Check out our QVS National Spring Update! Written by Development Coordinator, and QVS Atlanta Alum, Claire Hannapel.

Spring has a lot to teach us. Especially as it relates to this Spirit-led work of community that we’re engaged in as Quaker Voluntary Service. How can we be both patient and risk-taking just like the flowers, peeking out from their tender shoots? How can we practice resilience like the trees who deepen their roots year after year?  

Parker Palmer captures themes of the seasons well. He writes that “life is not meant to be forever measured and meted as winter compels us to do. Most of the time it can and should be spent in a riot of generosity as we, like spring itself, throw caution to the wind.”

At this stage in our year, QVS Fellows are mirroring what spring is teaching us. They are probing, searching, and growing in more directions than can be counted.

Our Fellows are practicing the boldness and daring adventure of the budding flowers, as they transition to lead their twice-monthly QVS programming Days. In this work, we shift from a singular leader, and instead make space for the expertise of each of our Fellows.

Just like the trees, our Fellows are also deepening roots in their communities — whether volunteering their gifts to a local Friends meeting, taking on new leadership roles and organizing events at their site placement, or participating in Quaker discernment processes with their housemates. 

This season is without a doubt one of warmth and new growth. Yet it can also be rather muddy. Discerning next steps and one’s vocational path is just the same: a messy blend of excitement and bewilderment.

With three months to go before the fellowship year comes to a close, our Fellows are aching to know their next steps. Some may be led to return to school for graduate studies. Some may prioritize community and base discernment on the relationships that sustain them. Some may be led to continue working with the service site placements in which they are currently engaged. 

No matter where our Fellows head next, we find that each one leaves their year equipped with Spirit-grounded leadership skills and a sense of clarity about their own gifts, call to action or service, and place in community.

In several months the alumni network will consist of 165 young adults who have experienced a transformational year of service and community in the context of a richly supportive Quaker framework.

Please consider making a contribution to QVS before the close of this fellowship year (July 31). Gifts of any size help to invite in this season of generosity and blooming. Your prayer, practical service, and financial investment are each vital to the work of empowering these emerging young adult leaders.

In Faith and Service,

Claire Hannapel
(she/her/hers, or “friend” – Why Pronouns?)
Outreach & Development Coordinator
2016-17 Atlanta Program Alum

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