For the Love of Children and Young People
- The Rev. Bob Dannals
- Jun 23, 2017
- Blog Feed
"Let the [young people] come to me," Jesus told his disciples, "and do not hinder them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs." (Luke 18:16)
I have thought of that verse often as we have set out to re-shape and re-staff the ministries of children, youth and their families at Holy Innocents' Church. St. Augustine once mused, "the cry of a child is a more glorious sound to God that the snore of a saint." On the day the disciples became overly-serious adults, Jesus continued his lesson: "Unless you turn and become like children, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven!" He did not say "stay children" but "become like children," suggesting that we adults should worry less about our children being like us and more about our being like them.
In this light we are pleased to announce that Megan Petenbrink will join our parish staff as full-time Director of Children, Youth and Families beginning on Sunday, July 16.
We are delighted that Megan will bring new vigor, insight and expertise to the whole range of ministries to and for the younger people of our parish. She has a background in early childhood education and she has most recently been the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in downtown Atlanta.
It's a given in discernment processes that we sometimes find a treasure right in our midst, or in this case, right in the heart of the city. Megan is seminary trained, receiving her M.Div. at Candler School of Theology in 2015. She has an extensive background in the church -- as a Methodist and now as an Episcopalian, and she has served as a child advocate, in public relations, and as a lead counselor at an ecumenical youth and family center in Atlanta. She describes herself as "comfortable with public speaking, very organized, self-motivated, great time manager, extremely familiar with the whole range of computer skills and social networking, and highly sociable." She is adroit at leading groups, leading mission endeavors, and relating to children, youth and their parents.
I extend my gratitude to the Search Committee -- Jan Stewart, Liza Mooney, Sarah King, Betty Barstow, and the Rev. Will Stanley. I also offer heartfelt thanks to the many faithful and dedicated adult volunteers who looked after both the children's and youth ministries during these interim months.
As we approach July, we will let the parish know how we will welcome Megan into our midst. In the meantime, please drop her an e-mail and welcome her to Holy Innocents' Church --