Two key items in our life: I want to announce the expansion of our Church School Director into a broader Director of Christian Education. I also want to update our summer conversations about our FCC, Darien becoming a Full Blessing Church.
This week our Church Council followed our Stewards and Deacons in approving a 29.5 hour per week Director of Christian Education. This position will involve reigniting our Church School, leading a middle-school youth group, managing the milestone events like 3rd grade Bibles and collaborating with Gary in confirmation. Of course, hiring more hours for this means more money. We’re working on that.
Gary and I have been recently calling our young families. They are enthusiastic about fortifying and expanding our ministries to our children and youth. Recently, with our strong high school youth group under Gary’s leadership, it has revealed gaps in our work with ages from 4th to 8th grade. We want to eliminate those gaps and create seamless care and spiritual formation for all of our children and youth.
We have been searching for a candidate, and hope to have someone by autumn.
The idea for this bubbled-up from our Board of Christian Education over the last nine months. I believe it has broader implications for engaging our young families into our mainstream and attracting new members. A clear pathway to vitality is letting our young families and others new to Darien know that we have their best interests at heart, and want to minster to them in areas that matter most to them. When leaders of a church are mostly a generation older than that—as ours are—we must get outside of ourselves and see through their eyes. If we seek growth, then we recognize the most important people in our life are the ones not yet here.
Item number two. In my Flash previous to this, I attached my sermon describing my long journey to a place where I now see my way clear to perform weddings for same-sex couples who desire to live in the Christian covenant of marriage. After this sermon (now found on our web page), we shared an 11th Hour to let members speak. Seventeen members attended. Everyone there agreed on this.
But not so fast. That 11th Hour charged me to listen to everyone in the church by soliciting all points of view. We don’t take for granted the sharing and hearing of our many perspectives. That is not who we are or how we roll. I am in the midst of an all summer open listening phase. I spent much of Monday writing to as well as sitting down with those who do not object to civil unions, but see marriage as holy, between a man and a woman. It’s not like to be a “good” or “real” Christian, you must agree with those differing from you on an issue like same-sex marriage.
We need everyone’s input. Please feel comfortable coming forward and speaking honestly and confidentially with me. I can’t know your convictions unless you tell me. You will not be dismissed or disrespected. But you must speak if you want to register your view. I’ll be around all summer except the first two weeks of August.