Change is a constant. We know that, but we are often still surprised when it comes. The attached letters speak to you of an upcoming change in the leadership of our ministry with children, youth, and young families. Laurel’s letter says everything that I might say about the wonderful ministry of Christine D’Amico among us, so all I need to add is a heartfelt expression of thanks to Christine for her gifts and dedication, and an invitation to us all to celebrate the success of our family ministry that has brought us to this point.
The Very Rev Penny Bridges
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I greet you with words of thanksgiving and change, offered from my own experience and also on behalf of Dean Bridges:
One of the great joys in my first year of ordained ministry at St. Paul's has been working with Christine D'Amico. I am inspired by the warmth of her welcome, her energy, and her wisdom in working with parents and children of all ages and stages of faith formation. She is deeply gifted, and she has generously shared her gifts generously with the Cathedral.
Those who know Christine can attest to the fact that she is one of those rare souls who seems to get 48 hours worth of life and productivity out of any given day, and does so while maintaining genuine kindness and compassion. Nevertheless, the good-but-demanding growth of both her own teaching studio in Kensington and the children, youth, and family community at St. Paul's Cathedral presents too much work for any one soul. Christine has discerned that it is time for her to step back from the associate position at St. Paul's, and we fully support and honor that decision. We are grateful, too, that this transition from leadership does not mean goodbye!
In the coming months, I invite you to join me in praying for our children, youth, and families as we enter a time of transition. May God fill our hearts with wisdom as we seek to discern who will step into Christine's role on December 1st; may Christ call forward servant leaders to support this ministry; and may the Spirit prod us all toward the work best suited to our gifts and the tasks at hand.
For five years, Christine has served faithfully, and she is now responding to the Spirit's prodding toward adjustment and change. Now it is time for our community to do the same work of discernment, and practice the gracious art of welcoming change with energetic and creative energy. It's an art Christine models beautifully in her life and work; As we move forward, we offer gratitude for the dynamic light and life she has shared, and we hope to show her that we have been listening.
Laurel+The Rev Laurel Mathewson
Dear Cathedral Family,
I have had the pleasure to service as your Associate for Children, Youth and Family for close to five years now and it has been a true honor. We have seen so much change and expansion of the community in those five years, it has been thrilling.
For a while now I have felt that my work at the church has been growing and my own company, OpenMinds, has been growing and I have been working hard to keep up with both. They both continue to need more and so it has become clear that it is time for me to transition out of my role as the Associate for Children, Youth and Family. After consulting with the Dean and Rev. Laurel, we have designed a transition plan and I will resign my position, effective December 1, 2014.
Together, we have built some amazing things over these five years at St. Paul's and we have a thriving community ready for more. It was something that a part time person could run when I started, but we are at the end of that time for now. The job is starting to get too big for just one person to manage in a 15 hours per week role.
In these five years we have gone from an urban church that wanted to build a children, youth and family program to a community with a strong program ready to go to the next level. We are a church with families. We are a place for children to grow up connected to a church community and enriched with a spiritual foundation. We are supporting families and helping them to stay strong and guided by the Holy Spirit. We have a program that is going strong every Sunday morning and now it is pushing to mature and grow. That is the next piece of work for our church, it is time to to make room for growth and uncover and build the what is next for Children, Youth and Family in our St. Paul's community.
I really love this work and love this community. It has been such a blessing to be in this role with all of you and deciding to leave has been a hard decision to make. But I know I don't have the time to give what the church needs next and I can tell it is time for the new phase of this journey to begin. I will continue to be a part of our wonderful St. Paul's community with my own family and I will always treasure the amazing connections and experiences that we all had together. It will be fun to see what comes next for all of us as the spirit continues to work with and through each one of us. Blessings to you all and thank you for all you have given to make these five years so meaningful.