From the Rector's Desk Dec. 2018

    12.06.18 | News by Rob Courtney

    From the Rector’s Desk

    More and more frequently parents will apologize to me for their children making noise during the service, particularly during the sermon. When I tell them that I don’t even notice most of the time I’m not simply being polite. I really don’t, which I suppose is the consequence of now living for over 17 years with a house filled with children’s noises, combined with ministering for almost six years in a church with a school. Those children’s sounds are just a part of life for me now, and they speak of life. To hear noisy children in our church is part of what it means to live in a lively community. It’s a joy, and frankly, I think I would start to notice more if it got too quiet! No apologies are necessary for little ones making racket during my sermon. Besides, it might serve to keep you awake!

    With all that life comes the need for ministry, to parents and children alike. When it comes to children I believe profoundly in the concept (which you may have heard me express before) that the children are not the future of our church—they are the church now. Children are a vital part of our community, and our job as a church is to make a safe environment for them to learn and to grow in their relationship with God. It means it’s our job to offer them opportunities to participate as fully as they are able in our common life. It means it’s our job to concern ourselves with how they, alongside our adult members, can grow in relationships, in service, and in Christ.

    Earlier this year we began discerning how best to fill the open position of director of youth and children’s formation. We read a book together called Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark DeVries, has some discussion on our podcast The PaulCast about it, and visited with involved parents and young people, as well as our vestry. After reflection and prayer I decided to shift some of Mtr. Liz’s responsibilities around to have her take this ministry on as part of her work as the associate for congregational development. Developing the ministries for our children and youth is a big part of developing our congregation, after all. I am excited about the future of our youth and children’s ministries under Mtr. Liz’s gifted leadership.

    With a lively parish comes an ever increasing need to enhance communication, both inside and outside the parish. I have shifted the communications responsibilities that Mtr. Liz had taken on to a newly created part-time position of communications manager. Tara Mariano, who had been helping as a part-time office assistant, is now responsible for managing our communications including producing bulletins, our email newsletter, our quarterly printed newsletter, as well as managing our social media platforms and more. Tara brings a lot of creativity and enthusiasm, and we’re glad to have her as part of the staff.

    If you have questions or concerns about our youth and children’s ministries, reach out to Mtr. Liz at . If you have communications questions or needs please reach out to Tara at . If you notice a squirmy, talkative little person in the pew next to you who is slightly distracting, smile warmly at that little one and the possibly fretting parent. And say a little prayer of thanksgiving for life present in our community.