Ministry to children, youth, and their families is vitally important. I am deeply committed, as a priest and a parent, to raising up faithful, thoughtful, and engaged Episcopalians. We have been working toward a renewed vision of Children, Youth, and Family Ministry that builds upon the history of phenomenal ministry to young Christians here at St. Paul's. We are working toward a holistic vision for children and youth spiritual formation and community service, and are building now a comprehensive program of Christian education designed to track alongside the developmental stages (physical, cognitive, social-emotional) of children and youth from birth through high school and will be sharing that soon with families for feedback. This holistic approach will provide clarity and support for families as they navigate formation at St. Paul's.
Additionally, I am excited to share with you two new staff additions, who will bring light and life into our Children and Youth ministry.
Children Lead Team
Our new Children and Family Minister is long time St Paul's member, Ashley Ozan. Ashley is the wife to Charles, and mom to Amelia (14), Charlotte (12) and George (6). Ashley and her family usually attended the 11 a.m. service (pre-Covid). She has been active not only in the undercroft teaching many classes over the past years, but has also served as the Altar Guild director, Wedding Chair and an acolyte. Ashley comes to us from the First Presbyterian Preschool where she has been a teacher and manager of the preschool for over 9 years. She is looking forward to developing stronger relationships with each family and building our undercroft programs in this new season of change. Ashley has already begun building the Children Lead Team--a collection of committed adults and children-- and together they are planning events and formation opportunities for children 5th grade and younger, starting with the Advent New Year Celebration on November 29th.
Youth Lead Team
Our new Canon for Youth and Families is our own Canon Tim Sean (notice the title change!). Canon Tim Sean brings with him extensive experience in working with youth and their families. He currently serves as the Vicar of St. Edward the Confessor Chapel and Chair of the Religion Department at Casady School and and serves as the Diocesan Bible Instructor for the Iona School for Ministry. Canon Tim Sean is making a pivot here at St. Paul's and will be directing his focus to youth and their families. The Youth Lead Team--a collection of committed adults and youth-- is already at work planning formation and service opportunities that begin in Advent for both Jr. High and Sr. High youth. Youth Group starts November 29th on the first Sunday of Advent for Jr. High and the following weekend for Sr. High.
You will notice that both Ashley and Canon Tim Sean have the word family in their titles. To minister to a child or a youth is to, in fact, minister to the entire family. Both Ashley and Canon Tim Sean will be available to parents and guardians as they navigate the world of raising young people and will work alongside the Cathedral Clergy to make sure parents are supported and equipped.
I am excited to work with the Children and Youth Lead Teams as they minister to our families. As my own family settles in and we benefit from the formation found here at St. Paul's, I couldn't be happier with what we have now and what is yet to come.