A Word of Greeting and a Word of Gratitude
Authored by: The Rt. Rev. Russell Kendrick
It is with delight and anticipation that I announce to you that the Rev. Lydia Johnson has accepted my call to serve as our next diocesan Missioner for Development. I first met Lydia when she was exploring a possible call to ordained ministry. Four years later, I have come to respect greatly the gifts she brings to the people with whom she serves. Lydia possesses an entrepreneurial spirit for ministry that seeks innovative and authentic ways for congregations to engage with the community. Lydia will focus her passion and time to developing a diocesan team to support congregations and convocations in cultivating the spiritual practice of evangelism and extending their mission beyond the status quo.
Lydia began her ministry in the Episcopal Church as the Director of Christian Education at St. Paul’s Church, Mobile in 2011. Accepting the position came with one condition- she could bring a project with her that she had been dreaming up with a local Methodist church. It was the idea for home repair ministry that blends service, formation, and relational development with teams of local and visiting volunteers and some spirited interns. Ten years, over 60 homes and community improvements, 1,000s of volunteers and a million moments of grace breaking through later- it is known as Raise the Roof. In addition to co-founding and leading Raise the Roof, Lydia helped build teams to expand the family and community ministries at St. Paul’s, to include thriving family programs, experimental Vacation Bible School (VBS) models, and a church preschool. More recently, Lydia has been involved in trying new things as the Chair of the diocesan Evangelism Task Force; a graduate of the diocesan School for Ministry; a core team member for a New Episcopal Community; and learning about building online communities with Try Tank, a program out of Virginia Theological Seminary.
Lydia is passionate about the beauty of the story in all people and helping people not only tell their story but live it. She enjoys teamwork, building meaningful relationships, and being surprised by the Holy Spirit. She looks forward to working with everyone as we discern what fresh expressions of our faith God is calling us to next.
I am glad that Lydia has opened herself to serve our diocese, our church, and God’s world. If you are interested in knowing more about her ministry and how she can serve your congregation, please contact Lydia via email at email@example.com.
With that word of greeting, also comes a word of deep gratitude. When the Rev. Kammy Young accepted my call to serve as our diocesan Missioner for Development, she did so without a formal job description for the position. Without knowing where we were going, I still knew that Kammy was the right person to implement the vision I had in mind. I am deeply grateful for the work Kammy has done in these last three years to offer our diocese many resources, tools, and events. She has inspired imaginations to move beyond the status quo, evoked confidence to be evangelists, and stirred up new ministries in various locations in our diocese.
When Kammy accepted my call, she clearly expressed her desire to limit her time in this particular ministry to three years. That time has now come. Last month we sent you her letter expressing her gratitude for your support and her hope for our future. During this year’s convention you will see a video recounting the most recent ministry that Kammy has led.
Kammy is the epitome of Barnabas, the encourager. She is relentlessly positive and hopeful; she believes in people more than they believe in themselves and she has the ability to call that forth. And, Kammy incarnates the words of the prophet Micah. She acts justly, loves mercy and she walks humbly with God. I speak for the staff at the Duvall Center. We will miss her greatly.