As I write this, the youth are on their way to Six Flags for a fun day, the Adult Education team has just met to approve a fantastic list of offerings for the fall (including a vist from Birmigham Mayor Randall Woodfin!), and Children’s Ministries staff, along with magical musician “Miss Beth” Middleton, are busily preparing for next week’s Art and Music Camp. We are all working together to get fall events planned and to be ready for an exciting Fall Kickoff on Sunday, August 19. The Holiday House team is celebrating having all of the houses lined up for the tour, and they are busy tapping volunteers for the various jobs that go along with that event, and the Focus on Faith team is all set for an August 2 trip to Montgomery to visit the Legacy Memorial and Museum.
The long days of summer are our planning time, and the work we do now behind the scenes bears fruit all year long. But the question I am asked the most often around IPC these days is “How is the search for a youth director going?” It is going well, if slowly. We’ve got a great group of people working hard to identify good candidates. And we would love your help in doing that. You might wonder about that, thinking you don’t know anyone who would be a good candidate. But you probably do know people who are active in other congregations, or people who teach, or people who have young adult children. A link to the position description is here, and we suspect that the way we will find the right person is through word of mouth. So think about who you know who might know someone and help us get the word out!
But the search is far from the only news in Youth Ministry! One of my father’s favorite sayings is that “perfect is the enemy of good.” I think about that often in ministry! We have a lot of good to celebrate in the Youth Ministry. The youth themselves and a number of amazing adult volunteers have stepped up in big ways in this season, and this sharing of the load has been a blessing to everyone involved. We have an interim staffing plan that will carry us into the fall, and we have the flexibilty to adjust that as needed. A healthy youth ministry isn’t built around one personality or even a staff, but instead is connected to an entire congregation. This hasn’t been an easy season, but the ways we have grown the network of support will be a blessing to the youth ministry for a long time to come. (Thank you, Susan Dukes!) So, we continue to search, but we also keep building relationships and doing ministry, with gratitude for what God is doing in and through the youth at IPC.
Grace and Peace,
Rev. Elizabeth Goodrich, Associate Pastor and director of Discipleship