|Associate Rector for Children’s, Youth, and Family Ministries|
|Name of church or organization|
|The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany|
|San Carlos, CA|
The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany is an open, inclusive and thriving congregation of over 400 members in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. We are committed to a community of equity and diversity in all its forms. This Associate Rector position is designed for someone who is particularly strong at team building, with deep experience in recruiting and inspiring volunteers, helping them perform their roles well, and engaging the community. A useful metaphor for this role is that of an orchestra conductor, charged with finding the right players, helping them play well, and empowering and guiding the orchestra members to create music that sings God’s tune.
Our Associate Rector will be a full partner for our Rector in designing liturgy, preaching, pastoral care, service, and community engagement. In addition, the Associate Rector will oversee and hold responsibility for ensuring a vibrant set of programs for children, youth, and their families, in all their diversity.
We seek a priest who embraces collegiality as a guiding principle. Epiphany has capable lay leadership in the children and youth ministries, as well as lay preachers and liturgical committee members. During the pandemic, we have also begun to collaborate with a neighboring church to share children’s ministries on Zoom and the time of a vocational deacon. Collegiality and collaboration are important to this work.
Key Areas of Responsibility Children’s, Youth and Family Ministry
This role includes all oversight and strategic design for programs to support and engage families, their children (all ages), and youth. It is especially important for the Associate to develop strong, inviting relationships with our teens and to help revitalize the middle school and teen programming including Confirmation formation, and to support the diverse needs of the children, youth, and families we seek to welcome at Epiphany. The elements of this role are outlined below.
Membership Incorporation and Pastoral Care for Families
The Associate Rector is the primary provider of pastoral care and counseling to families, children, and youth and ensures that we are welcoming to new families by incorporating them with known best practices and systems. The Associate Rector also helps bring a family focus to liturgy, community events, retreats, and other opportunities for rich intergenerational experiences.
Engaging families with children constitute Epiphany’s most significant area of growth given our neighborhood’s demographics. The Associate Rector plans and provides oversight for their formation and experiences. Pre-pandemic, Epiphany established a vibrant Godly Play program for children ages four through 4th grade.
The Associate plans, designs, and oversees curriculum and calendars for youth groups and our every-other-year (or as needed) Confirmation program. The Associate is an integral part of “Seekers” (youth group) and is envisioned to be the go-to clergy person for our teens. Epiphany sponsors an annual Summer Service trip for youth to assist those in need, and to grow spiritually.
Liturgy and Families
The Associate designs and encourages children and youth participation in Sunday worship, working alongside the other clergy to promote acolyte/lector/LEM ministries where these age groups can participate.
The Associate will also promote and support Diocesan, Deanery, and Area Ministry youth opportunities (including promoting Diocesan summer camps).
New ideas to reinvigorate our programs are most welcome. We are particularly interested in developing programs/learning/conversations with our children and youth around racial, gender, and other biases during their formative years. A significant number of our adults have completed the “Sacred Ground” training offered by the national church and understand that our anti-racism work and ministry is only just beginning in earnest.
We anticipate an Epiphany pilgrimage to the Holy Land in June 2022 (postponed the last two years because of the pandemic). This has been designed to include families with children and youth. If funding permits, the Associate will take part in this sacred journey, helping to provide Godly Play-ish stories and story materials as we tell those stories “in the Land” itself.
Children under four also need a wonderful place to be during our worship services to experience a safe and welcoming sense of community. The Associate Rector coordinates nursery care, held in a beautiful space in our parish hall that is furnished for weekday use by unaffiliated but long standing pre-school guests/renters of that space). There is a budget for nursery care providers.
Given the importance of Safe Church regulations and trainings, the Associate is accountable for ensuring that all our volunteers and staff are prepared to work safely with our children and youth and are trained and screened to do so. (The diocese provides online and in-person trainings.)
In addition, it is important to support the teachers and children in the Godly Play program. Overseeing options for Godly Play training and support for new teachers is part of the Associate’s role.
