Background and History from 2014–2016
The Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approached a group of clergy and experienced leaders in Kansas City in 2014 about launching a location of their one-year program in urban Kansas City. YAV proposed to recruit volunteers for placement in Kansas City. The location would have provided placements, housing, and additional resources for the model to become fully functional in a relatively short amount of time.
Under the direction of Rev. Eric Garbison and Lauren Sanders, and with the approval of PUIMN, the group submitted an application to YAV in 2014. The application was not approved as a site, but the group continued to receive support and advice from the YAV office. Garbison and Sanders chose to reorganizeand to explore alternative ways to fund and operate a similar stand-alone organization in the Kansas City area.
A New Beginning in 2017
The remaining members of this developement group met twice in January 2017 to determine how to move the program forward. New volunteer leaders agreed to take on the project and continued to meet the following months.
Greg Take, Matt Vaughan, and Rev. Sally Wright are the three volunteers that were involved in the January 30, 2017, meeting that continue to be involved. Jimmy Itczak-McCarty and Tim Deveney joined the group on July 13, 2017. Previous members of the Urban Sojourners team continue to express interest and have offered to act as advisors in the project, if requested.
Matt Vaughan | Matt serves as the Director of Youth Ministry Institute Midwest (YMIM).
Sally Wright | Sally works as the Associate Executive Presbyter of the Heartland Presbytery (PC(USA)).
Greg Take | Greg is a lay leader at Grandview Park Presbyterian Church in Kansas City and currently serves as the Chair of of the Presbyterian Urban Immigrant Ministry Network (PUIMN).
Jimmy Itczak-McCarty | Jimmy serves as the Director for Missions and Youth at Second Presbyterian Church in Kansas City.
Tim Deveney | Tim runs a regional Catholic Volunteer corps focusing on social service and humanitarian aid.
Mission and Vision
My World exists to introduce young adults to the real world and to help them find their own unique place within it.
KC Sojourners seeks to be a one-year “gap year” service program that provides the opportunity for young adults (18–25) to grow in leadership and vocational discernment. These young adults would live in intentional community structured around simple living, mutual sharing and spiritual disciplines, and participating in a variety of compassion, justice, and empowerment ministries and organizations.
We exist to activate innovators, dreamers, ministers, and advocates to address unacceptable realities in the world through uncensored exposure, creative enterprise, and deliberate adventure that will empower a generation to enact effective, systemic change.
As a ministry, we are committed to:
Purpose: We believe all have a role to play in the great narrative of humanity. God has given each of us a unique calling which we are to learn to steward and wield. We must discover our purpose, grow our knowledge and skills to achieve it, and give it back to the world wholeheartedly.
Learning: Information is powerful and useful in our life’s mission. Learning is not a season of life, it is the foundation upon which we achieve our destiny. Having a teachable heart requires humility and a deep commitment to wade deeper and deeper into the questions that truly matter.
Character: How we achieve our purpose makes all the difference in the world. We can achieve it through selfish ambitions or through the commitment to collaboration and character. Honor, grace, honesty, integrity, these are all the backbone of effective, powerful leadership.
Action: Faith without works is dead. Action requires decisiveness, intentionality, sacrifice and courage. In a time when choices are limitless, a generation can devolve into paralysis. It takes true pioneers with deep conviction to move before they are ready, to address needs in the face of overwhelming statistics, and to commit to a path and follow through.
Spirituality: A relationship with God is the foundation for all discoveries. Our sense of self is seen through the lens of our Creator; our sense of purpose is given by the great Counselor, the Holy Spirit; our sense of urgency is given by the command of Christ to “go.”