St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, Perrysburg
Children and Youth Staff Position
Part-time (minimal benefits; access to insurance program at employee cost; 2 weeks paid vacation)
Works closely with:
- Vestry Liaison for Christian Formation
- Vestry Liaison for Congregational Development
St. Timothy’s once enjoyed a model (and robust) Christian Formation program with children and youth, employing both a youth director and Christian Education director to oversee full classrooms and a youth ministry that attracted teens throughout the community. Teens often participated in diocesan youth ministry events and were active in diocesan leadership.
Over the past fifteen to twenty years, a series of conflicts (parish with clergy, etc.) precipitated an exodus of families with young children as well as most of the previous lay leaders of the Sunday School ministry. Dwindling numbers and the incredible involvement of remaining teens in sports, academic and arts programs have impacted the youth ministry program. Current vestiges include teens serving (for the most part readily and happily) as acolytes, occasional musicians, and mission team members. Strong leadership for the Sunday School has emerged – primarily in the person of Susan Winters, but while functional, there is an ongoing struggle to adequately staff three classrooms on Sunday morning. St. Tim’s also experiences the opportunity and challenge of several active families that include children with behavioral special needs.
Vision for Position
This is envisioned as a developmental position for the next two years, embracing:
The long-term objectives include:
- Basic coordination and administration of the ongoing Sunday School ministry/program;
- Collaboration with rector, vestry and constituent families to create a ministry of and for children and youth that
- inspires committed participation of children and youth
- inspires committed participation (hands-on) of parents
- inspires committed participation on both a regular and occasional basis of other adults in the parish
- inspires persons outside the congregation to sample and become part of the St. Timothy’s ministry sphere
- Developing meaningful relationships with existing children and youth and their families.
- Engaging youth in the various elements of Church life and ministry (e.g., youth involvement in worship – both as servant leaders and “simple” worshipers, outreach ministries/projects, formation/class participation, etc.) Also, encouraging youth involvement in Diocesan events and maintaining collegial relationships with other Christian Formation staff people throughout the diocese (for example, neighboring parishes)
- Creating a “feeder program” (certainly including and related to, but not confined to Sunday School) that can lead to an eventual youth ministry
- Laying foundations for a culture excited about Christian Formation (and willing to do what it takes to support the process)
- Laying foundations for a more “traditional” children and youth staff position- a position which may be filled by this initial shorter-term hire.
- Weekly meeting with rector
- Tracking contacts with targeted population (households visited, events “shared” with teens, etc.)
- Tracking attendance of children and youth in full range of church experiences
- Survey (written and oral) of constituent populations – parents, teachers, etc.
- Arrival of new households (and retention) in the parish
- Engagement with the wider community/outreach ministries, such as
- Respite Care
- Perrysburg Schools
- Other local congregations’ youth ministries
- Engagement of our children & youth with appropriate diocesan ministries
- Appearance of teens in leadership and servant leadership roles within the parish
Proposed distribution of weekly hours:
- 3 to 5 hours/week, Sunday School coordination & administration
- Scheduling teachers
- Providing support vis-à-vis printing, supplies, acquisition of curricula
- Ensuring that appropriate training is made available
- Working with Vestry Formation Liaison & Teachers to choose & acquire curriculum
- Working with Vestry Formation Liaison & Teachers to develop annual program calendar & special events (e.g., Pageant, All Saints’, Palm Sunday, etc.)
- Facilitating involvement of children in Sunday worship services
- 7 to 10 hours/week, engaging students and students’ families (developing relationships, visiting homes and “outside” activities)
- 5 hours/week developing connection with wider community/outreach ministries and/or developing occasional programs/activities constituting a “feeder program” for youth ministry to come
- 1 hour/week meeting with rector and/or staff meeting
- 2 hours/week maintaining an ongoing communications strategy with youth and families, including emails, appropriate social media, etc.