Membership Incorporation and Stewardship for Children, Youth, and Families
Epiphany seeks to grow and engage an even more vibrant and diverse community. The Associate role can bring creativity and skill to engaging community members, whether across the street at the popular city park, bringing more social media presence, or in other innovative ways. The Associate Rector and Rector will partner on plans to bring in new members. The Associate Rector will be primarily responsible for new members with families so that they are welcomed and incorporated authentically into the life of the community.
Given the importance of teaching children and youth to be stewards of their talents and God’s world, the Associate Rector will also oversee design of stewardship programming appropriate to our families/youth/children. This includes learning about vocation, gifts, skills, and generosity.
Pastoral Care, Liturgy, and Preaching
The Associate Rector’s priesthood is fully valued at Epiphany. The Associate Rector presides and preaches on a regular basis on Sundays and during a Wednesday Chapel Time (engaging with seniors during this service). Preaching is shared in a rota with the Rector, Deacon, and our vibrant roster of lay preachers. We especially seek a priest who enjoys creating liturgy and can be a full partner for our talented Rector and our part-time Vocational Deacon. The Associate will be a key member of the Worship and Faith Formation Committee, along with the Rector, Deacon, Music Minister, and lay members.
The Associate will also participate in Baptismal and Marriage Preparation and will share in presiding and preaching during baptisms, weddings, and memorial/funeral services.
New Ways of Being Church
During the pandemic, we are providing “virtual worship” via Facebook and Zoom. While many of our parishioners currently work many hours remotely on-line, we are pleased that they have stayed engaged with the parish. We have continued to offer programming for children and youth, but as the majority of them are “going to school” on Zoom, there has been an understandable drop-off of interest and involvement. The Associate will need to re-engage children and youth of all ages.
A “benefit” of this time is that we have partnered even more fully with a neighboring parish. We now offer several combined programs and occasionally share worship. Our Vocational Deacon serves both parishes and our Rector used to serve there, so this is a natural partnership. We intend for this cooperative, expansive approach to Church to continue, and the Associate Rector will be a part of this collaboration.
Other General Responsibilities:
Required Skills ● Experience recruiting, inspiring, and overseeing volunteers toward shared goals. Organizational and project management skills are paramount for handling this ministry successfully. Epiphany needs an Associate Rector who is gifted with organizational abilities and experience both in setting long-range goals and working well in more immediate circumstances. Organization, of necessity, involves knowing when to be involved as a leader and when to delegate to others. ● Proven experience engaging children, youth, or families and knowledge of the best practices for teaching, engaging, and inspiring their faith journeys. ● Excellent verbal and written communication skills. The Associate Rector needs to communicate clearly and frequently with the Rector and staff, with the Vestry, committee chairs, and most especially with parents, families, and volunteers. This role requires skills in knowing how to engage busy people and using those tools well. ● Some experience of parish databases for volunteer management or similar tools. ● Experience with faith communities, including proven skill using volunteer resources, inviting courageous conversations when needed, and listening deeply for God’s voice in the community.
Preferred Skills ● Experience preaching and designing liturgy. We are open to a recent seminary graduate for whom confident preaching may be a growing edge. ● Experience engaging community, including with social media. ● Experience of pastoral care. ● Experience working in diverse communities.
Competencies ● High-trust community builder—the Associate Rector needs to be someone who encourages and nourishes trusting relationships within the congregation. ● Creative and engaging with children and youth. ● Faithful—a person who has the ability to engage others in spiritual conversations and who exhibits a deep personal spirituality. We seek an Associate Rector who is excited about and comfortable with evangelism and God-Talk and who also can sit quietly while another shares her/his/their soul. ● Passionate about working in a parish that values and promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism
Epiphany is well known in the neighborhood for our rainbow “God’s Doors Are Open To All” and “Love Wins” art projects that were created by our Seekers youth group. We hope to continue a sense of welcome to all as we look towards celebrating our 75th Anniversary in 2022. We look forward to sharing our journey with a dynamic new Associate Rector.
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