Welcome to Our New Children & Family Minister and Youth & Family Minister
It is with great joy that we share with the news that we have hired Michelle Galdames-Henry as our Children and Family Minister and Jon Galdames-Henry as our Youth and Family Minister.
As you have hopefully heard, Sara Dyson, our current Children and Family Minister, has decided to step down from her 30 hours a week position in order to focus her time and energy on being a mom. We will celebrate her ministry with us on Sunday, July 21 and look forward to continuing to have her and her family as part of the Abiding Presence faith family. After much discernment, research and prayer, the church council decided to move forward with two full time positions – a Children & Family Minister and a Youth & Family Minister.
We launched a national search for these positions and had the opportunity to interview several qualified candidates. What stood out to the interview teams about Michelle and Jon was their ability to articulate their faith and what it means to be followers of Christ in the world today. Jon talked about coming to faith in middle school when he started attending youth group for the first time and the profound impact youth ministry had on his life. Michelle talked about growing up in the church and realizing in high school that working in a church was a career possibility. Both of them have a passion for engaging children, youth and families in hands-on service to help us live out our core value of being “God’s hands and feet in the world.” They have experience, both independently of each other and together, in organizing ministry, leadership and working with volunteers.
Michelle and Jon graduated from Eastern University with degrees in Youth Ministry. They are recently married and moved to Springfield within the past month. Jon grew up in Centerville, Virginia, so he knows the area well.
We extended formal employment offers to Michelle and Jon this past Sunday afternoon and they started first thing Monday morning so they could experience Vacation Bible School (VBS). Following VBS, Michelle will then have the opportunity to overlap for two weeks with Sara Dyson, our current Children and Family Minister, in order to facilitate a smooth transition. Jon will be able to chaperone our confirmation youth at confirmation camp later this month. We’re grateful for their willingness to quickly jump into ministry with us.
Please join us in welcoming Michelle and Jon to the congregation and to these positions.