Changes and new faces…
Well, it’s 40 or so days into a new call. I definitely wouldn’t say it’s been 40 days in the wilderness and certainly not 40 years but I’ve had lots of questions about what has really changed. So, here’s a little bit of what I know at this time.
My areas of responsibility have changed significantly. I’ve added First Call, Leadership School, Get to know your synod day, and congregational conflict. (Here’s the prayer that all is well – everywhere.) The current portfolio…
- First Call Theological Education
- Leaders Learn – continuing education for rostered ministers
- Leadership School
- Get to Know Your Synod Day
- Holy Innovations – fast growing congregations (more on Holy Innovations soon)
- Holy Innovations – mapping congregations
- Youth & Family Ministry
- Congregational conflict
- Limited call process
In order for this to happen, assembly had to come off my plate. Michael DeNise (bless his heart) will take over the assembly beginning in 2019. We’re walking together through it this year.
We are so blessed by exceptional leaders in this synod and several of them are stepping into new or expanded roles as we continue to be a synod committed to forming young people in faith.
Let me tell you about four amazing people.
Kelsey McNeely from Christ the King, Cary is now serving as our NC Synod Discipling Initiative Coach. The ELCA Youth Ministry Network launched the Discipling Cohorts Initiative at the Extravaganza this year, with the goal of training 500-600 children, youth, and family ministry leaders committed to growing and deepening in ministry leadership, personal faith, and vocational confidence. The initiative was created in response to the Network’s strategic goal for every member to create and live into a personal development plan.
Youth Ministry folks are invited to join a cohort of 8-10 people for an initial session led by a trained peer coach. (that’s Kelsey!) Cohorts will then convene monthly in local settings for the coming year, working together through a guided process for reflection on ministry leadership, skill development, vocational discernment, and spiritual formation.
The year will culminate with each participant writing and presenting a three-year personal development plan. Thank you Kelsey for your commitment to Discipleship and equipping leaders.
Meet Kai and Lauren Thurow. Kai serves at St. John’s, Salisbury and Lauren actually serves at the synod office with me.
Kai has served as LYO Advisor for several years already and will be moving into what I’d call an expanded role. He does LYO Assembly so well and my role will be more big picture than down in the details. Super thankful for Kai’s ministry not just with the assembly but with the LYO Board.
Lauren serves in dual roles at the synod office with both programmatic and administrative responsibilities. Lauren will be taking the lead on YouthQuake and providing administrative back up for LYO and other areas including coaching for First Call participants.
Cathryn Hewett serves part-time at St. Philip, Raleigh. She has agreed to serve as LYO Advisor with Kai. Cathryn brings so many gifts to this ministry and we are blessed to have her in this new role. She’ll begin with LYO Assembly 2018 and walk alongside Kai in working with the 2018-2019 LYO Board.
Hear my heart. I will always have a love for those who serve in the first third of life and young people in general. My commitment to equipping leaders has simply expanded. I am committed to continued networking, fellowship and learning together. Our trainings and events will now broaden to include all those serving in this synod. All are welcome.
Tammy Jones West
Assistant to the Bishop
Minister of Word and Service