by Carol Ann Weston
… about me personally? I grew up in the United Methodist Church, a pastor’s daughter, and from an early age felt a passion for sharing the love of Christ, especially with children. I married an Episcopalian and spent a number of years as a member of a parish and very much involved in its life and ministry. I returned to the UM Church when I answered God’s calling to Christian formation ministry. I am divorced and share my home with my dog, Kage (pronounced Kah-gay – which means “shadow” in Japanese).
My parents are in Del Rio, and just celebrated their 74th anniversary. My older brother and his wife, children, and their families are also in Del Rio. I have a sister and her husband in Potosi and both their children and families live in Abilene. I have two brothers who are in Heaven but very much alive in our memories and in the stories we share when we gather as a family.
I have two wonderful daughters. Jennie and her husband live in Portland, TX. Laura and her husband Kyle are here in Abilene and my little cottage is on the creek behind their home. I have two amazing grandchildren, both in Abilene. It is a great gift to be so close to most of my family, which is what brought me here. Some things I love are reading, enjoying the great gifts of nature, playing games of all kinds, watching Doctor Who, and hanging out with friends and family. I have a passion for Godly Play and the way in which it helps each of us to relate to God through stories and wondering.
… what a Director of Family Ministries does? That looks a little different in every parish, so we will be discovering together exactly what that will look like at Heavenly Rest. However, it basically means that my ministry is not just with a particular age group. Family ministry involves three primary faith formation environments: the intergenerational parish community, the family, and the age or peer group. I believe that children, youth, and adults need to experience the faith forming and spiritual growth influence of all three environments, not just age-segregated environments as most churches have concentrated on in the past. Much of my time right now is dedicated to learning everything I can about the people, the history, and the work of this parish and to building relationships with staff and parishioners of all ages. I would love the opportunity to visit with each of you as soon as possible. I am blessed beyond measure by your hospitality and grace as I begin my ministry with you.
… what this means for you? Whatever your age or life situation, YOU will be involved in some way in family ministry at Heavenly Rest! Most of you are already involved in worship, which is a primary intergenerational environment. Perhaps you feel called to work in that environment, helping to engage all ages in intergenerational relations, activities, and parish life and events where we explore our faith, wrestle with doubts and discover how God is present in our lives. Maybe you feel called to equip and support the adults and the whole family in sharing and practicing their faith at home, or perhaps you feel called to engage a particular age group or life stage in activities and experiences designed to address their spiritual journey, life stage needs, and the ways in which they learn and grow. You may feel called to be a part of a team that will discern the best way forward. I ask that you spend some time in prayer as you discern how God might be calling you to be a part of family ministries.
I wonder how you will respond? I am eager to hear!
><> Carol Ann Weston