Evaluating the Stony Point YAV (Dis)Orientation:
The entire week was a continually reexamination of the same poem written by Alla Bozarth-Campbell. After each day full of discusses and guest speakers, we would find ourselves sitting together in a room, listening to these words as one or more of the YAV Alumni read them. They’d often times start by saying, “Place your feet firmly on the ground, take a deep breathe.” And begin reading,
Bring only your determination to serve and your willingness to be free.
Don’t wait for the bread to rise.
Take nourishment for the journey, but eat standing, be ready to move at a moment’s notice.
Do not hesitate to leave your old ways behind-fear, silence, submission.
Only surrender to need of the time – to love tenderly, act justly and walk humbly with your God.
Do not take time to explain to neighbors.
Tell only a few trusted friends and family members.
Then begin quickly, before you have time to slip back into old slavery.
Set out in the dark.
I will send fire to warm and encourage you.
I will be with you in the fire and I will be with you in the cloud.
You will learn to eat new food and find refuge in new places.
I will give you dreams in the desert to guide you safely home to the place you have not yet seen.
The stories you tell one another around the fires in the dark will make you strong and wise.
Outsiders will attack you, and some will follow you, and times you will get weary and turn on each other from fear and fatigue and blind forgetfulness.
You have been preparing for this hundreds of years.
I am sending you into the wilderness to make a new way and to learn my ways more deeply.
Some of you will be so changed by weathers and wanderings that even your closest friends will have to learn your new features as though for the first time.
Some of you will not change at all.
Some of you will be abandoned by your dearest loves and misunderstood by those who have known you since birth and feel abandoned by you.
Some will find new friendships and new unlikely faces, and old friends as faithful and true as the pillar of God’s flame.
Sing songs as you go, hold close together.
You may at times grow confused and lose your way.
Continue to call each other by the names I've given you, to help remember who you are.
Touch each other and keep telling stories.
Make maps as you go, remembering the way back from before you were born.
So you will be only the first of many waves of deliverance on the desert seas.
It is the first of many beginnings- your Paschal tide.
Remain true to this mystery.
Pass on the whole story. Do not go back.
I am with you now and I am waiting for you. “
We’d then transition into a song, a prayer, or a discussion. I suppose this is at the core of why I enjoyed how they incorporated this reading in the meetings, there was no need for explanation….. So they'd let it speak, and leave it to settle within side of us.