22 October 2010

Formation & Vocation Ministries Team Transition

On Thursday, October 21, the Department for Mission Co-Directors of The Episcopal Church announced that the Children's Ministries Officer position in the Formation and Vocation Ministries Team would be eliminated effective January 1, 2011. The announcement went on to explain that the work of this office would be strategically redistributed within the team. Following is my response to the announcement.

This is difficult news about Jeff Harre and the Children’s Ministries Officer position. The Formation and Vocation Ministries Team members are doing our best to express gratitude to Jeff for all of the ministry he has selflessly given us as Church Center staff members over the many years of his tenure. Typically and predictably Jeff is moving forward in this challenging time with polite and professional efficiency. I trust that he will be thorough and strategic in leaving instructions behind once he has concluded his work with the Church Center.  I am deeply grateful for the welcome and support he has offered me over this past year as I learned the ropes of this staff and we weathered the last General Convention and subsequent staff cuts and reorganization together. Jeff has gracious gifts for ministry, especially his efficient attention to detail, that will be greatly missed.

Although we will lose an Officer for Children's Ministries, we have not lost the program funding, nor will we ignore the mandates of the General Convention regarding mission and ministry with children. As the Team Leader for this area, I will work closely with the team and specifically Ruth-Ann Collins, Adult Formation and Lifelong Learning Officer, to move through this transition by continuing the work that was begun in September when we called together a consultation of Lifelong Formation stakeholders. Participants in that meeting included representatives of the Episcopal Council for Christian Education, Diocesan Missioners for Lifelong Formation, National Association of Episcopal Resource Centers, Standing Commission for Lifelong Christian Formation, and the National Association for Episcopal Christian Education Directors. 

The church is changing, revenue is lacking, and we must focus on new ways to make disciples and work toward healing a broken world. This will be hard work that denominational officers cannot and should not do alone. But we can do hard things together. We are blessed with this cloud of witnesses who share an abundance of expertise, resources, and prayers.

At this moment I ask for your prayers most importantly and immediately for Jeff as he enters this time of transition, discerning what God is calling him to next. Please do let prayers and praise rain down upon him.

I welcome your questions, suggestions and concerns. All of my contact information is listed below.

Bronwyn Clark Skov
Youth Ministries
Formation and Vocation Ministries Team Leader  

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