. Yet, our basic needs remain the same, and one of those needs is a sense of belonging. (Pulling out some psychology class right there – Maslow’s Hierarchy of Humans Needs) When talking to volunteers about how their placements are going – the most common hardship is not feeling connected to the surrounding community and finding it hard to make friends-,aka not feeling like they belong.  I’d say this is a common feeling that most people experience. And since I struggle with this myself, it makes me realize how grateful I am to live with others in a very intentional way and just how thankful I am  for the many communities that have given me a sense of belonging.  Because like Jane Howard says, “you need one” 

I hope everyone is enjoying this holiday season!